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Welcome to measurement Mondays, our opportunity to share some best practices, educational information and talk about all things related to measurement to start your week. In this week’s measurement Monday post, we will be reviewing some of the different metrics used when evaluating your blog and blogging strategy.

Knowing what to measure when it comes to your blog depends on the purpose of your blog and your goals. There are multiple ways to effectively use a blog. The strategies you develop and employ will pay huge dividends when you analyze the blog to determine its success.

Figure out your blogging goals and objectives.

Blogging for the sake of blogging is great if your purpose is to practice your writing or to simply expose your thoughts to the world. But as part of a business strategy and/or content strategy, your blog needs to have a more clearly defined vision and set of goals.

Blogging for Leads

If your goal is to generate more leads, then measure how well your blog is driving lead conversions. Look at how many people subscribe to your blog in a given time period and how that number grows (or declines) over time. Evaluate how well blog posts guide visitors to landing pages and the resulting lead conversions on those pages. For this to work, you need to set up your blog to have calls to action and strategic keyword links to content on your site.

Blogging for SEO

If your goal is to improve rankings or increase organic traffic, look at how many unique visitors are coming to the blog and the channels that are bringing them. Review the number of visits from search engines (organic) to see how well your SEO strategy supports your blog. If visits via search engines is low or declining, you may need to re-examine your SEO strategy. Essentials for a blog to aid in achieving better rankings are appropriate title tags, meta description, categorization and post tagging as well as strategic keyword use and intra site linking.

Blogging for Links

You can also track inbound links. Inbound links are links from other websites to your blog. Search engines use inbound links as a way to measure the quality of your content and help determine your rank in search engine results pages. Knowing which post types tend to garner the most inbound links can help you determine the content that is deemed valuable to readers and this can lead you down a path of writing stronger, more strategic blog posts.

Blogging for Commerce

If your blog exists to drive purchases, your blog needs to be able to drive traffic to product pages. Measuring the success of your blog in relation to ecommerce and sales will require Google Analytics to be properly configured to track your traffic from your blog through your conversion pages using goals. Blogging as it relates to ecommerce can be tricky and is not advisable without clear strategies on what you hope to achieve.

Blogging for Community

If you are blogging for community or to build a consistent and engaged readership, look at not only subscribers but also active commenters and users who distribute your posts via their social channels. Examine the number of repeat visits who find your content valuable enough to return.

Review how long readers spend on your blog. This can indicate relevance as well as levels of interest and engagement. Also, examine your bounce rates. While bounce rates tend to be higher for blog posts, this metric can tell you if your posts compel visitors to explore your blog or site further. Also look at the bounce rates specific to social media visitors.These visitors may be more likely to engage with your brand and less likely to bounce than other visitors.

Blogging for Shares

While “going viral” isn’t a recommended goal, you can strive for increasing shares by a specified amount over a distinct period of time (remember, goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound). To help you determine how share-worthy your blog content is, look at shares and retweets as well as referrals from social media and other content sharing websites such as Reddit and StumbleUpon. When used strategically in this manner, a blog can help you extend your social footprint.

Conclusion

With all the elements of your marketing that can be measured, you certainly don’t want to get bogged down measuring your blog. Choosing key metrics that relate to well-defined SMART goals will enable you to concentrate on developing new content that resonates with the proper audience types that help you achieve your specific goal set.