9 KPIs to Measure Your Blog Success

Your blog is one of the most crucial components of your digital marketing strategy. It has the potential to drive constant traffic no matter if you advertise your content or not.

High-quality blog posts are valuable in terms of knowledge for your visitors. It happened so that humankind made a leap from the Industrial Revolution directly into the Information Age. Who owns the information, he owns the world.

In this article we will not provide you with arguments why it’s important to have a corporate blog.
Today we will talk about blog metrics which help you measure your blog’s performance.

Let’s start with the analytics tools…

Different tools calculate the same metrics’ values differently. Whether you are using Google Analytics, AWstats, other integrated tool or you are boosting a post on Facebook, first of all, it is important to know how those systems measure their results.

Tip: Look through KPIs in multiple platforms, compare their results and always ask “Why?”. This will help you see the “bigger picture”.

Before we start it’s important to point out that most of the metrics described below are available in Google Analytics. If you still haven’t integrated this platform into your blog, we will be happy to help. At the end of this article you can find help information on integrating Google’s analytic platform into your website.

Now let’s have a look at the blog KPIs you should be tracking.

#1 Total Number of Blog Visits/Visitors

Blog visits indicate to Google that your content is interesting and useful. The more visits you have, the better will be your organic reach.

Meanwhile, visits can be total and unique. Normally, total visits are more than the unique ones. There is simple logic behind this – a user might have visited your blog more than once.

From the ratio between the two metrics, you can easily guess whether the content you share with your readers makes them return to your website.

Where you can find this information in Google Analytics?

This information is available on the home page. You can easily find the menu below the Home section on the left. This information can also be found under: Audience -> Overview.

Tip: Go through all submenus of the Audience section, since they provide crucial information about your blog’s visitors. Analyze which part of this information you need to monitor daily and which part of it is irrelevant to you. Then from the Customization menu you can create customized dashboards and reports which will enable you to overview all the information you need at a glance.
Curious fact: Your website is visited not only from real human beings, but also from the so-called “bots”. Those are Google’s crawling machines. They crawl your newly created content, “evaluate” and rank it. Google Analytics doesn’t show bot traffic in their reports. This information is available in AWStats as it’s separated from the real visitors’ traffic (“Not viewed traffic” section).
Important: Can you tell the difference between visitors, visits and hits?
Visits are counted when your website is accessed by a visitor. A visitor can make multiple visits. Hits are the number of requests being sent to the server and the number of files being sent to the web browser.
#2 New visitors 

The ratio between new and returning visitors is an important metric since it shows if you’ve succeeded in attracting new readers to your blog. Depending on your business goals and your marketing efforts, you can take actions to attract a fresh wave of new users.

Where can you find this information in Google Analytics?

By following this path: Audience -> Overview.

On the right side you will see a pie chart with two values: new and returning visitors. New visitors are colored in blue, returning visitors are colored in green. When it comes to a blog, normally the share of new visitors is considerably higher or very rarely equal to the returning ones. But this isn’t a reason to worry. Monitor how the two KPIs change and you will come to the necessary conclusions.

Tip: Upon targeted efforts towards driving new traffic, try monitoring wether new visitors are becoming regular and what is the bounce rate.
#3 Most Popular Articles

This metric provides you with useful information on the basis of which you can constantly improve your blog. By using it you can understand which articles are really interesting for your blog’s visitors. Then you can experiment as well.

Your readers maybe fancy the theme, layout, your style, the colors you’ve selected for your blog or another thing! Test and optimize!

Where can you find this information in Google Analytics?

Follow the path: Behaviour -> Site content -> All pages.

You will access a table containing all pages. By default they are ordered in accordance to the number of views as the most Page Views stay on top. In the column next to the total Page Views you will see the unique Page Views.

Tip: Pay attention also to the rest of the metrics we are about to describe. How much time do your visitors spend on the most visited pages? What percentage of the Page Views is the last interaction on your website? How many of the users don’t take any other action after they read a given article?
#4 Number of Page Views per Visit/Session

Do your visitors read one article and then leave your website? If they flip through articles, this is a good sign. If the value of this metric is greater than 1, you can be satisfied that users find your content useful and interact with it.
Useful and interesting content keeps users’ attention and builds trust. Speaking of pageviews upon visit, we cannot miss a fact: This metric is tightly related to the bounce rate.

Where you can find this information in Google Analytics?

In the already familiar menu by following the path: Audience -> Overview -> Pages/Session.

#5 Bounce rate

This is probably one of the most popular metric which is also quite difficult to understand. Values often scare marketers, but please remember that they are relative.

Let’s try to solve the mystery: This metric is available in Google Analytics. It tracks user behaviour – specifically the percentage of visitors who leave your website without taking any other action.

