I was chatting with Ann (she of the SEO Smarts) the other day about measuring social media efforts. What follows are a few ideas on how to measure that, as well as a related metric that might help you identify linkerati who’ve visited your blog. If you like this post, I encourage you to subscribe. My other material is just like this.
1) Longtail searches to new deep links. Frequently, I’ll read something, find it interesting enough to link, but won’t necessarily bookmark it. Or perhaps I’m feeling lazy and it’s easier to search Google than my bookmarks. Whatever the case, traffic referrals that show longtail queries with hyper-specific intent are often a presage to getting a link. People look for something they already saw before they’re about to link.
By taking note of these searches and the IPs they’re coming from, then checking backlinks to that page in the subsequent days/weeks, you can likely find out who the IP belongs to. In the future, you can show that person your best content in the aims of getting more links, show them a “welcome you awesome linkerati” message and so on. I’m sure you guys can find other worthwhile uses for IDing visitors in this way – and if you do, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
2) The number of unique visits by a given person (based on IP, ISP, geolocation, screen size, browser, resolution) prior to subscribing (RSS or email). It took me reading lots of Skelliewag’s guest posts around before I subscribed to his feed. The reason is that people usually need to be convinced of the consistent quality of a blog’s content before subscribing.
To measure this, you would use some click-tracking in combination with analytics.
On a related note, the plugin that shows new visitors a ‘you’re new, why don’t you subscribe’ message is likely not that effective for most people. That’s because the default setting is three visits, and imho, it takes more than three before someone is convinced enough to subscribe. I had to see about a dozen of Skellie’s posts before getting the feed! Then again, I tend to be a skeptic and thus a late-adopter, so for the average folk, it’s likely to be a half-dozen – 10 times.
Another related point is considering the # of page views per visit, and especially the frequency of return visits (sometimes termed the loyalty of your visitors). As analytics expert (and recent email correspondent !) Avinash Kaushik can tell you, the “stickiness” of your content and its pull aren’t such great success metrics. However, they do measure how much of the content people consume. Usually, people will consume lots of it if it’s really good. Coincidentally, they also subscribe if it’s really good…
3) Frequency of Sphinn front paging/StumbleUpon orgies. (This latter colorful term is courtesy of my friend X). This relates to the speed of daily traffic and feeds growth. SSS did 0 – 700 in only a few months. That was achieved, afaik, with near-daily front paging for a month or more! And again, obviously, this was because he pumps out some seriously killer content.
This can be pretty good as a predictor of traffic and future subscriptions, assuming you keep it up.
Incidentally, I’m not sure this is entirely original, as Neil Patel has mentioned that you need to hit Digg’s front page several times in a week to have a maximal impact. While I think he was talking about it in a link-building context, he may also have meant it regarding subscribers, but I can’t find the reference, unfortunately – please do post it in the comments if you have it. I’ll update this post and give some linky-love to whoever finds and posts it first, with whatever anchor text you want (just no pills, porn or poker)!
Come back tomorrow for my Top 20 Reasons to Brave RSSands. (aka: Won’t you please subscribe? Pretty please? With a cherry on top? I’ve got good – some might even say influential – stuff, really and truly! )