Table of Contents
- Blog metrics that matter
- Hits, Traffic, Views
- Blog Post Comments
- Email list growth
- Over to you
- Health & Wellness Pros:
- I’ll help you get more readers to sign up for your email list and attract more ideal clients using your blog posts.
- Announcing: Blog Post Optimization Plan
- Find out more about the Blog Post Optimization Plan.
- Need an article for YOUR health blog fast?
- Consistently publish, even on those weeks when you just don't have the time. Check out April's featured "done for you" pre-written health article for YOUR site
- Want a different topic?
- Did you enjoy this post?
Blog metrics that matter
If you spend time blogging for your health & wellness business, you have a goal, right? The time you spend on blogging is time you’re NOT spending doing other “money making activities.”
This means you have a goal for your blog. It’s to grow your business by growing your “know, like, and trust” factor with your audience. It’s to demonstrate your expertise and stand out online. It’s to use your blog as a content marketing machine to grow your subscribers and clients.
And, if you’re a nerd like me, you surely want to make decisions based on objective measurements – not myths, old hypotheses, and/or gut instinct! (This goes for sales/marketing strategies AND health/wellness strategies based on research!) 😉
If you blog for business, you need to measure success. But, what are the blog metrics that matter?
There are SO MANY things you can measure when it comes to your blog: traffic, comments, opt-in sign-ups, etc.
In part 1, let’s go over some of the basic blog metrics that you can use to measure:
- How valuable your blog actually is,
- What you can do to make it even more valuable.
Hits, Traffic, Views
The first metric is the easiest – how much traffic does your website get overall. But, more importantly, how many people click to read each page and post?
How to measure traffic
These are important to know because if you drill down to individual posts and pages, you’ll know which ones to make more of. Especially if your blog posts are strategically planned to support your business, and give a free opt-in incentive to have your readers join your email list and potentially become clients. More on these below.
You should run these numbers regularly because recent blog posts will have less traffic than older ones, but they can surpass them over time. It’s important to keep a pulse on what’s going on in your market because things can change quickly online.
How to encourage more hits, traffic, and views
The two main things that entice people to click on your blog post are your headline and your image.
To improve your headline you need to make it really catch the attention of your ideal clients. I listed a bunch of headline tools here.
To improve your image you can find some great photos, use some branded graphic design skills, and make sure that image works for you as I outlined in this post.
Getting started with A/B testing
The GREAT thing you can do to really hone in on what works for your audience is test two options equally and see how they play out. Put on your “scientist hat” (or safety goggles, actually) and create two options (two headlines OR two images, not both). To reduce bias, make sure you test just two options and give each an equal shot. One of the options is called “A” and the other is called “B.”Are you using A/B testing to measure your blog metrics? If not, here's how to start! #ABtesting #blog #metric Click To Tweet
Here’s a quick note on bias from my post about increasing credibility:
The scientific process is a way to do research and study things as objectively as possible. Not based on personal opinions, individual experiences, or philosophical positions. But on observations; or better yet, experiments.
By conducting experiments. And making them as un-biased as possible (e.g. using control groups, double-blinding, statistically accounting for confounding variables, etc.) is how it strives for objectivity.
Here’s one example how I use A/B testing – it’s for my email subject lines.
I use ConvertKit (aff) as my email autoresponder program. They allow me to A/B test my email subject lines. To do this I enter two options (see image below). Then, when I send out the email, at first, it only sends it to 30% of my subscribers. One headline is sent to 15% and the other is sent to the other 15%. After four hours, it automatically chooses the best performing subject line and sends that “winner” to the remaining 70% of my email list.
If you’re considering switching up email autoresponders to ConvertKit, here’s my affiliate link where you get the same price and service, and I get a small commission. 🙂
But, you DON’T need special software to do this! You can use your social media followers! You can poll your FB or Tw followers. Or better yet, send one headline out one day, and the other on another day. Then see which one gets more “likes,” clicks, and comments (also known as “engagement).
PRO TIP: Just as observational nutrition studies that ask people what they ate (e.g. with a “food frequency questionnaire”) don’t give objectively accurate results, asking people to vote on a headline will give you less accurate data than if you just do the experiment and try different headlines out. This is why I share when I come across some great new nutrition studies that are high quality experiments, like the SMILES trial I shared on Instagram here.
