With dozens of potential content success metrics, understanding organic blog performance isn’t always clear-cut.
Over-reporting wastes time and leaves you with more questions than answers. But only reviewing high-level KPIs like traffic can eclipse critical insights and areas for improvement.
So where do you start?
The blog metrics you track should align with your goals. (What gets measured gets improved, after all.)
Your likely objective for blogging is to increase website traffic, which makes sense considering organic traffic drives more than half of all website visits.
For that reason, focusing on organic blog metrics will help you build a sustainable traffic source and see an exponential return on your efforts.
Concentrate on these 12 metrics to measure and improve blog performance:
- Organic Traffic
- Percentage of Blog Posts with Organic Traffic
- Average Visitors Per Blog Post
- Publish Rate
- Keyword Rankings
- Time on Page
- Pages Per Session
- Bounce Rate
- Conversion Rate
- Leads and Customers
- Page Speed
- Inbound Links
How to Measure Blog Success Using These 12 Metrics
Let's take a more in-depth look at how to measure performance with each of the following blog metrics.
1. Organic Traffic
Organic visitors — people who find your blogs through unpaid search results — is one of the best indicators of overall blog performance.
Search engines analyze hundreds of factors to determine which page best answers a search query.
The amount of organic traffic your blog receives is a direct reflection of the value your content provides to a specific audience.
|Pro tip: Track organic blog traffic monthly to start (or weekly if you publish multiple blog posts per week). To filter blog-only traffic in Google Analytics, create a segment for all landing pages containing “blog” (or the subfolder for your blog posts) from the traffic source “organic.”|
2. Percentage of Blog Posts with Organic Traffic
Organic blog traffic might grow consistently month over month—but that doesn’t mean issues aren’t brewing beneath the surface.
Tracking the percentage of blog posts that generate organic traffic provides a new layer of insight into overall content quality.
If a low percentage of blog posts are producing organic traffic, that means search engines see the majority of your content as low value.
Having a large amount of low-value content could prevent you from ranking for new, more competitive topics or growing domain authority.
|Pro tip: To calculate the percentage of blog posts that generate organic traffic, take the number of blogs that generate more than 10 visitors per month and divide by your total number of published blogs. For example, 30 traffic-driving blogs out of 200 means only 15% of your blog site is producing any value.|
3. Average Visitors Per Blog Post
How many new visitors does an average blog post receive in a month?
You should aim to drive traffic to most of your webpages, and documenting average views per blog post gives you insight into traffic distribution.
For example, your top-performing blog post might bring in 5,000 visitors per month. But if you have 50 others that drive little to no traffic, that average will look much lower.
|Pro tip: Compare this metric to your blog publish rate to determine whether more blogging results in more visitors per blog post. If your “average visitors” metric goes down as production rises, you might be sacrificing quality for quantity.|
4. Publish Rate
How many blog posts can your team generate in a week or month?
Publish rate allows you to track your production velocity. If you can directly tie publish rate to improved business results and outcomes, you have leverage to advocate for more blogging resources.
5. Keyword Rankings
Keyword rankings indicate how well your blog post answers a search query or intent. But regularly reviewing hundreds of keyword rankings can lead you to analysis paralysis.
|Pro tip: Use tools like Moz or SEMrush to track the primary topic or subtopic targets for your blog posts, and add tags to filter blog keywords. (For example, add the tag “Blog” to the keyword target for each blog post, so you can see all blog-related keywords in one view.)|
Review your blog keyword rankings, movements and featured snippets weekly. To track progress over time, you can choose to record the number of page 1 or position 1-3 blog rankings you’ve generated each month or week.
6. Time on Page
Search algorithms weigh post-click behaviors when analyzing pages to surface in SERPs. These are the actions a user takes after clicking through to your website from search.
Time on page refers to how long visitors spend on your blog post, and to search engines like Google, this can signal the value of the content to users.
|Pro tip: Track the average time on page monthly, and regularly drill into high and low performers. If you notice users are spending more or less time on certain types of topics, take note.|
7. Pages Per Session
Just as you want to encourage visitors to read and engage with your content, you also want them to click through to more pages on your website.
Pages per session is another behavioral metric that reveals how many pages a visitor navigated to after landing on your blog post.
High engagement signals your content is high-value to search engines — and means visitors are more likely to convert into leads.
|Pro tip: Record the average pages per session across your primary topics each month. Review blog posts with high and low pages per session to distill potential areas for learning or improvement.|
8. Bounce Rate/Unengaged Sessions
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of website visitors that exit after visiting a single page. Blog posts often result in higher bounce rates because they’re informational.
Following the 2023 GA4 update, bounce rate will be calculated differently—as the percentage of unengaged sessions.
Google defines an engaged session as “a session that lasts 10 seconds or longer, has 1 or more conversion events, or has 2 or more page or screen views.”
With GA4, the new calculation method for this metric will provide a more useful measure of how customers interact with your website.
|Pro tip: Engage users by focusing your content on user intent. Check in on averages monthly and take note of blog posts with higher and lower engagement rates than average. Focus on directing users to other relevant content on your site to discourage early abandonment.|
9. Conversion Rate
Although your immediate goal is traffic, don’t lose sight of your broader blogging purpose: to generate leads and customers.
|Pro tip: Track the average conversion rate across your blog posts. Review the topics and types of blog posts that are more likely to lead to conversions, and add more of that type of content to your schedule.|
If you notice new visitors aren’t converting on highly trafficked blog posts, add more compelling offers, content downloads or reasons to take the next step.
10. Leads and Customers
Conversion rate reveals the percentage of visitors that become leads—whether they subscribe to your blog, download a content offer or purchase your product.
But you also want to know the number of leads and customers that your blog actually produces.
|Pro tip: Using your average blog conversion rate, you can quantify how many customers you expect your blog to drive every month. Tying marketing metrics like “visitors” to leads and customers creates a strong business case to invest resources in blogging and helps you gain stakeholder buy-in.|
11. Page Speed
Google began analyzing page speed as a ranking factor in July 2018, noting that faster pages provide a better user experience.
Page speed also directly correlates with abandonment (or the rate of users leaving your page), making fast-loading pages even more critical.
|Pro tip: To track this blog metric, filter your blog posts by page speed in Google Analytics. Use PageSpeed Insights to identify what’s causing your pages to load slowly, and fix those errors. Update your blog production process to prevent factors like large images that slow down your blog post loading time.|
12. Inbound Links
Links from authoritative websites to your content serve as trust signals.
Inbound links also help build page and domain authority, which directly affect rankings and traffic. Aim to produce content that gets found and referred by other reputable websites, such as primary research or data reports.
|Pro Tip: Use SEO tools like SEMrush and Moz to track the number of inbound links and linking domains to your website.|
Blogging fuels your inbound marketing funnel.
But without measuring the results of your efforts—from traffic to leads to customers—blogging can often get deprioritized for more immediate revenue drivers.
Prioritizing these metrics will help you focus on driving traffic, build a strong business case for blogging and influence real business outcomes.
If you’d like to have someone in your corner, we’re ready to help! From selecting the most appropriate metrics for your blogs, to crafting a personalized content strategy, our content marketing team is all in! Connect with us today to learn why Human is the best strategic fit for your business.