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One of the biggest issues companies continue to have about blogging (and social media in general) is:  "How do we tell if it's working?'

One way to greatly improve your ability to measure the effectiveness of your company's blogging efforts is by tracking the right metrics.  When you are creating the strategy for your company blog, one of the things you need to focus on is making sure that the metrics you track match the goal you have for the blog.  For example, if your company wants to use its blog as a tool to build awareness among current and potential customers, then one of the metrics you might track would be number of email subscribers.  You might also want to look at number of comments per post and also the number of email inquiries or Contact Form submissions.

But you need to make sure that you are tracking metrics that feed back into the goal you have for your blog.  Once you have settled in on the right metrics, then you can customize your blog and your blogging efforts so that these metrics are optimized.

For example, one of the metrics I measure at is number of email subscribers.  Up until May 15, 2010, I was averaging a new email subscriber every three days.  In the 65 days since then, I have added an additional 87 email subs.  What changed to cause this spike?  I moved the email subscription form to the TOP of the blog, "above the fold."  That simple change has netted me an 311% increase in email subscribers.  Not too shabby.

So when you look at your own blog, ask yourself two questions:

1. Are we tracking the right metrics? If you are looking to build engagement on your blog, then traffic might not be as important as number of comments.  Likewise, if you are looking to increase sales, then you would probably place more importance on referral traffic from the blog to the website, rather than number of new blog feed subscribers.

Think about what it is you want to accomplish with your blogging efforts, then track the metrics that feed into that goal.

2. Are we making it easy for visitors to perform the desired actions?  If you want visitors to subscribe via email to your blog, then is it best to place the subscription form at the TOP of the blog, or buried at the bottom of the second sidebar?

Think about what actions you want visitors to take on your blog, then find ways to encourage this action.  It could be something as simple as putting your calls to action in the proper place, as with the above example about email subscriptions.  Or maybe you need to figure out a strategy for increasing comments, if that's a key metric you are tracking.

Track the right metrics for your blogging goals, then look for ways to increase the desired actions from your readers.

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image of Mack Collier

Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

Twitter: @MackCollier

LinkedIn: Mack Collier