5 Content Metrics You Need to Track for Blogging Success
Over three quarters of Fortune 500 companies (77%) have a dedicated blog. Does your business? If so, you may be enjoying the increased traffic, brand awareness, and leads that come with blogging for business.
But, hold up. A whopping 31.7 million people blog in the U.S. That’s a lot of noise to cut through. So, how do you know if your blog is getting the views, engagement, and conversions you need it to?
You measure it—with the help of key content metrics used and trusted by content marketers.
5 Content metrics to track
Writing articles for your business blog takes time, energy, and money. To avoid spinning your wheels, make sure you’re getting a healthy return on investment (aka ROI).
Use common content metrics to see if blogging is worth your effort. Not to mention, metrics can help you make changes to your overall content strategy.
Take a look at the following five metrics you can—and should—start tracking today.
True or False: You don’t care how many people read your blog articles as long as you get to do what you love—writing.
If you want to maximize your blog ROI, you need to care about how many people are reading your articles. Otherwise, you’re writing for a party of one.
Pageviews show you the number of web pages your users see. You can find your total pageviews across all articles. Or, you can get more granular and see how many pageviews a specific article has.
Use pageviews to determine your top articles and help plan your future content calendar with similar high-ranking articles.
People are viewing your content in droves—great! But, are they reading your blog articles, or landing on the page and exiting out at the speed of light? To find out, look at your engagement metrics.
If you’ve already moved on to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you know engagement metrics like “bounce rate” and “time on page” have been replaced with engagement metrics like “user engagement” and “average engagement time.”
Engagement metrics show you how long someone actively spends on your article before leaving the page, moving your article to the background, closing the tab, etc.
For example, a four-minute session likely shows the person was engaged with your article—unlike a 10-second session.
The longer a user spends on—or engages with—your blog article, the better. You can track your engagement metrics using Google Analytics.
Are people reading your blog article and bouncing without taking additional action? Or, are they hanging around and becoming a lead or customer? The only way to find out is to measure your blog conversions.
Blog conversions can refer to people who:
- Sign up for your email newsletter
- Sign up for a whitepaper
- Buy a product or service
- Watch an interactive video
- Connect with you on social media
…And so on. A conversion isn’t just someone who buys from you; conversions include those who take any one of your desired actions.
How you measure your blog conversions depends on the types of goals you set. For example, you can measure email subscribers using your email marketing software.
Pro tip: Make sure your blog articles are relevant to your brand and have compelling CTAs, or calls-to-action (e.g., email subscribe, whitepaper download, etc.).
When you write articles, you want them to rank for specific keywords. This means your article will display when someone types in certain keywords in the search engines.
Done right, your article should rank for several (or several hundred) keywords relating to the topic. But that’s not all. You also want your articles to rank at the top of Google.
To find out where your article ranks, look at its position. You can view the article’s position for particular keywords—aka “queries—” using tools like Google Search Console. Is it displayed first for that query (woohoo!)? Second? Fifth? Or, is it 47th (dun-dun-dun)?
If you don’t want to spend time looking at the article’s position for each particular keyword, you can look at its average position. The average position adds up the position of every keyword the article ranks for and gives you the average.
Let’s look at an example. Say you write an article on payroll taxes. It ranks for four keywords and has an average position of 4 [(3 + 8 + 2 + 3) / 4]:
- What are payroll taxes? (position 3)
- Payroll taxes (position 8)
- Types of payroll taxes (position 2)
- List of payroll taxes (position 3)
What about “impressions?” Impressions are another popular content metric that may relate to position. The higher your article’s position, the more impressions it should garner. But, be careful not to put too much stock in impressions. Impressions aren’t the same as clicks (aka how often someone clicks your article link from the search engine). Impressions are simply how often someone saw a link to your site in the search engine results—not how often they did anything with it.
5. Backlinks and social share
Sure, you want your content to get views and rank highly in Google. But, the work doesn’t end there. You also want people to like your articles so much that they reference and share them.
You can track backlinks and social shares to find out if your readers are talking about your business blog.
A backlink is a link from another website to your article. You can find backlinks through tools like Google Search Console or Semrush.
Social shares are the number of times people share your articles on social media. You can use social media platforms, social media management platforms (e.g., Buffer), or content management system plugins to monitor social shares.
So, why do backlinks and social shares matter? Backlinks and social shares can:
- Improve your website’s SEO
- Boost brand awareness
- Increase traffic to your website
- Help people see you and your business as a thought leader
Quick tips to improve your blog’s success
If your content metrics are subpar, don’t panic. There are several ways to improve your blog’s performance.
Use the following quick tips to get your blog up to snuff:
- Conduct a content audit
- Do keyword research
- Use infographics
- Optimize your article length (e.g., 2,100 - 2,400 words)
- Ask customers for future topic ideas
- Avoid solely using A.I. generated content
And, don’t forget to keep measuring along the way! Happy tracking, content marketers and bloggers.
Rachel Blakely-Gray is Content Manager at Patriot Software, LLC, a provider of affordable accounting and payroll software. At Patriot, Rachel enjoys providing actionable, growth-oriented information for business owners.