There are many metrics for blogs and websites, some of which we covered in the article How To Use Statistics And Metrics To Improve Your Blog. In practice, concentrating on just a few key metrics narrows your focus and will make optimising your site easier. Here, we show you how to measure the important indicators, in order to perform a full site evaluation for the best outcome.
- About key metrics (figures in your site data)
- How to influence these
- Tips for interpreting key metrics for affiliate marketing
The Big Five Figures
Your most important indicators depend on the particular type of website you operate. You need to define your targets and be clear about precisely what you want to achieve with it. Based on what you determine these key indicators to be, you can then go about trying to achieve your specific goals. – eg, to increase the revenue of a blog with affiliate marketing.
Typical Indicators Of Blog Success
- Sessions: number of visits from readers in a given period
- Page views: number of posts/pages visited in a given period
- Traffic from Google: visitor numbers from ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ searches
Useful Affiliate Marketing Metrics
- CTR: This stands for Click Through Rate and is the percentage of visitors to a page who click a particular link
- Conversion rate: a percentage value that indicates how many ‘clickers’ actually go on to make a purchase
Impact on These Indicators
To positively influence these key indicators, it’s time to take some action on your website. Follow these tips on how to optimise the five indicators mentioned above. You could then, for example, test different styles of articles to see which gain the most views, or which types of links convert better.
You want the number of visits (sessions) to increase naturally, through being found in the search engines. The more visitors to your blog, the more likely it is that some of them will click an Affiliate Link. Use all marketing and promotion measures at your disposal: make use of social media; target Pinterest and Instagram if you feature many of your own photos on your blog.
If your blog is more business-orientated, then LinkedIn is a good choice. Ultimately, the majority of your visitors will come from good on-page SEO, simply because you get more visitors when you are found ranking highly in the search engines. This will almost always be your number-one source of free traffic to your website.
This key metric is the number of pages or posts that a visitor looks at when they visit your website. In order to increase the number of page views, include internal links (that is, links between pages on your site). You can easily link related articles together; you can link from older reviews to newer products and also by doing comparisons, or by creating Top Five or Top 10 tables or list features. Try showing related items at the bottom of your articles. You could use WordPress’s Related Posts plugin. Of course, creating new articles for the most popular items and topics is another good way to increase page views.
To increase the number of visitors from search engines, optimise your site. First, take care of on-page SEO measures: include related meta tag content, better internal linking and inlcude important keywords in the text and optimise filesize of images, video and other similar elements.
For any affiliate marketeer, increasing the click through rate (CTR) is an important first step to earning more revenue. As a general rule, you should include Affiliate Links in your blog articles, but not overuse them. Yet most articles and especially all product reviews should contain at least one Affiliate Link.
In some articles, you can add several links and test if this improves the overall CTR even further. Another useful tool is the so-called ‘Call To Action’. For example, during a product presentation, you can include a very clear Affiliate Link telling the visitor what to do. Try to make this stand out, by using something like a coloured button with a ‘Click Here’ or a ‘Read More’ label.
When it comes to the conversion rate on your website, you only have a limited influence, because the conversion, ie, the purchase of the product, takes place in the online shop. Nevertheless, you can influence conversion by gaining the trust of the visitors by writing fair and impartial product reviews. It’s always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the entire purchasing process. Understanding the buying process and creating content with it in mind can help increase the conversion rate.
Test each Affiliate Link you build and make a note of those with the best conversion rates. It also worth knowing and including on your website the flavour of the content that is available on the actual store page. So, for example, include product images so that they’re familiar to the user when they move from your website to the actual store of purchase. This will reinforce the connection between your site and the store and make for a smoother transition into the buying experience.
These measures to optimise key figures and metrics are not set in stone and don’t guarantee success. For best results, always accurately test and evaluate key metrics to find out what improvements work best for your type and style of website. Tools like optimizely.com allow you to test metrics and also indicate how reliable and significant any results are.