If the bounce rate is over 80-90%, you need to consider: Do you rely on social networks for sharing and promoting your blog articles?

Social networks serve to engage user attention inside the network itself. They do not aim to get users outside of the newsfeed or messenger. Users’ natural behaviour will lead them to stop when finding interesting article which was shared on the social network, as they will read it and then go back to scrolling their newsfeed. And there is nothing wrong with this.

But that’s why it’s important to track what drives the most traffic and compare the bounce rates of each online channel.

Other reasons for high bounce rate might be:

  • Irrelevant content;
  • Inappropriate colors, fonts or font sizes;
  • Poor layout;
  • Plain content;
  • Absence of related articles with call to action.
Fact: If you are using Google Analytics you can adjust the time spent on a page for which a user is considered “bouncing”. For example, you can submit a script from your website to Google Analytics which will not tag as “bouncing” a user who spends more than 60 seconds on a page and does not take a further action. Read more in the Google Analytics documentation.

Where you can find this information in Google Analytics?

It is available almost everywhere. You can access it through:

  • The home page;
  • Audience -> Overview -> Bounce rate;
  • Behaviour -> Site content -> All pages;
  • In each table from the Acquisition submenus.
#6 Traffic Sources

This metric provides you with information where your website’s visitors come from. By using it you can understand which the strongest channels are and whether your marketing efforts actually give results.

Follow this metric and compare it with others.

For example:

  • Which channels bring new visitors to your website?
  • Which channels bring users who spend the most time on your website?
  • Which are the most popular articles on specific channels? And so on.

Be creative!

Where you can find this information in Google Analytics?

Under the Acquisition menu you can find all the necessary information for the acquisition channels. It is an interesting fact that Google Analytics counts acquisition as last click attribution. I.e. Google Analytics credits the acquisition to the last channel which has interacted with your website. If you have not only a blog, but also an online store, each conversion you view in this tool will be counted according to the last click attribution.

#7 Average Time on the Blog/Article

You wrote an article which can be read within 5 minutes. Even if you have a higher bounce rate, it will be good to know how much time users spend on your website or how long they read a specific article. If they stay only for a few minutes, it might be a good idea to test the script we mentioned above. If visitors just screen your content it is probably high time you optimized.

Where you can find this information in Google Analytics?

Let’s clarify a bit:

  • Average time on the site is the amount of time which a user spends on a specific page from your website. This metric is available in the table of the most Page Views. Behavior -> Site content -> All pages.
  • Average session duration is the amount of time which a user spends on your website. Audience -> Overview -> Average session duration.
#8 Number of Followers (who subscribed to your newsletter or RSS)

Everyone starts writing a blog because they want to grow their business and website. Afterwards, many bloggers realize that their efforts actually help people and users find it valuable. You can clearly notice this if the number of subscribers to your blog is increasing.

As GDPR was introduced, it ceased the common practice of automatically subscribing users to newsletters. So now if someone wants to follow your blog, they voluntarily provide their data and expect you to notify them for your new posts.

This metric is not available in Google Analytics. Depending on the integration your blog is using for user subscriptions, look for it in your website’s admin panel.

Important: If you are using a two-factor authentication upon blog subscription, remind your fans that after they subscribe to get notifications from your blog, they will receive a confirmation email which they need to open and follow the link it contains.
#9 Blog Comments

Comments are another type of metrics providing you with feedback for the users themselves and their expectations. This is a qualitative metric. Monitor the impressions, recommendations and desires of your customers. Very often they guide you through their needs and interests.

You still create content for them, don’t you?

Important: This metric is not available in Google Analytics. The information is available on the platform through which you manage your website. With the different CMS comments are placed differently as they are always located in the main menus of the admin panel.
How to integrate Google Analytics into your blog?

Firstly, you need to register a Google account. After registering, follow the next easy steps:

  1. Log into Google Analytics with your username and password.
  2. Create a Property with your website’s data.
  3. Paste the script into the head section of your website.
  4. Then check whether the integration works.

Complete guide for implementing Google Analytics script into your website is available in the Google Analytics help documentation.

We will be happy if you share in a comment below this article which metric you track daily for your blog. Your experience is valuable for us!

Daniela Koleva
Daniela Koleva
Didi is part of the SuperMarketing Team. One of her many SuperPowers is her ability to cope with any challenge she faces on her way to success. Her positive attitude, wide smile and absolute professionalism, immediately gains the sympathy of everyone – familiar and unfamiliar with her personality. It doesn't matter if a friend or a client needs her help, Didi is always ready to cooperate and do whatever it takes to get the job done.
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