Blogging needs patience. It takes at least 4 months of regular content writing to get half-decent traction to your blog. Though every blog post may not be a hit, each of them contributes to building up your reputation. It is crucial to track their individual performances.
You must know how many people read it, how long they spend on your post, and how well they convert into clients or subscribers.
You can start by setting goals for each blog post. Suppose you convert 5% of your traffic, and each conversion is worth $2. To make $100, you need 50 leads. You need 1000 page views to get those 50 leads, and that is your goal.
You can use it as a benchmark for all your blog posts and track using Google Analytics. In this blog post, we will focus on organic traffic. That is because it is the primary source of traffic for most new blogs. Make sure you integrate Google Search Console with Google Analytics before you read further.
Track these 12 metrics to measure the success of your blog posts –
1. Click Through Rate
As you publish more content, search engines will rank you on search results pages. Also, as you post more on social media, people will start to see your content.
Irrespective of the medium, every instance someone sees your content on an external platform is counted as an impression. The percentage of those people who click on your content is known as click-through rate (CTR.)
For every 100 people, if only 2 of them click on your link, your click-through rate is 2% for that blog post.
To find your organic click-through rate, head to Google Analytics and access this report: Acquisition > Search Console > Landing Pages.
In this report, Google Analytics will list the click-through rate for every blog post. Export the list into a spreadsheet and filter out blog posts with a CTR > 2%. You are now left with blog posts that missed the benchmark.
Every impression has a title text, a description, and an image where you can sell the value proposition of the blog post. Make sure you optimize each section to boost your CTR.
Sessions are the number of times visitors engaged with your blog post. A high session count is a strong indicator of the usefulness of your content.
To find your session count on Google Analytics, head over to Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages.
In this report, GA shows the session count for each blog post. You can export this report and filter out all blog posts that meet your benchmark.
Optimize the remaining blog posts and make them more interesting to read. Consider launching an internal linking campaign to drive more sessions.
3. New Users
Every business seeks repeat customers as they bring steadiness to their cash flow. Plus, it is easier to cross-sell to existing customers than to acquire new ones. But businesses need new clients to keep the client pool fresh and stop relying on a few accounts.
That applies to blogs as well. You need new subscribers. The more people you send your newsletters to, the more returning traffic you generate and the more sales you make.
To track how many new visitors a blog post attracts, head over to Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages and change the segment from All Users to New Users.
You can change the segment by clicking on the existing segment and selecting a new one. You can add another segment by clicking on Add Segment in the blue box as shown in the below image.
Scroll down to find the list of all your pages and how many new users they attract.
4. Organic Traffic
Many new blogs and even old ones get most of their traffic from Google and other search engines. Not from Ads, not from social media, not even from backlinks.
In fact, 80-88% of DigiGrow’s traffic is organic.
You can not ignore tracking your organic visitors, especially when GA makes it so easy.
Head over to Acquisition > Source/Medium, and select Medium as your primary dimension.
You will see your traffic split by the medium for the selected period.
To see the growth in your organic traffic, set up a segment on the source/medium screen. The below image shows how many organic sessions our website registered compared to the total sessions.
You can add another segment by clicking on the + icon in the red box as seen in the image above.
If you want to see the organic traffic contribution from individual blog posts, head over to Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages and set the segment to Organic Traffic.
Scroll down to find the list of all your website pages and how much organic traffic they drive.
5. Average Time on Page
Avg. Time on Page indicates how enticing your content is. It measures the usefulness and quality of your copy. Pages with a high Avg. Time on Page usually converts better.
The more time people invest in your blog post, the more they find value in your blog, and the better are the chances that they will consume more content.
GA does not provide a report mapping Avg. Time of Page with the blog posts, so you need to create a custom report. Here’s how you do that:
- Head over to Customization > Custom Reports and click on + New Custom Report.
- Fill the fields as shown in the below image and click Save.
- Go back to Customization > Custom Reports, you’ll find your new report listed there. Click on it to see the Avg. Time on Page for every blog post.
- Set the segment to Organic to see Avg. Time on Page from organic traffic for each blog post.
