Blog metrics are confusing, and it’s hard to know where to begin once you add tracking code from a web analytics tool to your blog. To make it easier, the following are 10 blog metrics that you should track. If you track nothing else, track these metrics! They can give you a good idea of what’s working on your blog, where readers are coming from, and what keywords are driving traffic to your blog.
What search engines, websites, and blogs are sending traffic to your blog? It’s important to know where your blog traffic comes from. Did they arrive on your site from a keyword search result on Google? Or did they click on a link to your blog within a post on another blog? Visit the websites and blogs that are sending traffic to your blog and reach out to them via comments on their blog posts or via email. It’s a great way to start a relationship that could be mutually beneficial.
2. Page Views
Page views is an important metric to track in order to get an idea of your blog’s overall growth. It’s a statistic that advertisers are likely to ask for. Keep an eye on your blog’s page views and watch for spikes in traffic. What caused that spike? Did you write a post that a lot of people shared? Did a big website link to your blog? Whatever caused the spike is a good thing to repeat. You can also use the page views metric for trend analysis. Are there specific times of year, months, or days of the week that your traffic ebbs and flows? Publish your best content on days when your blog is likely to get a lot of traffic.
What keywords are people typing into their search engines that lead them to your blog? Keep an eye on the keywords report within your web analytics tool. You’ll learn a lot about which keywords to target in your future posts to get even more traffic!
4. Content by Title
Use the Content by Title report to identify how your blog posts and pages are performing in comparison to one another. If you have specific types of content that gets a lot of traffic, create more of that type of content in the future!
5. Bounce Rate
Your blog’s bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who arrive at your blog and immediately click away. It can be assumed that whatever link led them to your blog did not deliver the type of content they expected. Try to write more keyword-targeted content to decrease your blog’s bounce rate. Keep in mind, even the most popular blogs can have high bounce rates.
6. New vs. Returning Visitors
The new vs. returning visitor report shows you how many of your blog’s visitors are new and how many have visited at least once before. It’s a great metric to watch because it gives you an idea of the kind of loyalty that’s developing within your audience.
7. Top Landing Pages
Which posts and pages on your blog are driving the most traffic? The top landing pages report gives you the answer. Make sure your top landing pages are always updated, and when possible, create more content like your top pages.
8. Mobile Devices
Some web analytics tools provide metrics related to mobile access. Google Analytics Offers this data. You can see how many visitors are viewing your blog on a mobile device and which device they’re using. How does your blog look on a smartphone or tablet? If you’re starting to get mobile visitors, you need to be certain that your blog performs perfectly on mobile devices!
9. Pages Per Visit
How sticky is your blog? The pages per visit metric tells you how many pages people view when they visit your blog. Higher numbers mean your content is meeting visitors’ needs and keeping them interested. If your pages per visit number is low, spend time creating more quality content that your target audience will find value in.
10. In-Page Analytics
Different web analytics tools might give this metric a different name, so make sure you look for it. Google Analytics offers it within the Content section of your account dashboard. It’s incredibly helpful because it allows you to see your blog’s home page (and possibly other pages) with each link identified by a percentage reflecting the percentage of clicks the link gets based on the number of visitors. If you hover over the percentage in Google Analytics, the number of clicks is also shown. Use this report to identify which links are performing well, which need to be moved, and which need to be removed entirely and replaced with something better.