Who’s reading your blog? How much do you know about your visitors and readers, really? This is a very important question to have an answer to, and one that many fail to seek an answer to. Preferring instead to focus on the numbers. But is that enough? Do YOU know who’s reading your blog?Why do you need to know who’s reading your blog?
The more you know about your readers, the better. Why?
It helps you understand who your readers are, what they like and what they don’t. Most importantly, you’ll know what they like to read about. Because of this, you’ll be able to create better content, tailored specifically for them. This in turn, will lead to more social media shares, more comments and engagement on your blog posts, more traffic to your blog, more loyal readers and, most importantly, more sales.
Another important reason is that it will allow you to determine whether you’re getting the right audience on your blog. Are your readers part of your target audience? Do they have the potential to buy from you? If they aren’t the audience you need them to be, you’ll know that you need to change your content marketing strategy to get the types of readers that will help you get results.
Knowing your readers will also help you determine the types of downloadables and freebies that they would best respond to. One of the biggest attractions of a company blog is that it can help you gather lots of email for your subscriber list. And the more you know about your readers, the better content you can create in order to capture more leads.
When it comes to traffic, you can categorize it into two main groupings: quality traffic that actually gets you results and traffic that isn’t taking action. Obviously, it’s impossible to have a blog where 100% of your readers are taking some kind of action; that being said, you should identify and focus more on those traffic sources that are getting you the most results. Now, the question is, how do you identify these quality sources?
How to identify high-quality traffic sources
The best place to start to find out who exactly is reading your blog is with Google Analytics. Go to Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Channels to see where your traffic is coming from. Next, to determine the quality of each channel, you will need to check:
- The bounce rate – the lower the bounce rate, the better a source of traffic is. Ideally, you want users to stay as long as possible on your website. If they’re leaving a page immediately without reading or seeing anything, that’s a big sign of a low-quality traffic source
- The average time spent – like I mentioned previously, a good traffic source usually also implies that people spend enough time on your website to actually read something or take some kind of action. If they’re only spending seconds on your blog, that means you’re not getting enough results from them
- Number of pages visited – the goal of a company blog is to ultimately get readers to explore more of your website and, hopefully, also take some kind of action. If your traffic from a certain source is rarely going beyond the initial linked page, it’s another sign of a low-quality traffic source
- Goal conversion rate and goal completions – this is arguably the most important metric to determine the quality of a traffic source. If a decent percentage of your readers are converting, say over 2-4%, that is another sign of a high-quality traffic source. In order to get data for these two stats, you will need to first set up goals in Google Analytics, which you can do by going to Conversions -> Goals and clicking on “set up goals”. You can even set monetary values to your goals so as to get a better idea of how much these conversions are worth.
Once you’ve identified the best and worst of your quality sources. Try to spend more time focusing on those high-quality sources that actually get you results. After all, getting lots of traffic to your website will ultimately mean nothing if that traffic isn’t actually bringing in any revenue or return on investment.
That’s not to say that you should completely disregard the lower-quality sources; it’s important to have multiple traffic sources. If you’re relying on only a couple of sources and something happens to one of them, you stand to lose most of your traffic.
How to improve your blog to attract more high quality traffic
Your content marketing strategy should be planned with your audience in mind. Provide them with the type of content that they truly value, that gets them to share, comment & engage and particularly, that gets them to take some sort of action.
For example, look at your own content: what is getting the most shares on social media? The most comments? The most traffic? Use your website analytics to determine your best performing content, but don’t forget about social media as well.
Social media and blogging often go hand in hand. So you should use your social media analytics to see which content performs best. I’ll usually use my social media management tool, Agorapulse, to see what my most popular content is, based on engagement and reach:
Engagement is the most important stat to check in this case. Once you determine what your best performing content is, you’ll be able to form a better idea of what kind of content your audience loves best. Then, find the common link between your most successful content: is it the subject you covered? Or the format of your post? You will then be able to use that knowledge to write and create better content.
Another way of finding out what types of content your audience responds to is to use a tool like Buzzsumo:
Search for relevant keywordsto find out what the most successful content is in your niche. Just like earlier on, you can use this knowledge to create better content that will attract more high-quality traffic.
Traffic is more than just about the numbers; just because you’re getting lots of traffic to your blog, it doesn’t necessarily make it a good thing.
Imagine, for example, a bricks and mortar store that gets a lot of foot traffic. They might have a dozen people in the shop at any given moment, but no-one is actually buying anything. Sure, it’s nice that the shop is busy, but does it really help, at the end of the day? Wouldn’t it be preferable to get less people in your shop, but have at least every 1 in 10 visitors buy something from you?
Blog traffic is quite similar – the numbers don’t really matter unless we’re also talking about conversions.
So, do you know who’s reading your blog?