To test the effectiveness of your images, you apply the same principle!
Make two images and share them with the same people, but on different days. See which images get more engagement. Do this every week, and when you start to see a pattern, start creating more images with the more popular look.
Blog Post Comments
Getting comments on your blog posts is another form of engagement. It shows that you’re opening a conversation with your readers, and not just lecturing. #okforuniversityprofs #notokforbloggers
When you get comments, good or bad, they’re a gift! They show you that your blog post was, at least partially, read. And, the reader took the time to share their reaction with you and the rest of your blog readers. Even if they emailed you privately, it’s still a gift!When you get comments on your blog posts, good or bad, they're a gift! #blog #comments #engagement Click To Tweet
Hearing what your readers have to say is a great form of market research for you. Listening to their thoughts in their words is perfect!
Don’t forget to respond, or at least acknowledge, every single one. Here you can see I have 10 comments on this post, which is, in fact, five comments and my personal response to each of them. Feel free to comment on the bottom of this blog post too! 🙂
How to measure comments
I haven’t found a way to automate this (please share if you have, in the comments, of course!). You can log comments in your editorial calendar for each blog post. This will give you metrics to know which of your posts got the most comments, so you can have a closer look to review what exactly you did in that post that you can continue to do more of for future posts.
Was the post more emotional, timely, personal, controversial? What was it that readers commented on? Whatever it was, do more of it!
How to encourage more comments
First of all, ask for them! At the end of all of my posts after my conclusion and “signing off” I have a section called “Over to you” where I ask specific questions to encourage a conversation with my readers.
I want to know what you think!
Another way to get more comments is to be more controversial. Hit topics hard with your point of view. If you’re so bold you can also use some of the emotions associated with virality: fear, disgust, and surprise. But PLEASE only do this for credible health information – people who spread fake health news use these emotions for their own personal metrics. You’re better than that, right?
The trend lately is that more readers comment on blog post shares in social media, rather than directly at the bottom of the blog post itself. We’ll talk about that, plus more, in part 2!
Email list growth
This is SUPER IMPORTANT!
Have you heard “the money’s in the list?” Ya, it is! The more people on your email list, the more successful your online business will be.
The entire premise of blogging is to use it as a foundation for using content to market your business – content marketing. And one of the main reasons to write great blog content that will get views, comments, etc is that it also collects email addresses from potential clients.One of the main reasons to write great blog content that will get views, comments, etc. is that it also collects email addresses from potential clients. #contentmarketing #emailmarketing #listbuilding Click To Tweet
How to measure email list growth
The easiest way to measure email list growth is to look at how many people join your email list over time. But this is a really crude metric that won’t tell you much. What we want to know is which blog posts are the most effective at getting people to opt-into your list.
There a couple of ways to measure these metrics.
The simplest way is to have a “please confirm” and “thank you” page that your new subscribers are directed to when they sign up. Then you can see the traffic to those pages. As you can see in my site stats image above, my “thank you” page is the fifth most visited page on my website. As it should be!
To segment this one step farther create categories that link together a blog post with an opt-in incentive with a please confirm/thank you page that relates directly to a product or service you offer.
How to organize your blog and opt-in incentives to increase sales
Here’s how I’m working this: I have three main categories for my blog, each one links to at least one paid product/service. Then I linked an opt-in freebie to each category, along with a “please confirm” page, and “thank you” page.
And I track all of these!
Here’s how you do it:
1 – Look at all of your current (and planned) paid offerings – products, programs, and services. Figure out how they help your ideal client and how they link together. Is one for people starting on their journey toward health and wellness, another for those farther along? Is one for one health goal, and another for a different one? Now create a name for each category of offerings. You probably should only have 2 or 3 in total – don’t spread yourself too thin!
2 – For each category of offerings, create an opt-in incentive specific to it. What is the first step your ideal clients can make that can bring them results in advance toward your paid offering?
3 – Create a new “list” or “form” in your email autoresponder software so you can segment your subscribers based on which category they’re interested in.
4 – Create a “please confirm” and “thank you” page for each of these categories. Set up an email for each to deliver that one opt-in incentive via those two pages on your website.
PRO TIP – Make those pages “non-indexed” so they won’t show up if someone googles your site name and the words “thank you.” Regardless of how someone comes across your free opt-in incentive, make sure it is well-branded to you, has lots of links to your website, and has an offer to purchase your paid offer at the end of it!
