By Rebecca Smith, Marketing Coordinator at Heinz Marketing

Maintaining a consistent blog is a vital piece in your content marketing strategy. Content development shouldn’t just be saved for informative whitepapers, snazzy infographics or tip-filled e-books. Actually, your blog may or may not be your most important piece if done well. That’s why it’s so important to continue to track and monitor your efforts throughout its lifetime.

I like to look at blog reporting in three parts: performance, engagement and channel source. I know there are so many other areas that should be measured, but to keep my head on straight, I’ve narrowed it down to these three. (Content marketers out there—don’t kill me for simplifying so much!)

Performance and Retention—is my blog even being read?

  • Visits: the number of visits to your blog is important to understand who’s actually interested in reading your stuff. And, if you can tell where your readers came from, even better. Understanding if they came in via social, organic search, or whatever channel you broadcasted through can tell you a lot about your audience.
  • Return visits: If your visitors are mostly return visitors, then you’re starting to build that base of followers who like your ideas. That’s awesome! If they are mostly new visitors, it means you’re content promotion is working. Either way, continue to watch this number.
  • Bounce rate: If the content you’re writing resonates with your readers, your bounce rate should be pretty low. If it’s high, maybe change up your subject line or make sure your meta-data is on target with the topic of your blog so Google can keep up with your SEO.
  • time on blog: If the average time on your blog is low, start picking topics that are trending. The content you’re writing about must not be super invigorating for your readers or target audience. So, change it.

Engagement metrics—do readers even like it?

  • Social shares: If your blog is constantly being shipped off by others on social accounts like Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, you’re doing something right. Keep it up! Which source is your blog getting picked up on most? It could tell you a little something about your audience…
  • Conversion: Does your blog sidebar have offers? Are you tracking to see how many people are actually following them through and downloading your other content? One of the reasons you blog is to build credibility online. Build credibility with your free content and eventually your blog sidebar offers will start to get some attention and capture contact info from your readers.

Source—where are they reading it?

  • Channel: It really does make a difference if your readers are viewing your content online or on mobile. If it’s all online, there’s no harm in writing longer articles with meaty substance. However, if it’s mobile, most readers will abandon if the scrolling goes on too long. This can help you to determine what type of content should be creating.

According to DemandMetric, content marketing generates approximately three times as many leads as traditional marketing. It also costs about 62% less than traditional marketing… Content marketing is a powerful tool when done correctly. The ROI when it works is priceless. It just takes a little TLC—tender, love and care—and you’ll have some content to brag about in no time.

What are the metrics and numbers you track on your blog?