One of the key pillars of content marketing, blogs are essential for creating a ‘hub’ where your audience can engage with and digest useful, educational and informative information.
But as many content marketers know, it’s rare that your audience will read a blog then click through to convert on your site – the customer journey is often longer and less linear than that! So how do you prove return-on-investment on your blog content?
The answer? Google Analytics.
Google Analytics provides a wealth of key information about what’s going on in the backend of your website, including where the traffic is coming from and what people are doing once they land on your site. Here, we unpack a few of the key metrics that can be used to report on the success of your on-site blogs.
A pageview (or pageview hit, page tracking hit) is an instance of a page being loaded (or reloaded) in a browser. Pageviews is a metric defined as the total number of pages viewed.
Pageviews is a great metric for determining how many times a piece of content has been viewed. Compare the number of Pageviews between multiple pieces of content to see which pieces performed, and which ones fell flat. You’ll be able to get a better idea of best-performing topics and headlines. You can even compare this metric with Unique Pageviews to determine the percentage that the page was reloaded. This will give you an indicative understanding of how popular the content was based on how many times it was reloaded.
Are you measuring how many times your content has been viewed?
Average Time on Page
Average time on page is the average amount of time all users spend on a single page.
This metric is useful because it indicates whether your audience is reading your content, glancing at it, or perhaps skimming the first sentence and saying goodbye. Increase your average time spent on page by keeping written content succinct, integrating dot point lists, breakout quotes and engaging imagery.
TIP: Google uses the time of the next page view to determine the time spent looking at the current page. When users visit the last page, there is no next page recorded, so the Time on Page is unknown and the Session Duration ends the user opened the last page.
Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page.
Bounce Rate is a great indication of whether people are coming to your blog then taking an action, or coming to your blog and exiting. If your bounce rate is high, try embedding clearer calls to action in your blogs or offering something useful for the audience, such a tool or downloadable asset. This will make it easier for them to take another action and a reason to stay on site.
How does Google Analytics actually collect data?
Sources of Traffic
Every referral to a website has an origin, or source. Some sources include Social Media channels like Facebook and Instagram, or discovery platforms such as Outbrain. “Direct” refers to users to typed your website URL directly into their browser.
Where is your traffic coming from? Knowing the key sources of traffic to your blog is essential for understanding how to best amplify your content and discovering opportunities for growth. For example, if Instagram is the biggest driver of traffic to your blog, it may be worth doing more Instagram Stories that allow users to ‘Swipe Up’ to read your blogs.
NOTE: Sources of traffic should be evaluated in conjunction with Bounce Rate. If Instagram is driving the most traffic to your blog, but this traffic has the highest bounce rate, it may be wise to invest in a channel that drives slightly less but more engaged traffic.
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