When you are running a blog, there are many key performance indicators aka KPIs that you need to check on a regular basis to track the progress. Not only track and see how your blog is doing. These are highly important in regards to growing your compelling WordPress blog. You will have a better understanding of your overall site traffic, organic traffic, page views, newsletter subscribers and much more. All, of course, are measurable. That said, you can set a specific schedule when to check back to update the statistics with new results.
However, inspecting only one of the KPIs might not do you any good. You should know that all, in one way or another, relate to each other. If one is doing badly, your whole website might not be at the level it should be. For instance, even if you have a ton of traffic coming towards your blog but the bounce rate is extremely high, Google will know that there is something fishy about your page. Make sure you publish only quality content, your page loads fast and, needless to say is entirely mobile-ready. But if you are reading this article you know the basics and are in to scale things up.
Without further ado, let’s take a peek at some of the most important KPIs. They will provide the majority of information you need to know about your WordPress theme powered blog. Depending on what your long-term plans are for your blog, you might dig even deeper into the analytics and statistics.
The first thing everyone checks is how much visits their website generates in a specific time-space. Starting out, you will probably be glued to the screen every day in hopes today’s visits exceeded yesterday’s. As soon as you realize that checking daily traffic stats is not that important, you will save yourself plenty of time. Track it on a weekly, but better, on a monthly basis. Choosing the monthly approach will tell you which month is good and which bad. You can then execute your blogging strategy accordingly. Make poor months great and make those doing good, fantastic. Discover trends and find out what works and what would be better to avoid publishing.
Since we began with traffic, we will continue with traffic. Organic traffic (yes, I used the “t” word for the fourth time) is the one that search engines, like Google and Bing, send to your page. Organic visitors are, by far, one of the most wanted ones for every blogger. After all, this is all free traffic and if done correctly, a very targeted one. Having your website search engine optimized will get your posts rank higher on SERPs. The higher you rank, the more traffic you will receive. Check the percentage of your overall traffic that comes from search engines and even which blog posts receive the most traffic. Also, find out which keyword drives in the most amount of visitors and which the least.
After you get familiar with traffic statistics, the next thing you should look is the bounce rate. The number is in percentage and lets you know how many visitors left after viewing only one page. The lower the number the better. For a better understanding, if your site’s overall bounce rate is 80% and higher, you should immediately find out what the issue might be. Maybe it has to do with the design, with the navigation, slow loading speed or your website is undergoing other technical issues. Bear in mind, even if the bounce rate is at 40% or 50%, you can still make improvements. One thing is for sure, you should never stop making your website better by testing what works and what does not.
Time on site
Time on site correlates with bounce rate. If the latter is high most likely, the former is low. How long guests stay on your blog tells you how quality and relevant your content is. When users stay on your website for several minutes, it tells you that you must be doing something right. But that is not all that comes with high time on site. Google will also notice this, rank you higher and send even more search traffic towards your page. Meaning, time on site has a big impact on SEO. If it is low, investigate whether or not your blog is working properly. Does it open in an instant? Does it have an eye-friendly design? Is it going through technical issues?
Page views per session
Just as much as third and fourth paragraph go hand in hand, so do fourth and fifth. The more pages a reader visits, the longer he or she will stay on your page. This all comes down to one thing: comfortable navigation. If they are struggling with navigation, they will surely leave after visiting the first page (high bounce rate!). Another metric is the quality of your content. If there’s nothing useful in it, why would they even search other sections of your page? Since it is crucial to have articles and media to the highest standards, I won’t be talking much more about it. That is the golden rule.
What I will advise you to do is to add a sidebar to related blogs and intriguing images. You can also place similar widgets in the bottom of your articles. Moreover, your menu should be top-notch and search bar clearly visible.
Pro tip: Use Google Analytics’ Behavior Flow Report to see what guests are doing and how they are moving from one section of your page to the other.
To witness blog growth, inbound links aka backlinks are still important. It shows that your blog is of the finest grade, packed with first-class content. What else would other websites want to link to you, right? Another indicator that tells search engines that you are a serious deal, releasing only outstanding articles. But most importantly, useful to users. Find out how many inbound links each page and blog posts receive. If you already see one of the pages/posts doing good but there are few sites linking to them, find a way to increase the number. You will be surprised how many methods you can put into practice to boost the number of backlinks.
Although there are many fancy ways available how to market your blog, products, and services, email is still going strong. And if you have the right subscribers, it will certainly be the most effective technique you can use. Furthermore, if your email list is growing on a daily basis, you have another proof that what you are releasing to your website others find advantageous. They subscribe to receive even more of what they see straight to their inboxes. That said, if you are not already, start sending out compelling newsletters. Still, testing out the right location for the subscription box plays the key part in the number of new subscribers you get. Things like exit pop can work, too.
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