A framework was presented in Part 1 of this article series, but that is exactly what it is, a framework. It is not a “stick to formula” that has to be precise; rather it is a starting point. You can really use practically any data that you can track and convert to monetary value to calculate the return of investment for your blog. Knowing how to get such data is the key. The following five tools will put you on the right track.
Google Analytics is a tool that can be used to analyze your traffic. It makes it simple to track the return on investment of your advertising, track cross-channel and multimedia data, create customized reports, and it has an awesome feature that creates visual data that is easy to understand and executives love that. It makes it possible for you to learn the effectiveness of your keywords, the number of visitors your blog has, what pages they view, how long they stay, and what outgoing links they use. Honestly, it is the data seekers dream.
Google Analytics is usually used by webmasters; however, because of the usefulness of the data that this tool produces, it has become a favorite amongst bloggers. Adding Google Analytics to your blog is easy through the use of a plug in.
The Google Analytics for WordPress can be found in the WordPress Plugin Directory. In the older versions of WordPress, it is necessary to manually install the plugin; however, when using version 2.7.x or newer, you just have to install and activate the plugin. Configuring the plugin is simple just by following the screen prompts to ensure that you get the data that you are looking for.
If by chance you are using Blogger instead of WordPress, the blog can still be tracked in Google Analytics. You simply add the URL of blog in the “Add Website Profile” section of Google Analytics and you will be provided with the code to add to your blog pages. Copy the code and go through the Dashboard of Blogger, access your template or layout and add the code right before the body end.
Google URL Builder
The URL Builder is another useful tool from within Google Analytics. The purpose of this tool is to make it possible to determine the effectiveness of an advertising campaign. By using the URL Builder, you can tell which marketing activities are paying off by defining the source, medium, term or keyword, content, and the campaign and tracking the responses that come from them.
Calls to Action
A call to action is a necessity when using your blog to direct traffic to sales pages or promotions. Through the use of customized URLs that identify your blog as the source, a call to action can persuade a blog reader to click through and view your promotion page. This action can be tracked in Google Analytics and can provide you the information that you need to calculate your Blog ROI in the form of improved sales efficiency converted to the monetary value of a pay-per-click keyword or through the conversion to reduced cost of marketing. For example; do you find managing your company’s blog too much work? Perhaps you need professional blog writing services!
Feedburner is a Google provided tool that enables you to track your RSS subscribers. The data provided by this tool include the number of subscribers and the estimated number of people viewing your feed, the source used to access the content, clickthrough tracking, the number of downloads, and the number of live hits. The data plays a part in calculating the Blog ROI by converting the click-throughs to reduced cost of marketing.
Google Alerts is a useful tool in monitoring online media to see who is talking about your blog. Press mentions can be converted to monetary value by checking the cost of advertising in the media in question to compensate for the publicity. This value can be used in calculating the ROI of your blog.
These five tools will prove to be useful; however, don’t limit your self just to these. Be creative in reviewing the data that you can actually get and convert to monetary value to discover the true Blog ROI. New tools come out often and having the desire to learn about them and to determine the usefulness and how it fits into your business will only lead you to making better decisions and improving your bottom line.