6. Pages per session
Pages per session are the number of pages a visitor chose to access before leaving your website. For example, if someone visits one blog post, clicks on an internal link to land on another blog post or services page, and finally leaves your domain, you record 2 pages per session.
This metric is important because it signals the relevance of your content to your visitors and how interested they are in accessing more of it. It also indicates how well you have set up your internal links.
To find your Pages/Session, you need to set up custom reports, just like the last step. Instead of choosing Avg. Time on Page, select Pages/ Session.
If you choose to, you can integrate both the metrics into a single custom report.
7. Exit Percentage
The exit percentage is the percentage of people who exit from your domain through a particular page.
For example, if a visitor landed on Page A first, they clicked on an internal link and landed on Page B, and then clicked on another internal link to land on Page C, but then they moved out of your domain; Page C becomes the Exit page.
Out of 100 visitors to Page C, if 40 exits, the exit percentage is 40%.
A high exit percentage does not indicate poor quality content, but it does signal an opportunity to guide visitors to another related page. This way, they will stay on your website longer, increasing Avg. Time on Page and Pages Per Session Count, and will have better chances of converting.
The more time they spend on your domain, the more they justify the time spent by becoming your client/subscriber.
To find your exit percentage, head over to Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages. Set your segment to Organic Traffic. On scrolling down, you will find the list of all your pages juxtaposed against exit percentage.
8. Keyword You Rank For
Every keyword that you rank for on Google is a portal to your website. As you produce more content, you want to rank for more keywords.
Treat it as a foot in the door technique. Once you rank for some keywords, you can optimize your content for more keywords suggested by Google Search Console (GSC) and eventually rank for those keywords too!
If you integrate it with Google Analytics, you can find the same metrics on GA.
To find keywords related to a specific blog post, head to Acquisition > Search Console > Landing Pages. There, you will see a list of all your blog posts and pages indexed on Google.
Click on any page to find a list of search queries for that page. The list also shows the click count for each query. Collate keywords that generate below-average clicks and integrate them in your content to start ranking for them too.
Not just keyword, you can track and optimize complete SEO campaigns with Google Analytics.
9. Blog Comments
The quality of your blog comments indicates how relevant your traffic is. Do you get generic spam comments that every blog gets? Or is it specific to the blog post?
You want to have your comments filled up with follow-up questions, suggestions, and maybe some thank you notes. This positive user feedback confirms the value you offer. Often, blog posts with tons of comments also get natural backlinks and tons of social shares.
10. Social Shares
When you pack your blog post with valuable information and data that no one else has, you stand a great chance of generating traction on social media.
Like blog comments, Social Shares signal the usefulness of your content. In addition, they indicate how easy it is to consume. With social shares, you can see a bit of traffic which adds to your organic traffic.
Every social media platform offers an analytics section that reports how well your posts perform – how many impressions, clicks, and shares they get. Additionally, Social media has an impact on SEO as well
11. CTA Clicks and Scroll Depth
It is essential to know where, on the post, the visitors click the most and how far down the page they scroll. This way you can place your CTAs at the right points.
For instance, if you wrote a 12-page long blog post but people scroll till page 2, you can identify the point where they lose interest. You can add a nice image or gif at that point to keep things exciting for them.
Also, you should now add your CTA in the first 2 pages so it gets maximum eye-balls.
In addition, often people click at images or some other text that stands out assuming that it is a hyperlink, but in reality, it isn’t. Once you know that people are clicking there, you can add a hyperlink and divert your topic to more relevant posts.
To find where people click and how far they scroll, you need to set up a heat map. It will show you a report highlighting the pixels where people click the most and page folds that people see the most.
12. Subscriber Count
Every blog post must generate newsletter subscribers. It should encourage people to click on your CTA, put in their email address, and hit the subscribe button.
This lets you add more regular visitors who will access your content regularly. This will gradually build the trust that they need before they purchase anything from you.
You can sign-up with tools like Mail Chimp to set up your email campaign and track which blog posts generate the most subscribers.
These 12 metrics will tell you which blog posts are performing well and which ones need tweaking. They will help you generate more value to your readers, resulting in more traction on your website, and eventually, more revenue.