Law firm blogging without measuring results is a waste of time. But when it comes to your blog, there are a whole range of metrics you can consider. In fact, the number of blogging metrics you can get is so overwhelming that tracking them all wouldn’t leave much time for blogging, let alone other important aspects of law firm marketing. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of the 6 most important blog metrics you should track in Google Analytics to measure the performance of your blog. These metrics will provide the insights you need to add context to your traffic data, helping you make more informed, data-driven decisions.
One of the main metrics to track for your blog is sessions, which measure overall traffic to your blog. This statistic essentially monitors visits. You want to understand the number of sessions but also map that data over time and in context. Compare traffic month to month and look for trends. Look at the topics and formats of blog posts from those months that have higher session counts and those that have lower session counts, and identify trends. By comparing session performance to the type of content, post frequency and distribution strategy, you can better refine your strategy moving forward.
In Google Analytics, traffic is represented as pageviews: the number of times your individual blog posts have been viewed. To help you understand which blogs and topics are getting the most attention, simply review the pageviews for each individual post. There are a couple of ways to find pageview data in Google Analytics. If you navigate to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages, you’ll be able to see pageview data for every page on your site. Knowing how much traffic your individual blog posts are getting tells you a couple of things that are important for evaluating the success of your blog:
- It tells you which blog posts are your most popular, which may give you an idea of what topics your visitors might enjoy seeing more of on your blog.
- It tells you which blog posts are your least popular, which may help you decide on topics you shouldn’t cover again or identify posts that may need better titles, more promotion, an update, or an SEO overhaul.
3. Average Time on Page
Here you can understand how long, on average, users spent reading a blog post – which is an indication of overall engagement and quality of content. You can track both the overall average for all of your pages as well as the average time spent on each unique page. Compare blogs with low average times vs. those with high average times and see what the takeaways are. If a particular post has low average time, look at all the components before determining that the topic isn’t interesting. For example, was the content within the post different from what people were expecting based on the title? Was the introductory paragraph not catchy enough? You can also look at average pages per session to get a better feel for whether or not you’re delivering value for your readers.
4. Average Pages Per Session
In Google Analytics, average pages per session tells you the total number of pages that a visitor viewed during their visit (session). Legal marketers can track this metric to find out specifically how many additional pages people tend to view after entering your site via a specific blog post.
If your posts have a low number of pages per session, it may mean that you need to add more internal links to direct visitors to other pieces of content on your site, or it may mean that your offer or CTA wasn’t compelling enough for visitors to click further into your site.
5. Traffic Channels
How are visitors arriving at your blog? In Google Analytics, break down the acquisition channels for each page. High organic traffic tends to indicate SEO effectiveness, while those with a low organic traffic figure likely need better optimization. You also want to understand how email, social, and referral do at generating traffic, and tweak your strategy accordingly.
Although social traffic numbers can provide lots of information about how your content is discovered or shared, we recommend also digging into your social platform’s analytics to gain more insights.
6. New vs. Returning Visitors
Just like with your website, you want to understand who is coming back to your blog and who is a new visitor. Email and direct traffic are good indicators of returning visits, but the Audience Overview tab can give you a breakdown of new vs. returning. For your law firm’s blog to grow, you need increasing numbers in both areas (people returning and subscribing as well as visiting for the first time).
There is so much data available in Google Analytics that it can be hard to know where to focus when measuring your firm’s blog success. We suggest starting with these metrics and tracking them month to month in order to identify trends and make informed, strategic decisions about your blog. These metrics will help you reveal the blog content that attracts and engages your website visitors and the blog content that doesn’t.
If you need some assistance deciphering findings, or getting set up with Google analytics so that you can properly track your law firm’s content marketing campaigns or monitor your website, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.