How Do You Measure Blog Success

by on 03/18/2011 in Google, Search, SEO

The most important metric I use when measuring my blog success is traffic from search. This metric tells me that my articles are being indexed and they are positioned high in SERP (Search Engine Result Page). If visitors are coming to your blog from search, it means they are looking for content you are publishing on your blog.

I know too many people who get caught up in measuring blog success based on a few ranking and analytic services. These services are not telling the true story on how well your blog is performing.Alexa Rank

Here are a few services that provide web site ranking and analytics that are either not important or irrelevant in measuring your blogs success. I wouldn’t put too much weight into any of these services.

Alexa: Is a web analytics service that measures sites by way of a ranking algorithm based on visits and the overall popularity of a site. Alexa is not accurate for sites that are above 100K and even then, it’s not a system I would go by to measure your blogs effectiveness. Alexa provides users to compare up to 4 sites by clicking on the “Site Info” link on the home page.

Compete: Just like Alexa, this site also has a ranking system. Compete is more accurate then Alexa, but not by much. Compete also provides users to compare up to 3 sites based on unique visitors, visits and Compete rank. To get more data you will need to sign up for their Pro version which costs $199 for the intro version and up to $499 for the advanced version.

Google Pagerank: This is a touchy topic and one that many SEO enthusiasts ignore, but many web site owners and advertisers use this ranking as a gauge on how well their site or blog is performing and valued. If you go back 3 years ago, I would say Google Pagerank was the ultimate measurement, but it has lost clout over the years.

These are just a few of the most popular web ranking services that people use today to measure blog success.

There are many metrics and tools to measure your blog success, but as I stated earlier, it’s best to measure your overall traffic and how much of that traffic is from search. Other measurements that you should also focus on are;

Bounce Rate: You want to keep this percentage down as this indicates people are entering and existing from the same page. Your referral traffic can cause your bounce rate to increase especially when you share an article on a social network. Think about it – you share it, they read it, they’re done.

Direct Traffic: These are visitors who bookmarked your site or typed it in the browser address bar. These visitors are considered fans of your site and at one time they probably came for a referral or search.  You would consider this a conversion, which in the marketing world is golden.

Avg. Time on Site: How long are your visitors engaged? The longer, the better, but what affects this measurement are blogs that write short articles or only serve up photo/s. The other problem is sharing a site on StumbleUpon where visitors stumble across your site and leave to move on to the next stumble (web site). If your content is compelling, your visitors may stay around longer to read other articles you have published.

Adsense: Is your blog a good earner? This is another great way to measure your blogs marketing effectiveness.  If you serve up ads using Google Adsense, you can get a good gauge on how well your blog is earning and the articles that have the highest conversion of clicks.

Best Web Analytic Tools
Google Analytics
StatCounter
Website Grader

I hope you find this article interesting and I would like to read what metrics and or tools you use to measure your blogs success.

7 Responses to “How Do You Measure Blog Success”

  1. James

    Mar 18th, 2011

    I agree with you about basing success on search traffic. With pagerank, alexa and some of the others, it is easier to manipulate and give yourself a false sense of success. Getting search traffics shows that google currently finds the pages useful.

    On the other hand, a consistently large pool of referrals would be more important to me if the number greatly exceeded google search visits. The reason for this is that the site would be less dependent on one source of traffic. But until then, google search is what matters.

    • Frank Jovine

      Mar 18th, 2011

      James,

      Excellent feedback and you are correct by saying you should never depend on what traffic source.

  2. Giedrius Majauskas

    Mar 19th, 2011

    I disagree.

    Search traffic is important if you look at your blog as a regular site, and you do not wish “relationship” with people. While that is perfectly ok for some blogs, it might not be a goal. Branding might be a goal, fame and money might be goals too.

    Additionally, search traffic suffers from “random” visitors, that bounce away after reading first sentences of post.

    Another issue is with targeted visitors from some links. If you write brilliant post, you will be linked and might get a lot of visitors from single link. How are these visitors worse than ones from search?

    Some other criteria to consider:
    1. Feed subscribers (easy to track with feedburner), newsletter subscribers
    2. “Branded” searches (aka search with blog name)
    3. Post share rate on social media/links to your blog.
    4. Comment count/rate.

    • Frank Jovine

      Mar 19th, 2011

      Giedrius,

      You are entitled to your opinion and some of the metrics you pointed out are also important. The comment count to me should have been on my list as we average over 8 comments per post.

    • Nollie

      May 16th, 2011

      Stands back from the keboryad in amazement! Thanks!

  3. Peter

    Mar 24th, 2011

    Today is the first day I heard about ‘Compete’

  4. S.E.T.S

    Apr 28th, 2011

    Hello mr…I am a beginner in the world of blogs, after reading your article I was very interested. Even if you write “Alexa is not accurate for sites” but still I use on my blog.