This is a guest post by Danielle.
So you think you know what it takes to come up with top-notch content for your business, but after putting your post out there for everyone to see, you might ask yourself, “Is my content good enough? How can I tell if my post is doing well?”
Popular bloggers have been there already. What makes minted bloggers different from newbies is this: they know their metrics.
What your content should accomplish?
Keep in mind that your content, first and foremost, should accomplish the following to be considered successful:
- Generate sales or views
- Grab the attention of customers
- Expand your reach
- Increase the credibility of your product, service, or brand
- Increase people’s awareness of your blog
- Create a customer base through user engagement
Expert bloggers don’t write blog posts and instantly generate income from them. They know the ins and outs of making content and are experts when it comes to gauging their content’s success. They know what works for their blogs and what doesn’t based on several metrics that serve as guides.
8 Top Google Analytics Metrics Every Blogger Must Use For Content Success
As a newbie blogger, what does it mean to have a successful blog post? What metrics should you base the success of your blog on? Today, we’re going to discuss each of these key metrics so that you can start setting solid goals for your blog.
Without a doubt, traffic is the foremost metric of a blog’s success. Bloggers live and breathe traffic, but you should know this. Simple traffic is not just the metric of your content’s success. Instead, you should pay attention to an increase in traffic over time. This indicates good performance.
Google Analytics divides traffic into two categories: users and sessions.
- “Users” refer to unique visitors. Unique visitors are only counted once during a certain time frame. If you visit my blog, say, 10 times a month, you’ll be counted only once when the overall users are summed up.
- “Sessions” refer to each time someone visits a website. If you’ve visited my blog 10 times in a month, this will add up to a total of 10 sessions.
As mentioned, what you should take note of is the change in traffic. Track the traffic changes in your blog per month. See what types of content generate the most traffic, then check which types of content performed poorly.
The results will tell you what you should be doing more and what should you avoid.
Continue monitoring your progress and you’ll learn what works.
2- Search engine results page (SERP) ranking
Your SERP ranking is where you show up when you Google anything related to you. For example, if you search for a certain hair care product, its SERP ranking is based on where it is in the results page. The first that comes up is the most highly ranked by Google.
If you’ve blogged about increasing Instagram followers in the shortest time possible, you’ll know how successful your post is when you Google the topic using related keywords and your post appears in the results.
Your ultimate goal would be to have a post popular enough to be Google’s top result. Tools like KWFinder Serpchecker is used to find top pages for a specific topic or keyword.
3- User demographics
You want to be sure that you’re reaching your target audience.
A tool you can use is Google Analytics, which lets you determine the language, location, browser, and other stats of your blog’s readers.
Knowing your user demographics can help you tweak your content based on the type of readership that you have.
4- Time spent on site
You know that you have good content if your visitors spend time on your blog. Aside from traffic, also consider the time a visitor spends reading your blog. Google analytics simply calls this metric “session duration.”
Google Analytics cannot easily gauge the time a visitor spent on the site, but to know how long it takes to read a post, here’s what you can do:
- Consider the average session duration of a post.
- Know the average read time of a post. Take the total word count, and translate it to minutes. The average read time is about 275 words per minute. Add 12 seconds for each image in your blog.
- See if the average session duration and total read time match.
You’ll know if people are simply browsing your content, or if they don’t even reach half of what you’ve written. If this is the case, you’re likely doing something wrong. Use this as a basis for changing or improving your post.
5- Pages per visit
Consider internal linking to have more successful content. A cycle where people who’ve read an article visit your other articles suggests a high-value post.
With more clicks, your content works great, too. The goal is to make your visitors stay longer.
Related : Winning SEO tips for new bloggers
6- Returning visitors
Much like a great restaurant, you know you got high-value content when people come back for more. Having loyal readers indicate that you have successful content. Estimates say that you have to spend five times as much to get new visitors compared to retaining old ones, indicating the importance of returning visitors.
Through Google Analytics, you can have an idea about the percentage of new sessions.
Your goal is to attract new visitors while retaining old visitors to maintain high traffic.
7- Social sharing
Social sharing is another metric that can tell if your content is working. With social media widgets, your readers will be able to share your post. These people will want others to read your content because they enjoyed or appreciated it, possibly starting a conversation about your content. More readers can discover your post this way and increase your traffic.
Social media is a very influential platform and can be an indicator that your content is working. For instance, Facebook currently dominates the social media landscape. Facebook clicks may be due to shares from influencers, which is a sign that your content is relevant enough.
You can gauge whether your content is shared on Facebook through Google Analytics or Insights on Facebook’s dashboard, if your content was originally posted there.
It’s time to create a strategy
With consistent, high-quality content, you can set aside time to analyze how well your posts are doing using these metrics.
A well-planned strategy based on what you know works and what doesn’t can help you tick off all the boxes of these success metrics indicators.
The Big Takeaway
From the get-go, you may be overwhelmed with all these metrics. With so many things to take into account, it helps to know what to prioritize. By knowing which metrics to consider, you’ll discover your strengths and weaknesses, giving you a better idea of what you need to improve.
Just a reminder, don’t be distracted with seemingly significant but actually unimportant things when it comes to gauging your blog’s popularity. Instead, use the metrics above to your advantage and you’ll learn how to successfully improve your content and eventually grow your blog.
Which metrics do you think are most relevant to your blog?
Author Bio: Danielle Canstello is party of the content marketing team at Pyramid Analytics. They provide enterprise level analytics and business intelligence software. In her spare time, she writes around the web to spread her knowledge of the marketing, business intelligence and analytics industries.