3 Metrics Every Blogger Should Be Tracking

Bloggers often ask me what metrics they should be tracking. Google Analytics and other tools provide an enormous amount of data. However, you can quickly get overwhelmed if you aren’t careful.

Google Analytics Inside a Browser - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/gmutlu, Image #16132814

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/gmutlu

In reaction, some bloggers overreact and get too focused on one metric. This is the other extreme.

For example, I recently heard a podcaster say that the only metric that matters is conversion. Certainly, I think conversion is important, particularly when it comes to landing pages. But I think it’s a little more complicated than this one metric.

I pay attention to three metrics:

  1. Traffic. This is usually expressed as monthly unique visitors or monthly pageviews. These metrics are the ones that are the most important to advertisers. Therefore, they are important to me.

    I focus on unique visitors when it comes to my overall blog but pageviews when I am analyzing individual posts. Both are important. They are just two different ways of assessing traffic.

    The one metric that doesn’t matter is hits. This simply refers to the number of “server requests” a browser makes to display a page. If someone lands on one of my blog posts, for example, each component of the post—images, external files, etc.—counts as a separate hit.

    A pageview, on the other hand, refers to a visitor viewing a specific page, regardless of the number of components (i.e., files or images) that make up that page. This is the metric that matters.

  2. Engagement. I use number of comments as a proxy for engagement. The more comments, the more people are engaging with a particular post. (Side note: there is usually a correlation between traffic and the number of comments.)

    If your readers don’t find your content compelling, they usually won’t bother commenting. Instead, they bounce off the post and move on to something else.

    Comments are important because they indicate whether or not your content is resonating with your readers. They are also important because they provide “social proof,” particularly if you display your comment counts prominently on the blog post. (I do this next to the post title.)

    In other words, if your readers see a lot of comments, they think the post is important—or at least popular. Readers use it as a filter to decide whether or not something is worth reading. (This is also why I recommend not displaying your comment counts if they are low. They can actually discourage people from reading further.)

  3. Shares. I specifically track the number of times a post is shared on Twitter and Facebook. I also display these next to the title. Part of the reason is to encourage more sharing; the other part is to provide additional social proof.

    Again, people assume that a post must be important if people are taking the time to share it with their networks. But, like engagement, this also can work against you if the numbers are low.

    In a sense, shares are the most important metric for me. I want to create content that people not only read but feel compelled to share. Twitter and Facebook are important to me. LinkedIn, Google+, or Pinterest might also be important, depending on your audience.

Metrics can distract you if you let them. There is no end to the data. That’s why I recommend focusing on these three. You can do a deep dive into the other metrics on occasion, but these are the three I monitor daily to see how my blog is doing.

Question: Where do you need the most work? Traffic, engagement, or shares? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Shares has been my weakness.  It’s been a struggle to get a consistent sharing of my content yet traffic has been steady and comments are a plenty.

    And you’re right. Statistics can be distracting. Even if you’re only tracking a few. I love to see numbers and find myself visiting Google Analytics to see the newest numbers for the site.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      This is why it is important to create a headline that works on Twitter. They are almost one and the same. Thanks.

      • coachbyron

        Light bulb moment!  “Make your Headline Sharable on Twitter. Just another reason headlines must be compelling and provoke curiosity.  Makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the post Michael. 

      • Jacey Verdicchio

        What do you mean by a headline that works on Twitter?  Do you have a previous blog post on this topic?  Thanks!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          I just mean one that is catchy and gets people to click. You only have room for the headline on Twitter (perhaps a little more), so if it’s not good, no one will click the link and you won’t get any traffic.

          • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

             Do you mean the title of the post?

          • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

             Also, what are your thoughts for following people on twitter? Is it better to follow everyone who follows you or to only follow the people you actually want to read?

            Just wanted to know your opinion from a blogging standpoint.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

            I only follow the people I am really interested in keeping up with.

          • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

            Gotcha! Right now, I am following 86 people right now. It is a mixture of people I see on a daily basis and those I want to keep up with. I also have a few that are not that interesting. What do you think is the right amount of people to follow?

          • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

            I can’t really give you a hard and fast rule. It all depends on your purpose and capacity. One of the things about lists is that you can add people to lists and essentially follow them without actually following them.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

         I know in my head the order of importance as to what to focus on.
        1) Headline. 2) Opening sentence or paragraph. Knowing, understanding, and doing are three separate realities inside my head. On the other hand, I know I need to research my own site and discover where people have responded best.

        • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

          Researching most popular posts on my blog was very helpful.  Really helped me identify what my audience deems valuable.  

      • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

        When I start a post I will write the  title at the top of the page. As I start to write the post I will use what I write to help me massage the title to be more engaging along the way. The title will change 6-10 time in a post before I publish—it helps to let it sit at the top of the page for a few minutes each time.

        I try, doesn’t always work, to think about the title while I am writing the post—not just at the end as an after thought.

      • Dan Erickson

        Maybe that is why my blog activity seems to ebb and flow.  Perhaps I’m getting more readers when I nail the right Twitter headline.

        • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

          Just testing my new gravatar.  It works.

    • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

       Same here…

  • http://mackrillmedia.com/ Jud Mackrill

    Good points. One of the things that is consistent with your posts is the fact that you always point it back to the reader with a question. This invites and builds engagement.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      True, Jud. The question at the end, as long as it’s specific rather than vague, makes the post a dialogue rather than a lecture.

  • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

    I used to give importance to the traffic than the other two. But after reading this, I am planning to focus on these three essential aspects. Thanks for the info, Michael.

    I am getting more traffic for the past three months and the comments circle also shows a positive picture. But 
    I need to work more on the shares. Can you suggest a model ratio for the comment-share circle in order to evaluate the growth rate?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s a great question, Joe. I would have to go back and do some research to get this. One of the things that I am discovering is that Facebook Shares are the single most important Share metric. If I get a lot of them, I know that traffic will be higher than usual. Thanks.

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        That’s an encouraging info about FB shares. Thanks. May be you can bring out a helpful post on the comment-share ratio from your experience and research. 

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          Great suggestion. Thanks.

      • http://www.whiteboardbusiness.com/ Dallon Christensen

        I can vouch for this. I did a post the day I went self-employed full time. I gave it a provocative title (“I’m giving up”), and I posted it to my personal and business FB pages. Several friends shared it, and I had over 150 view on my page that day (I know – it’s a fraction of Michael’s views, but it was big for me! :) ).

        • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

           Your views, Dallon, would be a record breaker for me. But your comment offers some insight as to how to approach the problem.

  • http://www.whiteboardbusiness.com/ Dallon Christensen

    Comments and shares have been tough for me. I’d much rather have a high percentage of my readers share and comment instead of having a lot of views (at least right now). I know that if I have a high percentage of shares/comments now, then it’s just a matter of getting more eyes on my site. I’m using the same approach with my business. I want a high conversion ratio now, because I’ll know what I provide is valuable. 

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I think you are right Dallon. Visitors may be fun, but what matters is how many people get involved.

  • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

    I personally like Twitter better than Facebook. I find Facebook to be difficult to sort through the clutter. But If a post is shared frequently on Facebook, the traffic can be incredible. My post that has seen the greatest traffic was directly a result of people sharing on Facebook.

    As part of engagement I think it is valuable to look at subscribers. If I guest post somewhere else, traffic may increase, but most of these visitors don’t come back. What I am really interested in is how many return and stay involved.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Jeremy, great point. Subscribers should have probably been in my list!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Great point, Jeremy. 

    • http://unknownjim.com/ Jim Woods

      Right on Jeremy. Great advice. 

  • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

    I think I have been guilty of focusing far too little on engagement.  I have a small following of daily readers who comment and share constantly.  But I would really like to see that grow.  I usually (90% of the time) end with a question pointing to the reader seeking comment.

    Do you have suggestions on deepening the tie to the first time commenter?  Emails after they comment thanking them, perhaps?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, that is a good strategy. Unfortunately, you can’t do it automatically with Disqus (the commenting system I use). However, there is a WordPress plugin. I can’t recall the name right now.

  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    I am trying to grow in all three categories, but I believe shares is the big challenge.  Guess I need to purchase the creating headlines book you reference in Platform.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It’s worth the investment.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      me too. It’s been on my order list for a long time! I think Michael refers to it as his “secret sauce.” :)

      • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

        Is it okay if I say that I was being cheap on why I haven’t purchased it yet. Looks like it’s time to put it on my “wish list”.

  • http://www.growing4life.net/ Leslie A

    I am not sure how to track unique visitors and page views as opposed to hits. How should I do this?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      The best way is to setup Google Analytics with your blog. Depending on your blog platform, the steps to do this will be different. (You should be able to Google the steps.) Google Analytics is free.

      • http://www.growing4life.net/ Leslie A

        Thanks for the information. I will give it a try – although I have to admit I am a bit scared of what I will find out! ;) 

        • http://www.growing4life.net/ Leslie A

          I just looked into this, and because my blog is hosted on WordPress.com, I am not able to use Google Analytics.  Do you have any other suggestions or do you think I should move to a self-hosting site?  That is a bit intimidating for me, although I have given it some thought.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

            You can use WordPress.com site metrics. If I remember correctly, they measure unique visitors and pageviews.

          • http://www.growing4life.net/ Leslie A

            Well, to my knowledge they only give hits per page.  But I will check further.  Thanks so much for your help.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

            I just double-checked my own WordPress.com account. They provide pageviews, comments, and shares. Take a look. It should be more than enough to get you started.

  • karin hurt

    I read your Platform book and found it very compelling.  I end with questions and follow a lot of your advice to encourage comments but don’t have many.  It is frustrating because people will tell me offline how much they enjoy the posts.  One theory I have is that if you are not in wordpress you need to sign in to do it, and that seems like a lot of work for folks?  Any suggestions?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, by all means eliminate all the “friction” you can in the reader experience. Don’t require them to sign in or authenticate in any way.

