You may be writing some great content for your small business blog, but if no one sees it, does it really make a sound? One way to “find” fresh content for your blog is to keep an eye on your traffic sources very closely. As I’ve said before, listen to your readers, and give them what they want. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.
In order to gain the most insight about your traffic, you should consider signing up for an analytics package. In this post, I’ll go over some useful analytics packages you can get for free, as well as tell you what to look for as you go over your reports and lastly, what you can do with that information to drive new, as well as better targeted, traffic to your blog.
What are the best free analytics packages I can use for my small business blog?
- The KOAP (king of all analytics packages) is Google Analytics. I use it for all four of my major blogs and will use it for any new blog I happen to start in the future. It’s that good
- MyBlogLog is another great service that allows you to socialize with your readers. Highly recommended. I’ll probably add a MyBlogLog widget to this blog in the near future as I have for all my others
- If you are willing to pay, there is probably no software better at tracking your readers and their habits than Crazy Egg. The detail in the reports will blow you away. For some others, check out the 10 best free web statistics and analytics packages
What should I look for now that I’m getting receiving traffic data in my analytics package?
- While there are plenty of plugins to assist you in this matter, seeing what posts on your blog are the most popular is the best indicator of how people are using your blog. Though my parenting blog is deeply committed to personal development for fathers, my two most popular posts on that site have to do with marketing your blog with Netvibes and MySpace respectively. The success of the Myspace article encouraged me to write the second a month later, and it has surpassed the original’s popularity in no time
- Where your readers come from is another great piece of information. Not only does it tell you about blogs that may be similar to your own, it tells you where to leave comments to reach even more prospects
- Search engine terms are also vital for coming up with new post topics. If people consistently come to your site through common keyword searches, you may want to focus more time and attention on topics related to those keywords
What can I do now that I know my popular posts and keywords visitors use to find my blog?
- The first thing you should do is highlight your most popular posts, placing them in a prominent position on your blog. Many of the blogging platforms have plugins you can install that will keep track of your top posts and even how many times they have been read, which in turn encourages other readers to click and see why they are your most popular articles
- Next, you should keep a record of your most popular posts and keyword terms visitors use to find your site so that if and when you are having a hard time coming up with new ideas, you’ll have some good reference points to build from
- Lastly, you should keep track of all the steps you took to help make those posts the most popular on your blog. Were they submitted to social network sites? Did you leave comments with links to the article on other blogs? Whatever steps you took will probably work for more of your posts, especially those with similar themes to your popular content
The information found in your traffic details are a goldmine and your most trusted indication of how visitors use your site and what they feel is most useful on your blog. Don’t ignore these numbers. They may very well be the key to exploding your traffic and driving your blog up the ranks of your niche. Remember, marketing is about testing, analyzing numbers, testing some more and finding out what your prospects want from you and then giving it to them. Your blog is perhaps your most visible marketing tool. Give it the respect it deserves and you’ll find yourself with many satisfied new readers with each and every post.