It seems that everyone has a blog these days. Maybe even more than one. The exact number is fluid, because people are starting and abandoning blogs on a regular basis, but if you consider the estimate that in 2016 there were over 1 billion websites of all kinds, and that WordPress.org proudly proclaims that 27% of the world’s websites run on WordPress, you gotta think, that’s a lot of blogs! And that doesn’t even take into consideration the amount of free blogs and micro blogs like those hosted on Blogger and Tumblr. With this many sites out there, it makes you wonder how effective blogging is for your business.
Blogging experts and SEO specialists believe that in order for your business to be successful online, you must have a blog. According to a recent article on Forbes.com, websites that have a blog have 434% more indexed pages than those that don’t. The same article also says that having a blog gives your brand and company more credibility. (source)
Now, I tend to agree with that. But what they don’t tell you is that as with anything else, all blogs are not created equal. You can’t just throw up a blog, let it sit there and expect to have a successful business. Your blog needs to be a part of your overall marketing strategy, and it has to be effective in meeting your goals.
Fortunately, there are ways to tell if your blog is as effective at getting you customers and clients as you expect it to be.
Here are five ways you can gain insight into how well your blog is working for you.
1. You add fresh content on a regular basis.
Keeping the content on your blog fresh and relevant is a must if you want an effective blog. In fact, it’s almost better to have no blog at all instead of a stale one. Stale blogs give the impression that don’t care about either your business or your customers enough to keep them updated.
So how often do you add new content? If you post even once a week you are doing better than the majority of blogs out there. If you post daily, you’re even further ahead in the game.
Fresh content on a regular basis keeps your readers coming back for more, and makes your blog an effective tool for staying in touch with customers and prospects.
2. Your content inspires comments.
Meaningful comments that show your readers have actually read your post are a great way of measuring how effective your blog is.
It’s easy to comment with a phrase like “Great post” or “Nice one!” or the ever trite “Thanks for sharing.” It takes a little work to write a comment that gets the message across that this person has read your content and thought about it before commenting.
3. You are gaining a following.
There are many ways to measure how effective your blog is at building a following.
You can use a stats program like Google Analytics to keep track of how many unique and repeat visitors you get each week.
A tangible sign of effectiveness is how many people subscribe to your email updates. That is a sure sign that people are interested in what you are offering, if they willingly give up their email address in order to hear from you outside of your blog. Using a service like Aweber makes sending out timely updates and keeping track of your growth easy.
4. You are getting organic search traffic.
Your blog is effective at growing your reach if you are being found not only for your key terms, but also for other keywords that you might not have thought of.
Making sure you have a plan in place to ensure that all your posts are SEO optimized. A good start is adding an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO to handle the basics like title, keyword, and meta tag formation. Of course, you have to ensure that the content you write is keyword optimized and relevant to begin with.
Again, here you can use a tool like Google Analytics for measuring how well your keywords are doing at bringing you traffic. Keep in mind, though, that lately Google is showing less and less keyword data in their basic analytics package.
5. Your inbound links are increasing.
If other people are linking back to you, that’s a sure sign your blog is effective at getting the message across.
As with the blog itself, though, not all backlinks are created equal. The most highly prized form of backlink is a mention from another blogger, or from an authority site.
You can help your backlinks along, quantity-wise, with your own commenting practices too. Every time you leave a comment on someone else’s site, you have the opportunity to leave a link back to your site.
Leaving thoughtful and meaningful comments (like the ones you’d want to receive on your blog) has another effect besides just increasing your inbound links. It also lets people know you care enough about their content to take the time to read it and respond.
Taken together all of these items will give you a good idea of how effective your blog is at creating interest in your products and services. The real test of effectiveness, however, is whether you are achieving your business goals. Are you getting new clients, making more sales, and moving forward in your business growth? These are the true results of an effective blog.
Want to join a group dedicated to bringing more exposure to your blog? The Everyday Blogging group does just that. We are a group of committed bloggers who are using social media to gain more exposure for our blogs. Find us on Facebook at Everyday Blogging with Your Message Amplified or click on the image below to join us.