So you have a website or blog that you update regularly and have put all your efforts into. This is fantastic! Perhaps you have put up a company blog or have been posting blog articles as content strategy. However, here comes the dreary bit – do you actually even know if anyone is reading your content or your blog? How do you tell if these strategies are bringing you any tangible results? We all know that creating killer content truly takes a lot of time and dedication, so knowing how this is being received by your audience is key in moving forward in your blogging journey.
Failing to track your content metrics is, unfortunately, going to leave you with a flailing content strategy. Being unsure of metrics will have you constantly wondering about what is working for your blog/website and what is not. This lack of certainty is something that you would rather not have to deal with. So, you may ask, how do you keep yourself out of this rut of uncertainty? Keep on reading to learn about the five blog engagement metrics you need to start measuring today!
1. Number Of Comments Received
When we talk about comments, always remember that of course, spam comments do not count. The total number of genuine comments you receive from readers can often be a great indicator of whether you have been able to engage your audience/readers or not. If you don’t happen to have the comments section enabled on your blog, then it is time to get that started. A fantastic way to ensure that you have a lively and active comments section is to encourage and trigger conversation via your blog post. This can be achieved with simple tactics such as asking thought provoking questions at the end of your post, or asking your readers to share their experiences on the topic you are writing on. People always want to feel involved, and inviting them to share their opinions is a fantastic way to keep your audience engaged.
2. Number Of Social Media Shares
It is well known that people tend to share content they feel an emotional connection to, or that aligns with something they deeply believe. If you are on the ball and consistently creating valuable content that speaks on an intellectual and emotional level to readers, then you should see the total number of social media shares on your posts start to rise.
Do, however, remember that social media shares don’t mean a whole lot if they are not contributing to your bottom line or blog traffic. Always take that extra effort to keep your social metrics in check by comparing them to your other metrics, such as the number of new leads a post generates. If it’s all too much or a little too confusing for you, you can keep track of your total social media shares by using a tool like Buzzsumo.
3. Number Of Links And Mentions
People will naturally link back to your content if they find it useful and of high quality. The truth is, there is actually a lot of low-quality content out there on the web that does pretty much nothing but fill up empty space. Rising above the noise and creating something that truly speaks to your audience on an in depth level will naturally help increase the number of links that head back to your site.
Tracking this data is made simple with tools such as Google Analytics. You can check on these metrics by going into Acquisition > All Traffic > Referral to see which websites are linking to you and sending you traffic. This method won’t give you the exact post these websites are linking to, but it will allow you to correlate the data that you need.
If you have a WordPress website and have enabled pingbacks, then you’ll automatically see the sites that link back to you or mention your post in the section below the post, before the comments section. You will also be notified of this in your WordPress dashboard.
4. Total Amount Of Time Spent On Site
If your content is engaging and your readers are enjoying what they’re reading, they are going to be spending a decent amount of time on your website. You can check this metric on your Google Analytics dashboard. The two main sectors to pay attention to are Average Session Duration and Bounce Rate.
Both of these statistics will tell you how long readers are staying on your website, and or if they are immediately exiting the moment they land on your website. Although this data is not set in stone, you can assume that the longer a person stays on your website, the more engaged they are with your blog.
5. Number Of New Leads
Although mentioned above, when it comes to a business or e-Commerce website, total time spent on site is technically useless if your visitors don’t take any action. For example, if a user spends a few minutes on your website but doesn’t sign up for your newsletter or purchase a product, that time spent doesn’t really help to positively impact your bottom line.
Similarly, a visitor could spend a lot of time on your website simply because they’re confused about navigation or are lost whilst trying to look for something specific. Overall, your entire blogging strategy should be contributing to your bottom line. Within each of your posts. you should include a call-to-action that leads to a desired action, whether it is a sign up or a purchase. Should this number gradually increase in time, you know your posting strategy is working. If it doesn’t, then it may be time to change things up a little. Find what pages are driving the most traffic by looking to the Conversions section of Google Analytics.