How do you know if your blog is doing what it’s supposed to do? It is hitting the goals you set for it? If you don’t have the answers to these basic questions, you are missing out on a vital part of your marketing strategy. And you could be missing out on some valuable insight that will make your marketing program even more effective.
When I mention to business owners, that they may benefit from establishing a blog in their area of expertise, many roll their eyes at me and ask if they “really” have to do that. Our answer is always no: No, you don’t really have to have a blog, but if you want to attract new people to your website so they can see what it is you do, it can certainly help.
A blog can be a powerful tool to elaborate on what you do and who you do it for. Website product and service pages can only hold so much information before they become unwieldy. A blog allows you to add context to your offerings, answer questions your customers and prospects have, and educate people (and Google!) about the finer points of your business offerings. Then, when you add monitoring and analysis, you get a clear picture of what your blog is doing for you and how well it’s doing it.
Are analytics really that important?
Marketing analytics are used to monitor, analyze, and measure how well the execution of your marketing strategy performs. It provides invaluable insight that allows you to optimize its effectiveness while maximizing your ROI. It helps you ensure that every bit of your budget that you allot to marketing is well spent.
So, yeah, analytics are pretty important.
Without measuring and analyzing your marketing, you are essentially flying blind, throwing out a little marketing here and there with no idea whether anyone is paying attention. If your business is like most, it doesn’t really have money to burn. Don’t you want some feedback on how those marketing dollars are working for you?
Case in Point: Company X, Q4 2017
Company X is a small, family-owned business that deals in specialized services and some product sales. The site and blog were re-launched in November 2016 and we have been executing an marketing ongoing program.
Over several months, we’ve focused on strengthening the blog, making posts more strategic as we’ve gained traction for some keywords and identified other keywords we want to rank for to position the company in its industry. This was achieved by employing several components of an inbound marketing strategy, including a focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and developing strategic content meant to attract people to the website, along with lead generation assets to convert visitors to leads. Additionally, a bi-monthly email marketing program works to entice current customers and people already in the company network back to the website.
At Savoir Faire, every marketing campaign we execute is monitored and analyzed on a regular basis so we can ensure that it is hitting its goals and performing effectively.
During the last quarter of 2017, this is what our analytics told us about Company X’s blog.
At the end of the third quarter of 2017, Company X closed with 9.12% of website traffic entering through the blog. Here’s what happened next.
- October – The blog numbers were jumping at the end of the month, closing out at 14.42% of the website traffic entering through the blog. There was also a 36.54% increase from the previous month of new users. Of the 1,523 visitors to the blog for the month, 963 were organic entries.
This meant that 82.89% of the new users were visiting the blog. Total pageviews for the blog were 17.88% higher than the previous month and visitors were spending an average of 2:19 minutes, up from 1:42 the previous month. The top post was an FAQ on a product relevant to the company.
Takeaway: Consumers want information. They respond well to FAQ posts and company-specific posts with more information on products or services. The blog is a relationship-building tool as well as a brand boosting way to attract website visitors and convert them to leads and, for some of them, customers.
- November – Traffic that entered the site from the blog saw an increase of 16.77% in November and new users climbed 16.93%, representing 14.12% of all the traffic that entered the website.
Organic searches leading to the blog increased 8% during the month, growing from 963 to 1,040. Traffic to the blog via organic search continued to increase, hitting 18.32% by the end of November.
The company sent a newsletter in November, bringing 103 visitors to the blog, an 836% increase over the month of October (when no email was sent; the newsletter is bi-monthly). On months where a newsletter was sent out, it generates a significant increase in traffic to the site. There was a newsletter in September, though, which accounted for 100 blog visitors, showing that the newsletter is a significant and consistent way for visitors to connect with the blog. And, visitors who come to the blog via email stay about four times longer than visitors to come from organic search.
Takeaway: Consistency is important in order to gather sufficient data for analytics. By sending out a newsletter on a regular basis and making regular posts on the blog, it is much more effective in regard to being able to track visitors and conversions.
- December – Entrances to the blog dipped by 22% in December, compared to November. There was a lag in the weeks leading up to Christmas, which is the suspected reason for the drop-in numbers. Nearly 8% of all website page views originated on the blog.
There was also a drop in the amount of traffic originating from email that entered the site via blog posts with a total of 65 visitors from email, even though no newsletter was sent that month.
Organic traffic continued to be a top referral source, representing more than 50% of all traffic that accessed the site via the blog. This indicates that our content marketing strategy utilizing SEO to optimize blog posts is effective because it is attracting visitors to the blog and website.
Takeaway: Consistency is important. This means regular newsletters and blog posts. Most people use their electronic device to access the internet, so whatever they’re busy with, they are still carrying the internet in their pockets. Whether or not they use it to check out your business or read your newsletter is up to you – but you won’t know if you aren’t tracking it.
At Savoir Faire, measurement, analysis and reporting are a vital part of the execution of marketing campaigns for our clients. In fact, each of our clients receives a quarterly report which allows us to understand – and share with them – what is working and what needs adjustment. It also provides insight into tactics that are not producing the desired results. Sometimes a particular tactic just doesn’t work for a client no matter how you tweak it. We use these reports to consistently monitor and fine-tune the programs so we can be certain that our clients are making the most of their ongoing investments.
Contact us today to find out how you can receive the same care and attention that we give to all of our valued clients. It’s our commitment to you – we expect you to hold us to it.