One of my clients recently got a new VP of Marketing and she wanted me to pull some information from their Google Analytics account about the impact their blogging efforts have had on their site.
Like many companies, content creation had proven to be one of the most difficult SEO challenges they had faced in 2012. Each blog post had to be approved by a series of product managers to ensure accuracy which usually meant it got lost somewhere in the chain of command.
It wasn’t unusual for approval to take 3-4 weeks which meant their content marketing campaign never really got the traction it needed to be a as successful as it could have been. But I knew that when a blog post did finally manage to go live it was having an impact.
We’d promote it through social media, submit it to various LinkedIn Groups and social bookmarking sites and so forth and the days that posts went live there always seemed to be an uptick in traffic.
With a new VP of Marketing my client finally had the internal support she needed to push blogging with the rest of the company. I just needed to pull the numbers! What I ended up doing was digging through their Google Analytics account to pull the numbers for several individual blog posts that had gone live in the past few months. One of the blog posts looked like this:
Now I can guess what a lot of you are thinking: Only 42 unique visitors in a month?! What good is that? But that’s the danger of siloing your analytics away and not thinking about the big picture when it comes to measuring the impact of your blogging efforts.
Yes, this one blog post only got 42 unique visitors in the last month but you’ll notice that after the initial flurry of activity from when the post when live it had two smaller spikes of activity.
My client wasn’t re-promoting their content; those spikes happened naturally. It’s important to remember that good content is still good content months down the road and provided it was well optimized it can drive organic traffic for a long, long time. That’s the long term value of evergreen content—as long as it’s relevant it will continue to send targeted traffic your way.
There are evergreen blog posts on the Brick Marketing blog that still send 5-10 unique visitors a day. Multiple that by 365 days a year and you’re suddenly looking at anywhere from an extra 1825-3650 visitors each year, all from one blog post!
Also keep in mind that this is 42 visitors from one blog post. Let’s say my client has written another 4 posts on top of this. Even if those posts only averaged 40 unique visitors that’s an extra 160 unique visitors to the site that month! Suddenly 42 visitors doesn’t seem like such a small number, does it!
Digging further into Google Analytics also showed me how many visitors were coming from various sources like organic search, LinkedIn, Twitter, direct traffic and so forth. I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of the blog posts was getting visitors to spend an average of 8 minutes on the site! In the online world 8 minutes is practically an eternity.
That told me that the content my client was writing was hitting the right note with their target audience. The fact that organic visitors were finding the blog posts also told me they were optimizing them well and targeting the right keywords.
When all was said and done I had some pretty good looking reports for my client to show her new VP of Marketing and the rest of her product marketing team. Although the numbers weren’t going to blow the doors off anyone when you put them into real context suddenly 42 unique visitors sounds pretty great! Just goes to show you that you can’t always take the numbers at face-value. Sometimes you have to do a little actually analysis to see the real story.
Photo credit: reworkengine.com
Bio: Nick Stamoulis is the President of Boston SEO agency Brick Marketing. With 13 years of B2B SEO experience Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by writing in the Brick Marketing blog and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by 150,000 opt-in subscribers. Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or email@example.com.