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5 Blog Metrics To Measure Audience Engagement

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 by

Blog Metrics

Do you know if anyone is actually reading your blog?

Maybe you threw up a company blog, because you felt the pressure and felt like you should. Or, maybe you’ve been executing a content strategy, but you can’t tell if it’s bringing you any results.

Creating epic content truly takes time, so you’ll need to be able to decipher what this content is actually doing for you.

Failing to track your content metrics is going to leave you with a flailing content strategy. You’ll be busy trying to guess what’s working, instead of being able to operate with certainty. Keep reading to learn five blog engagement metrics you need to start measuring today.

Create Your Blog

 

1. Total Number Of Comments

Remember, spam comments don’t count. The total number of comments you receive can be a great indicator of whether you have an engaged audience or not. If you don’t have the comments enabled on your blog, then move on to our other trackable metrics.

In order to ensure you have an active comments section you need to encourage conversation. This can be something as simple as asking a thought provoking question at the end of your blog post, or asking your readers to share their experiences.

If you have a WordPress site, you can find this by going to Comments.

WordPress Comments

 

2. Total Number Of Social Media Shares

People share content they feel an emotional connection to, or that aligns with something they deeply believe. If you’re consistently creating valuable content that speaks on an emotional level, then you should see the total number of social media shares start to rise.

However, remember that social media shares don’t mean a whole lot if they aren’t contributing to your bottom line. Keep your social metrics in check by comparing them to other metrics, such as the number of new leads a post generates.

You can keep track of your total social media shares by tallying up your engagement numbers from the various sites you have an account on, or by using a tool like Buzzsumo. In Buzzsumo you can enter your domain name and specify the amount of time you want to review. For example, here’s a look at the top shared posts related to “blogging” from the past year:

Buzzsumo most shared posts

 

3. Number Of Links and Other Mentions

People will link to your content if it’s useful and high quality. There’s a lot of low-quality content out there on the web that does little more than fill up space. But, if you rise above the noise and create something that speaks to your audience on an emotional level, and is valuable, you should see the number of links to your post start to rise.

You can track this data through a tool like Google Analytics in Acquisition > All Traffic > Referral to see which sites are linking to you and sending you traffic. This won’t give you the exact post they’re linking to, but it will allow you to correlate the data.

You can also look in Google Search Console under Search Traffic > Links To Your Site.

Search Console Links To Your Site

If you have a WordPress website and have pingbacks enabled, then you’ll see the sites that link or mention your post below the post before the comments section. You will also be notified in your WordPress dashboard.

 

4. Total Time Spent On Site

If your readers like what you’re writing, then they’re going to stick around your site much longer. You can track this metric from your Google Analytics dashboard. The two main stats to pay attention to are Bounce Rate and Avg. Session Duration.

Avg Session Duration and Bounce Rate in Google Analytics

Both of these stats will tell you how long people are staying on your website, and if they’re immediately clicking the back button the moment they land on your website. This won’t give you hard data, but you can assume the longer a person stays on your site the more engaged they are with your blog.

However, don’t let these this metric be the only one you measure. To see if the time spent on site is actually worthwhile, then check out the final metric.

 

5. Number Of New Leads

Total Time Spent On Site is technically useless (for your business), if the visitor doesn’t take any action. For instance, if a user spends a few minutes on your website, but doesn’t sign up for your newsletter, then that time spent doesn’t help to positively impact your bottom line.

Or, a visitor could spend a lot of time on your website simply because they’re lost, and can’t figure out how to use your navigation bar.

Your blog strategy should be contributing to your bottom line. Within each post you should include a call-to-action that leads to a desired action. If this number increases, then your posting strategy is working. If it doesn’t then it’s time to change things up.

Find what pages are driving the most traffic by looking to the Conversions section of Google Analytics. You can configure this to show Transactions, Leads, Goal Completions, you name it.

Google Analytics Conversion Tracking

Blogging can be a powerful strategy, and serve many purposes for your business. But, if you aren’t tracking anything you’re simply flying blind. By keeping track of the metrics above you’ll notice content trends, and be able to align your strategy with the needs of your audience.

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.
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