Tracking is one of the most important factors to digital marketing, If you don’t know what’s working and what’s not, how can you make improvements? With that being said, what are some of the most important metrics to measure?
- Unique Visitors – Tracking unique visitors will help give you an idea of how many new users are finding the site. This number should always be increasing in an upward trend, to do this you need to continue to produce quality content. As more people are able to find your site, the better your site will rank within the search results.
- Bounce Rate – A user lands on your blog post, how do they interact after this? If they are immediately leaving your bounce rate will reflect this. Roughly a 50% bounce rate is average, this will depend on industry, content, etc. If your bounce rate is higher you will want to review your landing pages to determine why users are leaving so quickly. There’s many steps to take that can help reduce bounce rate, which will help with rankings for your content. As a user searches a query, finds your listing, clicks on the link and lands on your page. If the user immediately leaves the page, or bounces, this tells the search engines the query used to reach the site is not related to the content. Thus the search engines will move your listing down for that term to give users more accurate information.
- Time on Page – How long are users spending on your page? Are they landing on the page, looking around for 10 to 15 seconds then leaving? If users are not spending much time on your page you will have an idea of what content they are finding interesting. Compare some of your top performing blog posts to understand what pages are most intriguing.
- Top Landing Pages – Top landing pages can be measured with a few different metrics, the most common being number of visitors and number of referring domains. What content is performing the best? What pages are receiving the most organic sessions? What content are sites linking to? By analyzing this data you can determine what content is most popular and build similar pages. You may find your ‘how to’ blog posts have the most visitors, thus more ‘how to’ blog posts should be implemented.
- Referring Domains – Referring domains is defined as the number of domains that have links pointing to your site. As your content marketing strategy expands this number should continue to increase. It shows how sites are linking to your site through your content. The more links, the better. These are essentially popularity votes for your website, the more votes your site has the better it will rank.
Tools to Track Blog Performance
There’s a plethora of tracking tools available, and many of them provide similar information. We recommend trying different ones out to see which dashboards you enjoy best. The following are the most common tools used by the Adficient marketing team.
Google Analytics – Site owners understand it’s important to have analytics installed on their site, but many don’t fully utilize the tool. It’s easy to spend hours analyzing the data Google Analytics provides, but the metrics mentioned above are some of the most important. Unique visitors, top landing pages, time on page, and bounce rate can all be monitored through Google Analytics. Create custom reports, compare specific time frames and monitor conversions all in one tool.
Webmaster Tools / Google Search Console – This tool goes hand in hand with analytics, and is used more for a site wide metrics more so than blog specific. However, the tool can help track some excellent information such as AMP and mobile friendliness, links to the site, and broken pages or 404s. Again, these are not specifically related to blog performance, but more so for overall site performance.
AHREFS – There are many tools that are similar to AHREFS, yet it’s one of our favorites because of it’s ease of use and the number of tools it offers. Two particular tools that are very helpful are the Top Content and Referring Domains. The top content tool not only allows for users to check which of their pages is doing best, but allows to compare competitors. Find out what pages of your competitors is receiving the most Likes, Shares, and back links, this can help you determine what to write about in the future. The referring domains, as mentioned above, can help track how the blog is growing. Within AHREFs the tool will show a graph of how referring domains is growing or diminishing.