Establish Blogging BenchmarksWe’ve said it a million times:  blogging is more than just writing.  Your blog can be used as a business tool for sales, education, customer engagement, customer service, and much more.

But you can’t throw all your weight into a tool unless you know how it’s performing.  You need to establish blogging benchmarks via metrics that help you measure the success of your blog.  Fortunately for you, it’s easier than it sounds.  We’ve even put together a 4-step how-to guide to get you started:

Step 1 – Settle On Your Blogging Strategy

What is your blog doing for your business?  Is it supporting your marketing efforts?  Is it educating customers?  Is it designed to generate new leads?  Before you can judge the success of your blog, you have to know what it is you’re measuring and why.

It’s important to note that “generating more traffic” or “gaining a higher search engine ranking” are not actually strategies.  These are elements you measure based on your strategy.  So think deeper, think about your business needs, and make sure you’re blogging for the right purpose.  Once you can identify your blogging strategy, it’s time to define your blogging metrics.

Step 2 – Determine Metrics

The key here is that metrics need to be tangible.  You have to be able to visually see the changes in data to measure and determine success.

For example, let’s say your blogging strategy is to increase customer engagement.  The wrong metric would be a significant increase in “more engaging articles” because that’s not tangible (that’s just your objective thought).  The right metrics would be something like bounce rates, page visits, and average visit duration, all of which can be seen and measured via the Traffic Sources section on Google Analytics.  They could also be shares, likes, and pins, which you can get from your various social media outlets.  These metrics relate to customer engagement because they tell you how much time your customers are spending on your website and connecting with your business.

Metrics will vary greatly depending on the objectives of your blog.  If your blogging strategy is to improve sales, measure the product page views and sales increase on products advertised in your blog.  If your goal is to improve customer service or education, look for a decrease in call volume or service-related emails.  You get the point.

Step 3 – Establish Benchmarks

Now that you know which real data elements you’re going to measure, you have to establish proper benchmarks by which to determine success.  The important thing here is to not overshoot especially in the beginning.  You want to put practical goals around your business strategy.

For example, don’t expect average visit duration to increase ten-fold the second you start blogging with a purpose.  Blogging strategies are often long-term pursuits, so think with a quarterly or half-year mindset.  Look for small percentage increases or decreases in your metrics.

If your current average bounce rate is 85%, make your goal a single percentage point decrease (down to 84%) over a 3-month period.  That’s a practical benchmark and one that you can certainly achieve.  Plus, it’s better to achieve a small goal and be inspired than miss a larger goal and feel incompetent.

Step 4 – React To Your Results

Implement your strategy and measure your success.  Did you achieve your goals?  Did you improve customer engagement by lowering bounce rates, increasing page views, and elongating the duration of customer visits?

If you see successes, then your blog is most likely on the right path.  Continue readjusting your benchmarks and building upon your blogging strategy.  Look for bright spots too.  Did one or two blogs stand out above the rest?  Leverage that information to create an even stronger blog.

If you fail to see results, don’t keep going.  Stop and analyze.  Why did you not achieve your blogging benchmarks?  There could be any number of reasons why your blog was not successful and often the data will tell you.  Just remember that underperforming and missing your goals is not a bad thing – it’s useful information that will help you tweak and refine your strategy for the long-term.

Hopefully our 4-step how-to guide will help you establish blogging benchmarks for your business.  You can also request a quote and LeapGo will be more than happy to help you develop and execute a blogging strategy and benchmarks for your business.

What are your blogging benchmarks?  Have you seen the results and/or altered your blogging strategy in response?  We’d love to hear from you!

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Published On: May 30th, 2013 / Categories: Blog Management /

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