The internet is full of blog posts and articles suggesting the ‘perfect’ blog length and frequency; ‘To reach number one on Google, you should post X times a month’, ‘The most read blog posts are XXXX words long.’
But the truth is, publishing strategies aren’t universal. And unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula.
Rather, a successful blog is the result of consistent and diligent monitoring, measuring and analysing. All of which enable you to tweak and realign your strategy to satisfy and exceed the expectations of your readers.
There are a number of metrics to focus on when analysing your blog's performance, as this depends on a number of changeable factors. What might work for one organisation, might not work so well for another.
Metrics such as title, length, format, and topic inevitably differ depending on your audience and industry.
Once you establish your audience’s preferences, you can devise and tweak your strategy to attract more readers, more leads and close more sales.
To gain the most valuable insight into your blog, we suggest you start by looking at your overall traffic and conversion rate:
High traffic + low conversion rate
If you discover that you have high traffic, but a low conversion rate, you’re attracting a lot of people to your blog but for some reason, they’re not converting.
This could be due to a number of reasons.
Perhaps your content is failing to deliver what was promised in your title. You can check if this is the case by looking at your bounce rates and length of visit. If readers are leaving the page after only a few seconds, it’s likely the blog has not delivered what was expected. You might want to approach your content strategy differently or look at your titles and post formats (we will discuss this later in the post).
Or, perhaps your conversion path is unclear. For example, are your call to actions clear, placed strategically and designed with optimal copy and colours?
If your CTA is in the form of another content offer, such as an ebook or white paper, is this related to the content you’ve just supplied in your blog? If it's not consistent with your original content offering and the pain point you’ve just explored if could be confusing and underwhelming for your visitors. A/B testing is a great way to ascertain which type of CTA produces the best conversion rates.
Low Traffic + High conversion rate
Low traffic isn’t exactly a bad thing, so this isn’t the worst position to be in. What’s more, your traffic is the right traffic; it’s high quality. So where is it coming from?
A high conversion rate is demonstrable of remarkable content but you could be doing more to promote this content and increase that high-quality traffic. Conversion rates will suffer if you’re not promoting this to the high-quality leads. You might want to consider emailing a newsletter of content to your database of high-quality leads or consider influencer outreach, an effective tool in B2B marketing.
Low traffic + low conversion rate
If this is the case, it’s time to rethink your content distribution strategy. Ultimately, what it comes down to is traffic, so this is a good place to start. Without traffic, no one will see your blog, and as a result, no one can share or peruse it.
With a content strategy that is aligned with your buyer personas, you can build a list of prospect pain points, questions, high volume keywords and key phrases. By using these lists to build a content calendar you’ll enhance your chances of gaining organic traffic, as the content is built with the intention of solving these problems. But this content must always be of high quality to result in those coveted conversions. Here are a few more metrics to focus on:
The top-performing blog posts tend to come in ‘How to’, numbered, list, and questions formats. Which perform the best for you? Remember, people don’t appreciate clickbait, and on top of that, it could seriously hinder your reputation. You need to satisfy your reader’s expectations and provide content that exceeds the promise in the title. If certain title formats are performing badly, you can go back and alter these or avoid using them in the future. Similarly, you can now focus on producing more high performing posts.
Who is (are) your best performing author(s)? Is it a member of your company, or perhaps a guest blogger or contributor? Once you identify them, you can analyse their catalogue of posts to find out what it is they’re doing differently to everyone else. From there, you can either ask them to coach or train others or use your newfound research to direct the rest of your team with a blog training workshop.
Where is your traffic coming from, or at least, the main portion of your traffic?
Is it organic, or is it a result of content promotion?
If one channel isn’t performing so well, are you promoting sufficiently or could you renew your approach? For example, you might be receiving more visitors from Twitter than Linkedin. This gives you the insight to focus more on your Linkedin strategy over the next quarter, and re-evaluate against these benchmarks.
Once you’ve identified your top performing posts, are there similarities in the topics they cover? Do your audiences prefer a particular format, or do these particular posts focus on certain pain points? You can use these as examples for your next quarterly strategy to help improve your next quarter
To keep on improving you must always be measuring. Your analysis strategy doesn’t have to be set in stone. You might find that at times, it pays to rely on your intuition or visitor feedback. Having a comments section on your blog is very effective at inviting feedback and conversation. From these interactions, you can identify questions or reoccurring frustrations among your readers and resolve to explore these with your next piece of content.
Overall, it's important not to forget that in the fast-paced blogging industry, things are always changing. So it really pays to keep on measuring and analysing your blog's performance and keep your ears and eyes peeled for changes in visitor behaviour.