Why You Can’t Afford Another Day Without Determining Your Metrics
by Liat Behr
As a blogger, you know that it’s your job to be well informed about the topics that you’re writing about. But the need for your insight and understanding don’t end there. Because in order to become a blogging success you’re you’re going to need to approach blogging like you do a business. And that means you’re also going to have to be well informed about the effectiveness of your activities.
You’re going to have to measure
But measure what?
SMART metrics measure specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based targets.
As long as your metrics are SMART, you can measure any activity you like.
When first developing your blogging initiatives, you may find it more difficult to set metrics because you really have no idea how many social media followers or shares you’re going to enjoy; no benchmark for the number of comments that you leave and will have an impact; neither do you know how many leads a single advertisement will create. But by the end of your first blogging year (if not before), you should be able to look back on each of your activities and be able to measure your impact on social media as well as your conversion rates - that is how many and which activities have turned into new readers or subscribers. These numbers, the ones that your activities generate, will give you an indication of how you’re doing and what changes need to be made in your plan.
They will also provide you with a benchmark by which to measure your future efforts and goals. And they are crucial to your blogging success. Because not measuring your efforts will cost you. Time and money. And without figuring out what doesn’t work, you’ll continue to waste time and money and risk finding yourself in a perpetual cycle of loss.
What this means is that everything must be recorded: your social media interaction (Twitter and Facebook), how much traffic was driven to your site, what specific activity drove the traffic to your site, which blog posts got the most views - everything. Be diligent in recording the different aspects of your blogging activities.
Because diligence pays.
Now that you know the importance of tracking your marketing activities, here are some tools and services to help you collect the date that you need:
Google Analytics is the most commonly used web analytics service. It's a free service offered by Google which provides you will all of the information that you need to know about your website's visitors.
Some of the information that Google Analytics can provide you with includes data about where visitors are coming from, what keywords they used to find your site, what pages they spend the most time on, what links they click on and where they are located Geographically. You can also use Google Analytics to track your social media activities and see which social platforms bring the most traffic to your website.
There are several steps involved in linking Google Analytics to your website and setting up the metrics that you would like to track, so it's a good idea to follow this checklist when getting started, to make sure you follow all the of the right steps.
For a deeper understanding of how Google Anaytics works and what it can do for you, I suggest that you take the Google Analytics Academy courses.
For tracking my Twitter activities I like to use SocialBro. With SocialBro you can view a list of everyone that you follow, people that follow you and mutual follows, and filter the the list by different criteria. For example, you can filter your list of followers to show you who tweets the most frequently or which of the people that you follow has been inactive. You can also track who has unfollowed you, which can provide valuable data about the response that you are receiving to the tweets that you share.
In addition. SocialBro will also provide you with helpful analytic reports, such as the best time to tweet, based on when your followers are online, and suggestions of other people you may want to follow on Twitter.
This is another helpful analytics tool to use with Twitter. When you share a link on Twitter and don't want to waste any extra characters you can shorten the URL using Bitly. But that's not all that Bitly can do.
Once you've shortened a link using Bitly you can then track the analytics for that link and see how many people clicked on it or shared it and how that links performs over time.
For tracking activity on your blog's Facebook page, Facebook offers a pretty handy tool of it's own, with Facebook Insights.
The Insights are easily accessible to all page Admin, from a tab in the menu bar, across the top of the Facebook page. There you will find stats on the page's posts, fans and reach. You can also click on the "people reached" link at the bottom of each post for detailed stats on that post.
There are several metrics that you should be keeping track of in Linkedin. These include:
Total connections- How many people are you connected with?
New connections- Have you connected with anyone new recently?
Linkedin Profile views- Who has been looking at your profile page?
Likes and comments on updates - Have you received any comments or likes on a recent status update?
Likes and comments on shared links: Have you received any likes or comments on a link that you shared in one of your groups?
You can easily track all of these metrics directly through Linkedin.
Your next steps:
Measure the effectiveness of your blogging activities.
Make sure your metrics follow SMART criteria.
Record all actions related to your goals. After your first year blogging go back and measure. How did you fare? What worked? What didn’t? Where should you invest more time and money? Where should you invest less?
Make an action plan for your next year based on the metrics of the previous year. This time don’t wait an entire year to measure. Measure at every quarter or six months. How did you fare? Repeat as above.
Buffer will help you schedule content and automatically post it to the channels you select. Its helpful dashboard will enable you to view what posts are getting the most attention.
WiseStamp Pro offers you a professional looking email signature that will transform each email you send into an opportunity to promote your blog.
Google Analytics is a powerful service that can generate detailed statistics about your site’s traffic and its conversion rate to sales.
Written by Liat Behr
Liat is a content wordsmith at WiseStamp and copywriter at Ink of Imagination. She delights in creating and sharing valuable tips and helping businesses craft effective content.
When she’s not writing content, she can be found in the world of fiction, embarking on adventures with her characters.