How Do I Know My Blogs Are Working?
Key Rules for Assuring the Success of Your Content Marketing
You’ve embarked on a well planned content strategy centered around blogs, case studies and infographics. Congratulations – you’re already well ahead in the competition game. But now you want to know the all important question: “How do I know it’s going to work?” I’m going to show you 5 rules everyone can live by to know your blogs are and will be constantly working.
You’ll know your blogs are working and you’re on the right track if you:
Rule 1: Ignore Benchmarks The only benchmark that matters is your own. We can google benchmarks for click-though rates, email opens and bounce rates. None of that matters. What matters is your own website or blog experience. Start with where you’re at. It is what it is when it comes to key indicators. What’s important is that you know the floor today and build up from there.
Rule 2: Use One Analytic Tool Never, ever, ever have I seen two analytics agree.
The reason for the discrepancy is that they measure
website interaction in different ways, i.e., what
constitutes a bounce or a click. Some miss visitors
altogether. (I’ve paid for clicks on several social
platforms and for PPC, yet the numbers of visitors
from analytics don’t match…not even close.) And
while Google Analytics seems to be the gorilla in the
room everyone runs to, most I talk to believe the
numbers are way off – perhaps a third to 50% low.
Pick an analytics platform and stick with it. Make sure it’s simple and allows you to view the results at a glance, plus adjust time views so you can look back at timeframes and campaigns. You’re likely to only measure a few things. The name is flunky I know, but we often use Clicky (dotcom) for an easy to use analytics platform. As long as you have only one site you’re monitoring and your blog is hosted on that site under the same domain it’s free. There’s a small monthly cost to monitor multiple sites. It tells you everything you’re most likely to want to know, set up is easy and it allows you to adjust time frames for comparing one campaign against another or over the long haul.
Rule 3: Forget the Numbers While numbers are fun to track, and you should, remember that the main purpose of analytics is to track trends, not hard numbers. Numbers show you moments in time. Trends tell you more. Remember Rule #1. What is truly meaningful is the growth of your overall blog strategy. Are your visitors growing? Is the flow working? Are repeat visitors hanging around longer? Are you able to up Page Actions with more compelling calls to action? Is your message hitting the mark? Here’s a good example of how monitoring trends helped us save a client from ruin. A client came to me with a preconceived notion about her message and felt everyone would want to know her “secrets to success”. It sounded great out of the shoot. But no matter how I tweaked the copy and visually made it appealing traction was slow and low. Something was off, and analytics was showing engagement was dismal. It turns out the “secrets” she was divulging were not secrets to experienced users of the product she was selling. In fact most users were already past the point of adopting these ideas. I took the chance and spun the content for experienced product users, moving to the next level of “need to know” information. Bam! Engagement went through the roof. The trends within analytics proved my suspicion. When I presented my theory, reasons for low engagement on the first go-arounds and proof engagement went up with a more advanced message, the client saw the light and we were able to change the campaign before a lot of time and money was lost on yesterday’s news.
Rule 4: Always Adapt to What Your Audience Is
Telling You They Need The above story leads us to our fourth rule: Monitor
your analytics and adjust blog topics as need be.
The whole purpose of analytics to be able to adjust
on the fly. Don’t be afraid to run a test, monitor blog
or campaign results against your first effort, pick the
best performer and test a new blog or message
again. Spot invaluable trends which will move your
message and blog campaign forward. If you do this
you’ll see success…your blogs will work.
Rule 5: Have the Right Mentality Before You Start The biggest determining factor in blogging success is your attitude. The biggest roadblock to blogging success is having a short term mentality before you start. Blogging is a process that requires a long term strategy. Those that think they’re going to have more visitors and sales leads than they can handle within a month will be disappointed. Those that believe they can accomplish their sales dreams within six months don’t understand the long term benefits of blogging or the length and complexity of a sales funnel. Set yourself up for success before you start with a long term mentality.
What do you think? Are you implementing a blog campaign with the assurance success? If you have questions I'm just a phone call or email away.