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How Do You Know If Anyone Is Reading Your Blog?

August 2nd, 2016 by Mardy Sitzer

Reading a blog post Keeping up with a blog takes a lot of work and at times might even feel like a major stress point. You may have anxiety attacks over your next blog topic, even if you’ve subcontracted someone to write for you.

Given this level of effort, time and cost commitment, wouldn’t you want to know if anyone is actually reading your blog, and are you experiencing conversions of any kind as a result of your blog?

You have your subscribers list from which ever service you’re working with to send out your blog, such as Feedburner or Feedblitz, which are just two among many. Within these services there are typically metrics available that are helpful. Knowing how many new subscribers, how many unsubscribed, how many opened or even how many clicked through to something offers valuable insights.

When you post your blog, your blogging platform triggers your blog distribution service to deliver your notification to your subscribers through email or RSS. You might even have it set up to post on Facebook and Twitter – or you manually post to promote your blog. All of these efforts generate traffic directly back to the blog post page. Or at least that is the hope.

Now what you want to know is – is your blog successful? Is it doing for your business what you had intended? Can you evaluate an ROI?

Statistics that can begin to add up to let you know how you are doing is based on events such as: Did they read it? Did they look at anything else on your site? Did they make a purchase or request a quote? Did they download some other content you might be offering? What happened or didn’t happen are indicators as to the success of that post. This is where Google Analytics becomes a very helpful tool.

A good place to start is to navigate to Behavior and then to All Pages. The chart that appears is a page by page performance report as to how popular that page is as compared to others on your website, the Average Time on Page (in case you want to know if anyone is reading the copy on that page or watching a video), bounce rate and exit rate.

Blog post analytics

While you should pay attention to Avg. Time on Page and Bounce Rate for every page, right now we are just discussing your blog posts.

Did they read it? The Avg. Time on Page is the data point that will give you a strong indication overall if visitors read that post. If the average is in the seconds range, then sadly, they’ve moved on before consuming the post content. Is your font too small? Is the page design inviting or overwhelming? Is there a disconnect from the title and summary to the first paragraph? Have you attracted the wrong group of people – and they just aren’t that into you?

However, if the average is in the minutes range then Hallelujah – they read your post!

Now, here is the tough question – So What? They came, they read, they left – that is the Bounce Rate. Once you get into the 30% range and higher, then your copy might be worth the read but you’ve not offered the visitor any reason to visit other pages on your website – did you use links? And while you’ve been told a million times not to sell in blog posts, there is still the need to stir up desire and curiosity for them to want to learn more, be more, experience more…. Did you miss that one?

While growing your subscribers list is critical to the overall success of your company’s blog, it is not the end game goal. The end game goal has to be what makes your company grow – and that is conversions. How can your company blog improve or change to encourage subscribers to engage more often with your company pages such as product or service pages and to convert in some way – sign up for a newsletter that offers more timely information or maybe specials; request a consultation or a quote; explores your products or services and asks for more information; registers to volunteer or attend an event; forwards the post to a friend or circulates in their social arena…

These are some ideas, but knowing what your goals are for your blog is critical to being able to make the leap from looking at numbers to taking meaningful actions to improve outcomes for your company.

So let us know what has or hasn’t worked for your company’s blog – share your experience!

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