• Measures Beyond Analytics: Getting A Well Rounded Picture of Your Sites Success

    Note: this post is a guest post by Ms. Katie Gatto . Your feedback is really appreciated.

    When most people think about how they will measure the success of their blog they look to the numbers that are provided by their analytics.  While these numbers can be a helpful in figuring out your blog’s traffic and its sources, far too many people rely on the measures provided by analytics as a sole source of data.  By doing this you are cheating yourself out of a complete measure for your blog’s success.

    As a conscious site owner your curiosity has, no doubt, been piqued by the idea that there are measures of your sites success that you are missing out on.

    So let’s explore the other measures that can indicate the success of your blog:

    Method One: Your RSS Feeds

    The number of people who are subscribing to your RSS feed gives you an idea of how many people are keeping a watchful eye on your sites content without visiting the site.  They are a large pool of potential visitors.  They will visit when the feed intrigues them with something interesting or unique.  Appeal to them and you can turn observers into regular visitors.

    This can be accomplished by surveying some of your current subscribers to see what piqued their interest, establishing connections with other bloggers or industry experts attracting them to your blog, and creating personas for your blog to really address the needs of interests of your specific subscribers.

    Method Two: Year Trackbacks

    Getting a track back, or a mention of one of your sites postings via a link is both a sign of “street creed’ in the blogging world, and a way to gain new readers for your site.  The more inbound links you have, the better. Monitor your trackbacks to understand where you stand in terms of success of your blog.

    Method Three: Your following

    These are your care of regular visitors to the site and your most loyal readers.  If your blog is hosted on blogger or if you list it in sites like Blog Catalog  you can see this as a clearly defined number.  For those of you without those advantages it may be a bit more difficult to pin this one down. But understand your following, and consistently engage them with questions, posts that appeal to them, surveys, contests, etc.

    Method Four: Your commenter’s

    There are a wide range of people who have sites with above average page views and few comments.  A wide variety of non-spam comments is a sign of healthy engagement with the community and an engaged commentary means loyal readers.  The kind of readers who come back to the site every day. Other good signs to watch for are repeat commenter’s, commenter’s who seem to be familiar with each other and debates between your commenter’s.  This says that people are sticking around.

    Method Five: Do your posts pop up on voting sites?

    Finding a posting on your site with a decent to high rating on Digg, Technorati or Stumble Upon is a sign that you can pique mass interest in your postings.  In addition to being a blank of good content it can also help you to convert more people to the site by discovering it through these voting sites.

    FigPii Heatmaps

    These methods, as a compliment to your analytics data, will help you to get a more accurate view of the success of your site.  You may feel tempted to ignore some of these tools.  After all, some of them are soft measures, not like your safe analytics data.  IAnd indeed, it can be a challenge to measure community engagement or interactions but it is extremely important to define each and measure accordingly. What other measures do you utilize? Have you a found a tool that streamlines all of these measures in one place? Share your thoughts.

Ayat Shukairy

My name is Ayat Shukairy, and I’m a co-founder and CCO at Invesp. Here’s a little more about me: At the very beginning of my career, I worked on countless high-profile e-commerce projects, helping diverse organizations optimize website copy. I realized, that although the copy was great and was generating more foot traffic, many of the sites performed poorly because of usability and design issues.

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Ayat Shukairy

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One thought on “Measures Beyond Analytics: Getting A Well Rounded Picture of Your Sites Success”

  1. Avatar The Open End says:

    Analytics play a large part in understanding how healthy our blog is, but just recently I have learned of the wonders of aggregate sites.

    As for RSS readers and Blog Catalog, these are our weakest showing. The readers fluctuate… I was wondering how you can interpret the data from feedburner, i.e. how can you tell what kind of posts our readers like?

    Also, how can we use Blog Catalog?

    Thanks for the guest post! I’m new here, and I can’t wait for more info.

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