Every day marketers publish two million blog posts on the internet. These writers race to gain the attention of their audiences — and to keep it — for as long as possible.

What makes some of these blog posts stand out while others fall to the wayside?

The answer isn’t the same for every company. It depends on the blog’s audience, focus, and goals. But by measuring and comparing the impact of your individual blog posts, you can start to figure out what resonates with your readers.

I narrowed down the long list of key performance indicators (KPIs) to five metrics that give marketers a clearer understanding of the performance of each blog post, strengthening the long-term prospects of their blog. Check these five ways to measure the success of any blog post:

1. Total visits

The total number of visits to a blog post is a simple metric that gives a company a lot of information about their efforts. This number clarifies two things: how enticing the headline of the article is to readers and how well your blog posts rank in search engines. The higher the number of total visits, the more you’re connecting with readers through awesome headlines and Google searches.

As your blog grows, compare the number of visits to each individual page against each other. Analyze the different aspects of successful blog post, and see if there is a common thread. For example, maybe a certain word length, headline format, or topic performs better with readers. Moving forward, you can use this information to steer your strategy, update less popular blog posts, and craft new articles.

2. New subscribers

For most companies, blog posts serve as the entrance point to the sales funnel. They build trust between the reader and the writer, which creates a foundation for a longstanding customer relationship. When you write a blog post, it should serve as a jumping off point for a call-to-action (CTA.)

Offer readers the opportunity to sign up for a newsletter through a CTA, which will bring other blog posts, offers, and events straight to their inboxes. Even if you run a blog with the sole purpose of sharing your writing (rather than selling a product or service), these CTA’s are essential to building your community. Check out Hubspot’s simple but effective newsletter sign-up below:

Once you set it up a sign-up, you can link it to a newsletter through MailChimp, Emma, Campaign Monitor, or Constant Contact. Combined with a strong CTA, these different marketing software solutions make it easy to keep in touch with your favorite readers. For each blog post you publish, see how many people it prompts to sign up for your newsletter.

Screenshot of Hubspot's newsletter CTA

3. Average length of stay

Did you know that 55% of visitors only stay on your website for 14 seconds? As people’s attention spans shrink and digital distractions increase, marketers need to work harder to get visitors to take the time to read an entire blog post. There’s a lot of “clickbait” out there — the challenge is to get visitors to stay!

The average length of stay on the blog post’s web page is a metric that gives you an indication of how compelling your blogging is to the reader. To boost your average length of stay and decrease your bounce rate, make sure your blog post easy to read with clear font and a crisp design.

Include a lot of images, graphics, and drop quotations — they encourage readers to scroll down to the bottom of the post. For even an higher metric, add a question to the end of the article to spur engagement. Especially if you talk about newsworthy or cutting-edge topics, people are likely to take an extra moment to make a comment and answer your question.

4. Social shares

A social share is like an old-fashioned referral. Your readers so appreciated your blog post that they want to share it with their community. Through these social shares, you can increase traffic to your website and drive brand awareness.

The more value you provide for the audience through a blog post, the more likely they are to share it with friends. To increase this metric, focus on making your articles actionable and empathetic. Always try to solve a problem for your reader, and you’ll find yourself making a lot more headway through social media.

5. Page views per visit

The intention behind blog posts is to foster awareness and engagement with your brand. It’s a great strategy to grow your business, too. Page views per visit is a metric that quantifies your success at encouraging multiple interactions. As marketing wizard Neil Patel writes, “If a visitor is checking out several pages, chances are they like you. Each post or page they read will increase brand recognition and trust, which will lead to conversions down the line.”

Bloggers and businesses can increase page views per visit by embedding links into blog posts that bring readers to additional articles related to the anchor text. Some expert bloggers like Joanna Goddard at Cup of Jo also include relevant links at the end of each post with a personal “P.S.” Take a creative approach to linking, and you will also increase your SEO!

Screenshot from Cup of Jo showing CTA at the foot of an article

By digging into these five metrics, you learn about the strengths and potential weaknesses of each and every blog post. Empowered with this data, your team can craft content that delights audiences and surpasses expectations every time.

What to do now:

About the author

Nick Lucs is a digital marketing associate at When I Work focusing on social media and content marketing. He also writes at Social Nickel and Des Moines Foodster.

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