Measuring traffic is like taking weekly measurements when you’re trying to lose weight: without the feedback, it’s hard to be sure whether or not you’re making any progress. Of course, many people disagree about how to measure yourself when losing weight. Should you way yourself daily? Weekly? Should you use tape measure? If so, where? It goes on and on.
So it is in the world of blog publishing. It’s tough to know what aspect of your blog’s traffic is the most important variable to measure. And, truth be told, everybody’s blog is different. That’s why we’ll give you not five tips on measuring your blog’s more important traffic metric, but finding the variable that’s most important to you. After all, it’s your blog.
Tip #1: What are your Goals?
If the chief goal of your blog is to sell an eBook you’re promoting, then why would you care about how many newsletter subscribers you have? Sure, it’s great to have a lot, but if none of those subscribers are actually buying your eBook, then the whole point of the blog is lost. Don’t be attracted to pure numbers – it’s percentages you should be thinking about when you’re in sales. You want to know that your blog is scalable. If you have 100 visitors a day and make one sale, that’s 1% – and it’s the same if you had 1,000 visitors a day and made 10 sales. So keep your eye on the prize so you can focus on the numbers that really matter.
Tip #2: Focus on Metrics that Matter
Sure, it’s cool to review them once in a while, but you don’t need to actively focus on certain metrics that don’t really pertain to your site’s top priorities. Let’s say you have a blog and you want to get people posting comments on each article. If that’s your goal, only metrics like daily traffic, comment counts, and the like will matter. You won’t have to worry about where the traffic is coming from so much. By all means monitor it, but don’t swear by it.
Tip #3: What Metrics Can You do Without?
If you have every metric that analytics is capable of delivering to you, great. But if you have a lot you could live without, there’s no reason you should continue to focus on those metrics. To focus on the important one, you have to know which ones you’d rather not see altogether. The answer here will help you realize which metrics do matter to you.
Tip #4: Which Metric Would You Most Like to See Improved?
Which will bring your blog more success – more traffic from search engines, or more subscriptions to your newsletter? When you find out the answer, you know which metric you really care about.
Tip #5: Finding a True Metric
Sometimes, the best metrics will include statistics from multiple variables. If your goal is to make sales, then you shouldn’t just keep track of how many sales you’re making – keep track of what percentage of people you’re steering to your sales page, which keywords are making sales, etc.