Does Your Content Travel?
Manny Pacquiao has reach. Companies have reach on social media. Blogs have reach, too, as it turns out. It’s much more difficult to quantify, but growing your audience and traffic will improve your site’s SEO, which is bound to result in some serious ROI. Inspired by the research of Anne Holland, Content Director of Marketing Sherpa, we’ve outlined the basics of the 6 components that can influence your blog’s reach, and why they matter more than you think:
Aggregating the number of blog views each month is not the most effective inbound marketing analytic for determining success. First of all, where are they coming from? Paid traffic from PPC campaigns isn't an effective measure of blog reach, so it shouldn’t be considered. The following forms of blog traffic are a much more effective measure of how people are getting to your website:
Referred Traffic: Any time your website is mentioned on another website in a link, how much traffic are these inbound links driving?
Organic Traffic: When a prospect reaches your company blog through Google, Bing, Yahoo or another search engine due to typing in a phrase, this is known as organic traffic. You’ve naturally earned the attention of these potentials due to high-quality content that Google ranked well.
Direct Traffic: If someone types “www.yourcompanyname.com” into their internet browser to land at your website deliberately, this is known as direct traffic.
Social Traffic: How many shares is your content receiving on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks, and how many people is it driving to your page?
Why you should care: Sure, you could be ranked #1 for every obscure long tail key phrase about heirloom beets possible, but if all of your blog traffic is coming from Pinterest or another blogger’s content, it could be time to refocus and recalibrate.
2. Inbound Links
If you’re writing great content that adds value to your niche, there’s a really strong chance people are going to link to it. Not every inbound link is going to drive traffic, but most will increase your website’s SEO. Keep a close eye on your back link profile as a gauge for how your content is adding value.
Keep it mind that it’s not about how many links you’re generating but also who's linking to you. A single link from a high-influence blog could be worth more than 50 mentions on a low-traffic website.
Why it Matters: Inbound links are no longer the end-all, be-all of SEO, but they still matter a great deal. Use links as a gauge to find out your reach as well as the types of content you’re writing that people want to link to. As an added benefit, keeping a close-eye on your backlink profile can have the added benefit of ensuring you’re able to quickly catch links from “bad neighborhood” websites (adult topics, foreign languages and gambling) that could result in Google thinking you’re a Spammer.
3. Keyword Search Position
What keywords are you trying to optimize your site for, and how are you doing at achieving this goal? If no one Tweets or links to your content, you’re probably not ranked very high.
Why it Affects You: Search rank for terms that matter in your industry is really a holistic view of how you’re doing at content creation and SEO for bloggers as a whole.
4. Personal Search Position
How are you ranking for your blog’s name, your company name and your personal name? Have you earned Google authorship? While personal rank can vary wildly due to how common your name is, it’s a safe bet to assume you’re doing really well if you’re ranked on the first page of results by first name alone.
Why You Should Monitor this: While personal search position isn’t everything, the more high-quality content you create and publish under your name, the higher you’ll be ranked in Google. If you’ve got an eye on personal branding or achieving a status as a thought leader, personal search position is important.
It’s an abstract measure that’s nearly impossible to quantify, but your voice matters. Does Seth Godin have the most-read blog on the internet? I’m sure the answer is no. Is his influence over entrepreneurs and marketers more significant than many other websites with more traffic? Most likely, yes. Voice is a subjective measure, but content written by thought-leaders and experts often has significant share of voice in their industry.
Why it Matters: We all want to be thought leaders. Though it’s impossible to quantify, if your content is influencing real-life decisions, it’s indicative of powerful voice.
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