Your organization’s Twitter account is pretty good, the Facebook page is decent and its Instagram account is no weakling, but the blog you help run, that’s the crown jewel of your social media strategy. It’s updated frequently, is always stocked with creativity and novel approaches to conveying information and never runs short on visuals. Your proud of it and rightfully so.
However, there’s one thing that’s bothering you. It’s just a little worry tugging at the back of your mind, but you can’t dismiss it; you don’t exactly know how well the blog is doing. You publish quality stuff and it should be attracting all kinds of great statistics, but you can’t really be sure because you have never measured it. The problem is, you don’t know where to start and your organization can’t spend weeks collecting data and a small fortune on tracking software.
If this sounds like you, stay calm and read on. We’ve put together a few ways you can track the success of your association or small business’s blog that are free and easy to use.
You can tell a lot about the success of your blog posts from the attention they receive on Twitter. Twitter Analytics is a free and easy-to-use tool that will help shed light on the way people are interacting with your blog posts.
The first step is look at the number of impressions your blog posts are generating. This will help you define the reach of your blog posts. The more impressions you receive, the more people who are seeing your tweet containing a link to you blog. The more people who see it, the more likely they are to interact with that tweet view your blog. If you discover your reach is low, try tweeting your blog post out several times a week and using different hashtags to reach a larger audience.
The next step to take is to record how many times your Twitter users are clicking on the link to your blog. This number will tell you how successful Twitter is at directing traffic to you blog/website and how much traffic in general is landing on your blog. Calculating this number can be done through Twitter Analytics or through a link-shortening site such as bit.ly.
While Facebook Insights don’t provide the mountain of data that Twitter Analytics do, it does give some fairly valuable information on how much attention is being paid to your blog posts.
Just like with Twitter Analytics, Facebook Insights can give you an idea as to how many people are seeing your post about your blog and in return, how many people are interacting with it. The reach of your post notifies you about how many users have laid eyes on your post. The bigger the reach, the more people coming across your post. The next step is to take the number of interactions you received on these posts (likes, shares, clicks) and figure it as a percentage of total reach. This will help you conclude if your blog posts are being passed over or if they are drawing people to do more than scan words on their Facebook timeline.
One of the best tools to boost your reach (and therefore give you a better chance to increase engagement and traffic to your blog) is to analyze the time your audience is online. Facebook Insights provides a tool that allows you to see when the people who like your page are online. If the peak time for Facebook use is noon on Wednesday among your audience, that’s when you should be posting blog updates every week.
Google Analytics is a treasure trove of information about your blog’s performance. It is so useful that it deserves its own post, but for now, we’ll just give you two very crucial metrics that will help enhance your understanding of your organization’s blog.
The first number to keep your eye on is plain, old page views. This number simply tells you how many times your blog has been viewed. This is a good place to start, but the number doesn’t tell even half of the story. From page views, you can examine average session duration. This is the average time spent on your site for every visit. This number can tell you if people are actually reading your posts or if they reading the first line and deciding it’s not worth it.
Another important number from Google Analytics that’s worth paying attention to is pages-per-session. This is the average number of pages that each visitor to the blog will click on through the course of their visit. One of the main goals of your organization’s blog is to drive traffic to other parts of the website. This metric will give you a good idea of how well your blog is accomplishing this goal. If the pages-per-session numbers are low, try putting a “suggested reading” section at the bottom of each blog post. This will direct readers to another post or part of your organization’s website that relates to the content in the blog post and that your audience might find interesting.