The 7 blog metrics successful bloggers track
There’s a tonne of things to remember as a blogger or business owner trying to grow your brand and your reach. But, one thing’s for sure. If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it! So, track your blog metrics!
Knowing your blog metrics is a must in any business, and the same goes for blogging.
Understanding the driving forces behind growth and planning your strategy for growth is all part of the journey.
There are loads of blog metrics you COULD track on your blog… and often people talk about KPIs… but, I reckon KPI’s are a bit of an outdated way to think about tracking progress.
KPI’s stand for Key Performance Indicators. And, if you’re anything like me, actual performance is not an issue for you. Rather, I want to track my goals.
I want to track what is most important to me on my journey. I want to know that this thing I’m building makes sense and is both purposeful and meaningful.
KPI’s vs KIS’s
I’ve worked in Government, large corporates and in startups. And I’ve developed key measurement metrics for teams over and over again.
One thing that stands out for me though is that performance metrics are great for HR but not so great for real humans.
KPIs rely on a set of metrics to understand if a person is meeting a certain level or criteria in their role.
For me… KIS’s are a far more interesting concept.
And they sound far more enticing, right!
KIS’s… are Key Indicators of Success and are designed to track what is REALLY important to you in terms of how you define success as a maker, creator or entrepreneur.
What are KIS’s?
KIS’s or Key Indicators of Success are an alternative to KPI’s. They are a set of metrics that allow real humans to track their success over time in a meaningful way.
KIS’s track success, not performance. You can be performing at a certain level and achieving very few goals! … Being busy might feel good and productive… but is it moving you closer to your actual goals?
By tracking success metrics that are aligned to your values, lifestyle goals and business targets you’ll get a far better picture of how you’re really doing.
No one wants to know that they simply hit their goal of writing 12 blog posts per month right? They want to know the real meaning behind this goal.
So, instead of tracking:
Create 12 blog posts in July
A KIS might be…
To create 12 blog posts this July that are niche specific to Fitness (the area Im wanting to grow)… are in depth (over 1800 words min each to help my SEO)… and of which 3 include a free opt in or download (to grow my community, so I can eventually monetise my blog).
See, number two is far more aligned with goals and outcomes… whereas number one is a number target!
Number targets are qualitative in nature and while they show you a pattern, they are pretty soleless when it comes to real success or progress.
You COULD be creating 12 posts per month… but are they quality? What is their intention? Are they creating value? Where are they leading your business in terms of long term goals?
The main thing to remember here is:
TO CREATE HEART CENTRED KIS’s that move you towards creating real, meaningful goals, not just statistical, on paper targets 💕
What are heart centred business goals?
Think about why you started your biz or blog and what you realllllly want to achieve.
Do you really want to create a big company that employs people?
Or… do you actually want to create time and space in your life to enjoy more time with your kids ?
Do you want to make a multi million dollar empire… or do you realllllyyy want to make a comfortable living that means your family is looked after and your future is secure?
Do you want to create a name for yourself, be on panels and boards? And be seen as a public figure in your field? Or…. Do you really want to create community and feel safe and secure in knowing you’re doing an amazing job for your community and your family?
Think carefully about the real reasons behind your goals and targets… this is far, far more important than the number itself.. What does this number MEAN to you! ???
What does this number allow you to do? Or enjoy?
What does this number represent to you personally in terms of:
- Financial security?
- Mental health?
- Quality of life?
- Fulfillment of passions?
- Being of service?
- How you spend your time?
- Your future?
- Your health?
- Your relationships?
It’s so important to create goals that do not rely solely on a specific number hitting a ore determined target. Your happiness and sanity depend on it! If you’re simply tracking hitting that BIG number each month and you’re missing it often- you will get discouraged!
So, do yourself a favour and create some heart centres KIS’s… AND when you’re planning your monthly goals – make sure that while you should be aiming for the sky, you are also measuring things within your control. No point setting yourself up for failure. every. single. month!
7 blog metrics every blogger needs to track
- #1 Heart centred goals
- #2 Traffic user metrics
- #3 Traffic acquisition & behaviour metrics
- #4 Engagement
- #5 SEO
- #6 Lead generation activities
- #7 Content metrics
1. Heart centred goals
Create goals around your own sense of general wellbeing! This is soooo important and I would say THE MOST IMPORTANT KIS’s in my humble opinion. 🧡
Before you get too far into tracking your traffic or your engagement on socials you MUST look into how you are creating your own personal success.
By measuring your success in terms of well being or happiness or whatever you want to call it, you’re truly tracking the results of your real reason for doing what you’re doing!
There’s a few things I include here, and by no means are these quantitative! But I tend to track my wellbeing in terms of a few key metrics.
- Have I been able to get outside and exercise or walk the dog regularly? For me this means most days.
- Am I eating well? Making smoothies? Staying hydrated? Creating healthy dinners for myself and my family?
- Am I resting and sleeping well? Taking time to rest and take naps during offtimes like Sunday afternoons?
- Am I spending quality time with my loved ones?
- Am I mindful of my interactions with those people I care about the most?
- Am I feeling frazzled? And if so, do I know why?
- Am I taking time to do yoga and stretch my body and rest my mind?
- Do I feel like I have a sense of purpose?
- Am I passionate about what I’m doing?
- Am I being of service?
- Am I creating community?
2. Traffic user metrics
I like to measure in all its glorious forms. But the three main ones here for me are:
- New vs Returning Users
- Page views
- Users by GEO
New vs Returning users enables me to see how many new eyes are getting caught in my net. And is a great indicator of how your marketing efforts are working.
