How to Measure the Success of a Business Blog
The first thing you need to do when measuring the success of a business blog is to examine the purpose of the blog. Some business blogs are designed to bring in new customers, some are created to provide a place for discussions on certain topics or products, some are meant to earn money through affiliate advertising, and some may have other purposes. Reviewing the reason for the blog will help you understand which measurements will determine the success of the blog.
- Hits or Visitors – When using your analytics program to count the number of visitors, keep in mind that not all visitors are people. Search engines are constantly sending robots out to look at sites in response to keyword queries. Some analytics programs record these electronic hits as visits. Check to see if your program will distinguish unique visits as well. Sometimes a person will visit a site multiple times, so be sure to look at the two different metrics.
- Leads – Most business blogs are created to generate leads for the business. How does your blog accomplish this? You can have a registration form which will track names and email addresses. Some analytics programs will track click through rates, which are the times readers click on links to sales pages or other website links embedded in the blog post. For strong SEO (Search Engine Optimization) results, it is a good idea to embed multiple out-going links in a blog post.
- Subscribers – Providing the opportunity for your readers to subscribe to the blog is a good way to build your base following. When readers subscribe to your blog, they are telling you they like and/or need the content you are providing. The more subscribers you have, the more successful your blog will be. Subscribers will tell others about the blog as well, building on that base readership.
- Links – As mentioned before, SEO depends on links, both inbound and outbound. The more other websites provide links to your blog, the better the search rank will be, and the better the search rank is, the higher your site will appear in search results. Your analytics programs will track inbound links. Talk to other bloggers with similar content or content that is compatible to yours and offer to link to their sites if they will return the favor. Links in content are ranked higher than links in blog rolls or side widgets; but all links, both inbound and outbound, will help your SEO.
- Social Media – Include buttons on your blog site so your readers can share your content on social media. Review the social media shares on each post and determine which posts are shared the most and what kind of traffic is generated as a result of those shares.