Say Watt! Measure your blog

by Ben Myers

Sayyyyy WATT?!

It’s Web Analysis Twitter Talk!! (Super lame or super awesome? You decide.)

Yesterday, I solicited some quick web analytics-related questions from my army of (about 100) Twitter followers and I got one quick response, so I’ll answer it! (That’s not a great conversion rate, I will admit.)

@travisboisvenue wrote:

@benkmyers What does someone with a non-commercial blog have to be concerned with when looking at their data?

This is a great question because, like so much in web analytics, it leads to more questions!

The first question it leads to is: What’s the purpose of your blog?

It’s strange how rarely this question is asked. It dictates so much about what your blog should be doing and what data we should be looking at.

Travis (who works as a freelance writer and at Mediastyle PR in Ottawa), being the enterprising young man that he is, I suspect, is looking to increase his perceived authority in a particular subject… maybe Ottawa events or public relations. I’m also presuming that the blog is relatively young and increasing visitors is a goal for the future.

With this goal in mind, I would define his key performance indicators in a way that would indicate that people are increasingly engaged in his blog, returning for new content, and coming from organic sources.

That means to measure Travis’ growing authority, I would look at metrics like time-on-site, % new visitors, and non-paid traffic from search engines. If there are more ways to interact with this blog – such as email sign-ups – I would add these as goals which should also be analyzed regularly.

Deeper analysis

One bit of data to examine for email sign-ups is to look at the number of new visitors who give you their email. This is an excellent way to connect with blog readers regularly (repeat visitors!) and welcome them to your blog (personality and loyalty). Getting new visitors to buy in quickly is key for any blog to build momentum.

Perhaps the most important metric has to do with organic search. If Travis is regularly adding content to his blog, and is working on his in internal and external linking, then organic traffic should be a good indicator of his growing authority.

(This is opposed to direct traffic which is probably friends or colleagues checking in on the blog. We want new and strange people to visit the blog!)

I hope this helps Travis and others define their goals and look at their data in a new light.

Thanks for the question! Submit your question to @benkmyers on Twitter or through Napkyn’s contact us form.

Ben Myers

Analyst

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