Analytics can seem overwhelming at first, especially if you don’t know what to look for. The truth is it doesn’t need to be complex or stressful. Having the basic tools and metrics in place supported by a plan and strategy is often all you need to create a solid foundation to build your business blog performance.
Last week we covered a topic that we are often asked by professionals and SMEs. Whether or not they ‘Should start a blog for their business?’ In most cases, starting a blog makes good business sense, but you definitely want to have a written content plan and strategy in place that supports your overall business objectives.
A blog is an effective way to build brand loyalty, be innovative and make connections.
The next logical questions to ask are: How can I measure my business blog performance? What would be the return on my investment (ROI) if I start a blog?
Good questions! There is a real art and science to creating a content marketing strategy. While you need art and science to craft a story that resonates well with your audience you also need the science in data intelligence (analytics) to measure your business blog performance and how best to optimize it.
Not all business blogs are created equal so our best advice here is to establish a system that is relevant to you and your business. The important thing here is not to get lost in the sea of data. Sometimes the simplest plans are the best.
Here are the basics to help get you started:
1. Business objectives
Highlight the main business objectives. Identifying the key business objectives are critical to understanding what metrics you need to measure. Once you know your business goals, the process of understanding your analytics gets a whole lot easier.
2. Marketing strategy
What marketing strategies have you created to support those business objectives? Your blog can be part of that strategy as it is an effective way to build brand loyalty. Your business blog and your social media strategy work together to support the overall marketing strategies of your business.
Decide on the analytic tools you need to implement your plan. In many cases, Google Analytics in conjunction with your social analytic tools will be all you need. If you haven’t started using Google Analytics now would be a good time to start. It’s a free tool that gives powerful insight into the performance of your website traffic and audience behaviour to ensure you are receiving the best results from your marketing efforts.
4. Measurement plan
Define your benchmarks, goals and metrics/key performance indicators (KPIs). Your best benchmark and measurement plan is created by using your own metrics. Once you’ve collected enough data you have something to work with. Selecting your goals and KPIs to measure your goals can be analyzed in a number of ways.
For instance, in Google analytics you may want to measure direct visits, email visits, organic search visits, referral visits, social visits, the pages viewed, how long they spent on each page, what pages were clicked or the bounce rate. Additional ways to measure the success of your blog could be in the number of email subscribers you have, comments written by your readers (should you have that option open), shares on social media etc.
The world of digital marketing is changing at lightning speed so remember to:
- Create a schedule to track and measure your success. How often you measure your performance will depend on what you are measuring.
- Refine and optimize your efforts and adjust your strategy
Measuring your blog performance then becomes a balance of both art and science as you build your blog analytics into the process of your over all marketing plan (i.e. marketing funnel). This helps to identify and continue with the blog objective and the tactical steps you need to take to help make that happen. Allowing you to make more informed decisions based on your data.
The truth is, measuring the success of your blog is really as unique as your business blog is to you. You define the measurement plan and metrics/KPIs based on your business objectives. This is in your control.
There is so much value in the intelligence of what Google Analytics has to offer but when starting out it is most important to stay focused on your main business objectives. As you get comfortable with that then you can start digging deeper into the specifics and expanding by pulling other important data that provides valuable insight into your business blog performance.
Diana Davies-Harju, Director of Marketing
Our blog is about the Science of Content Marketing – Innovative Content Marketing & Strategic Social Media – helping you capture & build the unique expertise of your business and brand. We are all about providing value and sharing tips and tools to help you achieve your goals!