5 – Now that you have categories that lead someone from an opt-in incentive directly to a paid offer, you need blog post topics that invite them to see it! What topics can you create (or purchase) for each blog category that simultaneously helps your ideal client with awesome free information, and at the same time really showcases your expertise?
Here’s how my blog and opt-in incentives are aligned
I have two services called the “VIP Health Blog Optimization Plan” and “Content Calendar Coaching.” I have these together in one category called “Strategy & Planning.” For this category, I have an opt-in freebie called “Ultimate Health Blogging Checklist.” This opt-in form is at the bottom of every single blog post in that “Strategy & Planning” category.
When someone signs up with their email address to download a copy of the checklist, they get directed to a “please confirm” page that thanks them for their interest in strategy & planning for their health blogs – not a generic “please confirm” page.
When they confirm in their email, they’re directed to a “thank you” page that thanks them for signing up and delivers the download to them – not a generic “thank you” page.
How to use your email autoresponder to further segment your subscribers
Then, I use my email autoresponder to take this one step farther.
I create several opt-in incentives, including ones specific to a blog post (like the pdf summary download of this post on 60 health and wellness blog ideas you can create in 60 minutes). These are called “content upgrades” because readers can download an “upgrade” to the content they’re reading right now.
Then, I make a new form for each opt-in freebie. This way I can “tag” a subscriber to see which forms/posts they opted into. (This is why I moved to ConvertKit (aff)- it has great capabilities to A/B test headlines, and tag email subscribers without having to create an entire new list for each new opt-in).
You can even take this another step farther and create a new form or tag for every single blog post. Or even every position in every single blog post (e.g. the middle, the bottom).
You can go crazy with tags for your subscribers – but these are GREAT metrics for all online businesses!
Doing these gives you GREAT metrics to know what opt-in incentives in which position in which blog posts in which categories are the highest converting!
Then, when you know which are the most effective, have a look at what makes those more appealing and make more of those!
How to encourage more readers to subscribe to your email list
Ask! Make sure to have an opt-in form at the end of every. single. blog. post. No exceptions!
Also consider adding an opt-in form on your sidebar, and as a pop-up or welcome mat too.
Make sure that your opt-in offer, whether it’s an ebook or recipe guide, is relevant and bridges your post directly to a paid offer that you have. The content of the opt-in has to make sense for someone who reads the post to provide great information, and help them take the first step toward the relevant product or service you have. Better yet – it should help them get results in advance, so they become excited to work with you to see more and more results!
Set up one opt-in offer that leads to one paid offer, and create one of these for each of your blog categories.
And make sure you have some kind of opt-in incentive in every. single. blog. post!
They say what you put your attention on grows, right? So paying attention to the metrics that matter will help you to grow your blog and really use it to better get readers to become subscribers, and subscribers to become clients!
This is part 1 of the series Blog Metrics that Matter – stay tuned for more advanced strategies!
Signing off and toasting: To measuring blogging success with the metrics that matter!
Over to you
Which metrics matter the most to you? Which ones do you already track? Which ones will you start tracking? Have I missed any critical ones (stay tuned for part 2)?
Health & Wellness Pros:
You’ll learn exactly the things you need to turn your blog into a marketing tool that consistently grows your business.
Find out more about the Blog Post Optimization Plan.
Ultimate Health Blogging Checklist
Use your health blog to grow your audience, subscribers, and sales.
Need an article for YOUR health blog fast?
Consistently publish, even on those weeks when you just don't have the time. Check out April's featured "done for you" pre-written health article for YOUR site
2321 words - 32 scientific references (last updated Jan 2018)
Click for preview & references
This article is credibility-building because it's expertly researched, written and edited. Just download, customize, and publish as your own.
NOTE: I cap the sale of each one to a maximum of 50, so every single practitioner with a blog will NOT have these articles!
Sale ends May 1st!
Want a different topic?
I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N., Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health & wellness professionals attract more email subscribers & clients using their blogs. I move them from feeling stumped & overwhelmed to confidently & consistently showing off their expertise. I make credible research-based blogging both strategic & easy, which saves them a ton of time so they can focus on what lights them up in their business & life. To work with me, click here.
60+ health & wellness topics you can create in 60 minutes
Download this checklist for the next time you need a post fast.