This is the second post in my “Judging Success” series, teaching you how to tell if your online marketing is really delivering.
Blogging can sometimes feel like a bit of a wishy-washy marketing effort. That’s because it can be difficult to see how it translates into material results – especially when its success is often judged by subjective or obscure measures.
But the truth is that, like all online marketing, blogging is a measurable marketing activity. There are many ways to measure how effective your blogging is, but the three we’ll be dwelling on today are:
- Improved search rankings
- Increased email subscriptions
- Increased time on site
As in my last post on measuring success, before we begin, it’s important to define our terms.
When I talk about “blogging”, I’m talking about the regular publication of articles or “blog posts” on your business website (not on a separate website). And when I say “regular blogging”, I’m talking fortnightly or weekly blog posts. Now that we’re agreed, let’s look at just how you can measure your blog posts…
Improved Search Rankings
Google exists to deliver relevant results to online searches. One aspect of relevance they look for is regularly-published, fresh, up-to-date content.
And (that’s right, you guessed it) that’s what blogging is.
Because a regularly-updated website is a signal that Google looks for, one measure of effective blogging is improved search rankings. This can be measured using software such as Moz, or, for a less-sophisticated approach, you can simply perform relevant Google searches every few days to keep an eye on things. (But beware – personalised search results may mess with your results.)
Of course, blogging is only one element of SEO. If you’re looking for page one type rankings, then you’ll first need to lay the foundation with keyword-optimised content and embark on earning quality inbound links, too. But that doesn’t mean blogging is to be sniffed at. Actually, blogging is the next integral step to get your SEO really performing. You won’t rank without it. As you can see in this story, blogging was one of the main factors that helped my site rank number one for “Brisbane SEO copywriter”.
Increased Email Subscriptions
Do you have an option for readers to subscribe to receive your blog posts straight to their inbox? Is this option published on each individual blog post?
If you answered “yes” to both these questions, then another measure of effective blogging on your website is email subscriptions.
People don’t necessarily hand their name and email address over to just anyone. But if they want your emails, they’ll happily part with their details. Increased email subscriptions from blog post viewers indicate that your blog posts are engaging and interesting. After all, people wouldn’t sign up to receive them if they weren’t! And if your posts are engaging and interesting, and they’re building your subscriber list, then you can definitely conclude that your blog is successful.
Increased Time On Site
Effective blog posts engage readers. They also link to related posts in order to allow visitors to easily navigate to other pages of interest. Both these factors lead to an increased “time on site”.
As the name suggests, “time on site” refers to the average period of time visitors spend on your website. The number is calculated by adding up the total time visitors spend on the site, and dividing that by the number of visitors to the site. This can be measured using Google Analytics or Universal Analytics.
In addition to being a bit of an ego boost, time on site also appears to be a ranking factor that Google considers. So it’s also another way blogging can contribute to your SEO. And it’s most definitely another measure of success, because people who stick around on your site are more likely to form a relationship with your brand, and more likely to eventually use your services.
Do you have a blog on your business website? Would you describe it as being “successful” based on any (or all) of these three measures? Let me know in the comments below.
Want to measure your other online marketing efforts?
Simply click on the links below to discover how you can get measuring:
- Overview Article
- SEO Copywriting
- AdWords (guest post by James Nicholson of Your Clicks)
- YouTube (guest post by Spencer Streuper of ShareAbility and UTubers)