Page views are pretty important , as it shows the number of pages users visited… and is a great measurement of how well you’re keeping people on site, and enticing them to other posts.
Traffic is much more than simply numbers! If you dive deep you can see trends and vital info on how well your growth strategies are working.
I also like to look at traffic by GEO> REGION here to see who exactly is reading my content. Knowing your audience is so, so vital in order to make sure you’re serving your readers well.
3. Traffic acquisition and behaviour metrics
- Page views
- Bounce rates
- Site Speed
Now that I know how many users are coming to my blog and where they are from, I also want to know what they are doing on site! And what’s working for me in terms of how I drive users to click on my content.
I look at channel acquisition here, which channels are driving the best traffic for me. Pinterest, Organic search etc. This gives me a pretty good heads up on where I am spending my time and how I could better improve on my productivity.
For instance if you’re spending hours a week on Pinterest marketing and getting only a handful of clicks… best to refine your strategy.
I also look at what users are doing on my site. Do they bounce quickly? Thats an indication that perhaps I’m not grabbing the right attention early on in my funnel… and they are hitting my site and expecting something quite different than what they find.
What blog posts or pages are they spending the most time on?
I also keep a keen eye on my site speed to make sure I’m staying in the zone.
- Social Engagement
When I write a post I tend to run through a series of precise steps to get it out into the wilderness. I call this D&A – distribution and amplification and I wrote a whole blog post about D&A and how to promote your blog posts here.
It’s a good idea to make sure the things you’re spending your time on are working for you, so make sure you’re tracking your D&A efforts closely. If you’re using Pinterest for example as a form of marketing, then make sure you’re tracking how many users you get from that channel.
Or if you’re posting regularly to a Facebook page… how many views are you getting per post? How many interactions? How many reactions? Make sure you’re separating out vanity metrics from those metrics that make a difference to your real goals!
Apart from tracking your marketing efforts, I also like to keep track of how my actual posts are performing from an engagement perspective.
Metrics like how many quality comments did my articles get? How many shares did I get on each article? Which articles were the most popular from a sharing perspective? How many likes did my articles receive?
Don’t get too wrapped up in these metrics… but it’s good to know that people find your content valuable and if they do, they’ll share it to their community!
SEO is a massive subject …and I write a bit about getting started with SEO for bloggers over here.
But in terms of my KIS’s I like to track three things.
- DA (Domain authority)
- Ranking Keywords
- Linking domains
You can head on over to Moz to check these things for free.
Just pop into their free tools feature on the top right hand side of your page.
Domain Authority (DA) will show you a score of 0 -100. The higher the score the higher your site is predicted to rank.
DA is a long game, so remember to not get too disheartened if this doesn’t rise quickly! … it’s all about quality content. It’s a pretty good measure in my opinion of the overall health of your blog.
I like to check how many keywords I am ranking for in any given month as well. This is a good indicator that my SEO strategy is working well. You can see this on Moz, Link Explorer or on Google Search Console (where you can also see impressions).
The number of linking domains tells me how many external sites have linked back to my blog. A great measurement of how well I’m spreading my net and an incredibly important stat for SEO.
6. Lead generation activities
- Email subscribers
- Open rates
- Unsub rates
- Click through rates
I only send out one newsletter a month. My aim in doing so is to not bombard my community with words. The noise to message ratio has to be kept optimal! And I want to make sure that I’m focussing on building a strong community around my brand.
My newsletter goes out on the first Friday of a new month and features my best posts from the previous month.
I measure open rates, (currently sitting at 52%, which is fantastic!) And tells me that people want to be on my list!
Unsubscribe rates…. This is a good measurement to me of whether the people that are subscribing are long termers or not… some people will want to grab your freebie and be done.. and that’s totally fine!
And, click through rates… How many people clicked on the posts in my email newsletter? How interested are they? Am I posting the right sort of content for my audience? Am I creating value? Am I serving my community well?
- Blog posts
- Paid Products
No brainer really here, but again. This comes down to what you really want to achieve.
How many blog posts per week, or month do you want to create? And why?
The sweet spot for the number of blog posts to create per month to get on Google’s good side is 11. So I aim for 12, lol. That’s on average 3 a week. This is manageable for me.
I also try to make my posts more than 1200 words in length. I prefer to go for less posts but having more depth in each.
Create meaningful goals for yourself here. Do you want to rank on Google? Then do your research on the optimal number of posts and post length etc to achieve this goal. I wrote a blog that has some helpful tips on the frequency and length of blog posts here.
I like to make sure I’m making a couple of new opt ins and freebies each month… with a goal in mind to grow my subscriber list… so I can create a sustainable community.
And lastly, paid products. I am just in the process of creating my first paid product! Woo hoo!
This is going to take some time. So it’s important for me to set very specific goals around this. Goals around my reasons for doing this and the results that I want to ultimately achieve. And of course, why I want to achieve them!
You could spend many many hours tracking stats that are pretty meaningless to you and your actual business goals… so, make sure your number one priority is to work out exactly what you want out of your blog or business FIRST.
Be exact in your thinking around this. Knowing what you want is possibly a far harder task than many of us realise!
One of my friends recently told me she thought she wanted to create business and employ people etc etc etc… but she’s only JUST realised she just wants a stable income and to be free from working for others.
SUCH a huge shift in perspective right there.
So spend time thinking about your purpose and your passion first.
Good luck! Let me know what your number one metric is that defines your blog success below.