Every time you write a blog post, you click the Publish button and hope it converts readers into customers, draws search engine traffic, and helps spread the word about your products or services. Analytics help you determine whether you're reaching your goals.
Leveraging Analytics for Your Blog
Analytics programs make sense of raw data so you
don't have to crunch those confusing numbers.
An integrated analytics program parses the raw data generated by your site to help you make decisions about editorial schedules, links, calls to action, and other essential elements of your blog. From basic visitor counts to in-depth conversion ratios, you learn how well each post performs.
As of March 2015, businesses spend an estimated $540 billion every year on marketing, according to the CMO Council. Analytics tell you whether or not your content marketing efforts are working and suggest ways to improve in the future. This results in fewer wasted dollars and better investments in marketing.
From What Sources Do Your Visitors Originate?
Start the upward climb with targeted traffic generation.
Analytics programs like the one available through Hubspot tell you exactly how visitors find your content. They might arrive via search engine results, social media links, referrals from other Web sites, or direct marketing emails.
Use this data to boost your efforts in areas that currently don't send traffic. If you notice that only a small fraction of your traffic originates from search engines, for example, you know you need to step up your search engine optimization efforts.
How Much Traffic Does Your Blog Receive?
Blog traffic takes time to build, so don't give these numbers much thought when you first launch your blog. As time progresses, consider the average growth of your traffic. Does it increase steadily, spike during specific months, or remain constant?
Which Posts Generate the Most Traffic?
Some blog posts perform better than others. Look for patterns and themes among traffic spikes to guide your editorial calendar. Turn a single, well-performing post into a series. High traffic indicates consumer interest, so leverage that data to increase future hits.
Which Posts Do Visitors Share?
Good blog posts draw traffic to your site and generate interest among existing readers. Great blog posts, on the other hand, motivate readers to not only consume the content, but also to share it via social media, email, and other methods.
When a blog post garners numerous shares, you know you've hit a pain point, solved a problem, entertained your audience, or accomplished a combination of all three. Use that knowledge to your advantage.
Where Can You Improve?
When you notice lackluster conversions or dips in traffic, take a proactive approach to fixing the problem.
Maybe you garner plenty of search engine traffic, for example, but nobody shares your posts via social media. Try writing longer posts. Articles longer than 1,500 words draw nearly 70 percent more Tweets than shorter posts, according to Hubspot.
Keep track of your promotional efforts, as well. When you use a particular strategy and it results in increased traffic, you'll want to duplicate those results.
Use analytics to break down the numbers for each of your blog posts, then use that information to drive future efforts. Start with great content, then leverage the numbers to continue growing.