down the drainSo, you’re blogging for business, regularly creating and sharing your brilliant educational and thought leadership content on your company website. It’s no coincidence that businesses that frequently create and share content on their website attract more visitors and convert more leads. After all, content creation is a core component of inbound marketing. And there is a direct correlation between content creation and website traffic and a business blog is one of the most effective ways to publish your business content. Simply put, more blogging equals more website visitors.

But it can sometimes feel like you’re publishing right down the drain. How do you know if anyone is reading your blogs? One nice thing about blogging is that your website and inbound marketing efforts are infinitely measurable. Here are some marketing analytics that can help show the ROI of your business blog.

Individual Post Views

Since blog performance relies primarily on the quality, quantity, and type of content you post, it’s important to apply your inbound marketing analytics to your blog.

Create a spreadsheet that will track and plan your blog content. Make columns that group articles by topic. Then, see which topics resonate most with your readership, which get the most hits, which get the most social shares, which yield the most inbound links, which prompt the best response to the calls-to-action you’ve placed on each blog post page.

You should also see what types of blog titles garner the most views. Does your audience have a penchant for “How to” articles or are they more the “Top 10” list type?

Traffic and Referral Sources

Identify which sites provide the most inbound links and drive traffic and referrals to your website. If, for example, a certain LinkedIn group, let’s say on restaurant management, is sending traffic your way more often than Pinterest, you can plan content of interest to restaurant managers. If you seem to be getting a lot of inbound links from food service suppliers, you know you have a potential audience there waiting to read more of what you have to say.

Call-to-Action Performance

How well people respond to calls-to-action will show you the CTA click-through rate. Analyze three aspects of your CTA’s to determine which one(s) are responsible for low performance:

  1. The Offer Isn’t Compelling – If the offer itself is not very compelling, people will not be motivated to click-through. Experiment with different offers to see which one draws the most response.
  2. The Offer Isn’t Properly Aligned – You may have a great offer – “$10 Off Every Pair of $15 Shoes!” – but if your blog post is about hats, you’re preaching to the wrong choir.
  3. Confusing CTA Copy and/or Design – A/B test the various elements of your offer. The copy may be confusing or not clearly communicating the value of the offer. The graphic design may be off kilter and readers just aren’t seeing the CTA as you think they are.

Blog Leads

Once your blog’s calls-to-action are optimized, you can track how many leads are being generated via this channel and compare it to the other lead generation channels you’re investing in, such as email, social media, or search. This will help you prioritize the role blogging has in your overall inbound marketing strategy.

Visitor-to-Lead Conversion Rate

Knowing the number of leads your blog generates is a good start. Follow through by tracking and analyzing the visit-to-lead conversion rate for your blog traffic.

Low traffic with a high conversion rate tells you that you should invest in generating more website traffic. You can do this by ramping up how often you publish content, improving the keywords you include in your blog posts, and using social media to drive traffic to your blog.

Leads Into Customers

When you understand the traffic flow to your blog and how many visitors convert to leads, you’re two-thirds of the way there. Use closed-loop analytics to analyze how effectively your blog leads convert into customers.

Compare those conversion rates to the conversion rates for your other marketing channels, for example social media. If social media is driving more conversions, use your blog to drive traffic there. If it’s your blog that’s bringing home the bacon, use social media sites to promote your blog and drive visitors to it.

You Can’t Improve What You Can’t Measure

Following these metrics daily, weekly and monthly will help you understand the ROI of business blogging. What web analytics do you use to monitor your business blog?

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