Running a blog is challenging. There’s a lot of work to do and plenty of things vying for your attention.
Because of this, we thought it would be useful to lay out the five most important metrics you should keep an eye on when trying to grow your blog. Monitoring these will help you stay focused on what matters most, without spreading yourself too thin.
This is by far the most important metric to keep an eye on, so we’re including it first. No matter what the goal of your blog is, conversions matter on some level.
A conversion can be a newsletter subscription, click through on a display ad, product purchase, anything. You likely know what conversions matter the most for your blog, so make sure you prioritize them over everything else.
This will help you avoid the mistake of growing traffic, but not conversions. Surprisingly, this is an extremely common mistake that many bloggers make.
They pursue low-value, low-converting traffic opportunities because they’re prioritizing traffic over conversions. Then they wonder why their business isn’t growing.
If you make conversions the most important metric to track, this will never happen to you.
Keeping an eye on brand mentions is a great way to track the popularity of your blog in a way that ties in with engagement.
A brand mention can be many things. It could be someone writing about your blog on their site, or someone giving you a personal shoutout on Twitter.
Monitoring brand mentions will help you keep tabs on the reputation of your blog in an organic way. If the number of mentions increases each month, you’re doing something right.
While we did mention earlier how conversions should come before traffic, that doesn’t mean traffic isn’t important. As a matter of fact it’s extremely important.
Take some time to get more familiar with the analytics you’re using. If you don’t have analytics installed yet then you should do that ASAP.
You should always look at traffic on a page by page basis to get a better indication of how well your blog content is performing. Understanding where your visitors are coming from and what they’re doing once they visit your blog is crucial if you want to grow.
In order to grow your blog effectively you need return visitors. If you don’t have any, gaining traction will be significantly harder.
This is where tracking your return visitors comes into play. Not only should you be looking at your overall return visitor count, but you should also look at what content they initially saw that made them come back.
This will help you build your blog in a way that brings in more return visitors. For example if in-depth instructional guides on your blog are leading to more return visitors, creating more of them in the future would be a good idea.
This is another useful metric to watch when you’re trying to grow your blog. Depending on how you drive your traffic the importance of this can vary.
For example if you drive a lot of your traffic from organic search and email, social shares might be a more complimentary signal that indicates growth.
However if you’re blog is all about viral content and you rely heavily on referral traffic from social networks, increasing your social shares could be extremely important.
Regardless, it’s easy to track social shares and engagement with a variety of tools these days. Making sure you’re informed on how sharable your content is online is a requirement in this day and age.
Growing your blog takes time and energy. Not only that, but the internet is a noisy place and it’s tough to know what you should prioritize.
Fortunately if you keep these five metrics in mind you’ll be able to stay focused and keep your growth trending upward. Give it a shot, and we know you’ll find success.