One of the things that you must have for your business and corporate blog is the ability to measure it’s performance and whether or not it’s doing what you had hoped it would do.
These things may include the following:
- Active Readers via RSS (Try Feedburner)
- Active Subscribers via Email (Try MailChimp)
- Newsletter Subscribers
- Twitter followers
- Facebook Likes
- Number of Pageviews, Unique Visitors
- Popularity, Social Proof
- And many others.
All these things can help you understand if you’re doing a good job and if using the blog is, in fact, helping you to increase sales, convert viewers into followers, and create more customer demand for your products and/or services.
For starters you’re going to want to at least have some analytics packages (like Google Analytics and Jetpack, if you use WordPress) as well as make sure you’re hooked into all of the Webmaster Tools that are available, especially Google Webmaster Tools.
For Twitter you can have things like TwitterCounter that can help you track your follower stats and use Facebook’s built-in Insights tool that will give you a better idea of engagement:
It truly is incredible that many of these services are actually free to users!
Finally, some suggest the use of third-party popularity metrics and statistic engines like Alexa, Quantcast, and Compete – I have not found any of these to be even close to accurate and do not use them at all to provide me anything of any value. There have been enough reports about the inconsistencies and relative uselessness of them to help you determine their true value.
The most important part when all is said and done is that you do, in fact, have some measurements to stand on and that your goals are explicit and clear. It’s simply not enough to have your goal be: “Let’s get a bigger audience via our blog folks!” – what exactly are you really measuring? How will you know if you’re doing it well enough? What does that even mean?
Be specific, explicit. The more measurable the better. Good luck!
[This is part of the Building a Killer Business and Corporate Blog Series.]