Here at Brainjar Media, we don’t try anything unless we can measure it’s success. Blogs, Facebook, YouTube all have basic measuring tools regarding your traffic or exposure, but the real value is knowing specifics and if you are hitting your goals. For example: Are your blogs capturing the attention of search engines? Is Facebook growing your audience? Are links from other websites, like YouTube, bringing traffic to your site. Fortunately you can get an overview on all three of these metrics with a single free tool called Google Analytics.
If you do not have it installed, you need to, because the power of measuring you website analytics goes far beyond what is discussed in this post. Even if you are not ready to hire an professional social media specialist today, they will thank you when you are ready. Click to learn how to install Google analytics.
Let’s look at the metrics we mentioned earlier:
1. Are your blogs capturing the attention of search engines?
Ultimately the purpose of your blog is to establish authority in your industry and create more “doorways” into you website. A website, at best, usually tops at 10-15 pages. When you add a blog to website and post once a week, at the end of a year you will have a website that will have over 62-67 pages. The more pages you have on your website the more paths or “doorways” you have to your content.
An easy way to determine if your blog post are bringing traffic to your website is check out your Top Landing pages. In Google analytics you can find this at Behavior>Site Content>Landing pages. What you are looking for is pages on the list that are not your home page and if your blogs are attracting the search engines, your posts should dominate the list.
2. Is Facebook growing your audience?
Think of Facebook like a bullhorn or a circus barker, it’s purpose is to get people inside the tent (to your website). In other words, Facebook tells you about the bearded lady, but if you want to see her you have to go to the website. It is a tool to announce things to your customer base. If your content has value it will grow and and send new people to your website.
how do you know Facebook is pulling more people in? Google Analytics comes to the rescue again. In this case you need to compare one time period to another. It can be this week vs. last week or this month vs. last month, either way you want to compare to similar time periods. In analytics set the dates you want to compare and then click on Acquisition>Overview. You will get a nice pie chart that tell you how mush traffic is coming form your social media, and since you selected the date comparison you will see if that percentage of traffic has grown.
3. Is websites like YouTube bringing traffic to your site?
This metric can be used to determine if any website is bringing traffic to your website. Maybe you have joined a chamber of commerce or listed you website on a web directory. This same tool can measure if paying for that link is worth it. We picked YouTube, because YouTube is a definite time investment and if you decide to market through YouTube you will definitely want to make sure it is working.
Google analytics has a measuring tool that can list the top referrals to your website. Go to menu Acquisition>Referral Traffic and you will see the top ten referrals to your website, and if you have a “real” social media strategy you will recognize these top ten referrals, because hopefully you cultivated them and in some cases like YouTube created these back-links yourself.
There are definitely ways to dig deeper, but these three metric will help determine if you are capturing the attention of search engines, building your audience on Facebook and determine where your top traffic is coming from.
Guy Edwards is owner of Brainjar Media, a web development company that specializes in SEO and social media marketing.