  • Agsteward

    Useful stuff Michael. I do share your Blogs, maybe once/twice monthly. But I rarely comment because I’m a novice here and don’t think I’ve alot to really contribute that’s not already there…so my “comments” are low. I suspect asking provocative/stimulating questions in the content would best stimulate comments?
    david

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, absolutely. I have several suggestions in Chapter 52 of Platform.

      • Dan Erickson

        A friend was supposed to mail me your book.  He hasn’t yet.  I look forward to chapter 52.  

  • http://twitter.com/lornafaith Lorna Faith

    This is very helpful Michael:)  I’ve been writing down the points in your Platform book…big help BTW!  So I’ve made changes to my site, like removing the ‘sign-in’ for readers to comment and switching from feedburner to aweber to organize newsletters, etc. Since my blog is new I’ve only had a few FB shares, so hopefully that’ll increase:) I do ask a question at the end of my posts, but don’t seem to get a lot of comments;(  Do you have any suggestions as to how to increase that number?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Have you read Chapter 52 in Platform? I have a lot of suggestions there. Thanks.

      • http://twitter.com/lornafaith Lorna Faith

        I’ll re-read…thanks Michael :-)

  • http://reedtsmith.com/ Reed Smith

    This is a great starting point. I would also add conversions on calls to action. So it may not be moving product but what did the reader do in response to the post? Comment is certainly one but making sure the post is full of actions is important.

    So sign up for a seminar, visit your speaker page, read another post from a link in the current post, etc. I feel you do a great job making sure you ask the reader to take additional steps.

    Continued engagement is my weakness. I have a very specific vertical that I work in so numbers is not really the goal but ongoing engagement is. If I get the reader they will share it for sure, it’s just getting the reader.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I agree. In fact, this is the most important metric for my landing pages.

  • commoncentsmom

     For me I have always had an issue with both shares and comments, it is my constant struggle but then again I am a little blogger in the big pond

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Keep going.  

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Great post, Michael. Since I’ve been blogging for over seven years, I have relatively good traffic for some of my older posts. It’s the engagement part that has been troublesome for me. The best way to build engagement that I have seen is to use a third party comment system like Disqus that allows you to respond to comments via e-mail. This is huge. To really build engagement for people that are working also requires a smart phone. Where I currently work, social media is blocked, and any non work related web activity is frowned upon. 

    The only way I have been able to actively be a part of commenting has been to respond to comments via my cell during breaks or at lunch. Unfortunately, I have never been able to get Disqus to work with my WordPress blog. Without Disqus, commenting via cell phone to WordPress is cumbersome at best. At home, sitting in front of my computer, the built in WordPress system works well.

    Bottom Line: Having an engagement system that works for you is the key to building traffic. In the real world, this may be tough to do throughout the work day. Having a good smart phone with a data plan may be a necessary expense to build your platform.

    Question: Have you tried the new Disqus interface? Pros-Cons? I want to give it a try with my blog and see if I can get it to work. Hopefully the new system will interface better.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I tried the new Disqus when it released in beta. I don’t like it because it doesn’t allow styling of comments. Hopefully, they will add this.
      With regard to getting Disqus working on your blog, I’ll bet you could hire someone to get this working for $50 to $100 tops.

      • http://intentionaltoday.com/ Ngina Otiende

        I have st

      • http://intentionaltoday.com/ Ngina Otiende

        Sorry for that mixed up entry…”smartphones!”

        I have stayed away from the new Disqus for the same reason…I dont like the style.

        I upgraded to selfhosted WordPress recently from Blogger. My old comments on Disqus have refused to migrate. Still working on how to fix that. but good to see that I can pay sosomeone to fix that.

  • Richard Hartian

    Getting comments, on the blog itself, has been a struggle, getting comments is not. Most of my traffic comes from LinkedIn groups. The majority of comments I get show up in LinkedIn and not my blog. I’ve had posts that have 30+ comments in LinkedIn but zero on the blog itself…I wish there was a way to get the comments to appear on my blog.

    Good stuff Michael…love the Platform book….

    Rich
    http://www.winningagent.com

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Are you re-posting your content within LinkedIn. You might want to consider strategy where you only post an excerpt there, so people have to click over to your blog. Personally, I want the conversation on my “home base” rather than an “embassy.”

      • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

        I need to do that with Facebook, too. I have a ton of people that will read the article and then go comment on facebook.

        • Jim Martin

          Barry, I was thinking the same thing regarding Facebook.  Many days I have more people comment on a post through FB than my blog.

  • http://www.ericamcneal.com/ Erica McNeal

    For me, it is the engagement on my site. I think part of the issue is I just switched to a new domain and am re-building the consistency of people to who come to my website every day to read new posts. I do however, end up with a lot of engagement on Facebook from the same post. This is probably because my posts on FB have been consistent and my friends know I will engage back with them. As I have learned from you, I’ve been trying to end each post with a question to help facilitate engagement. We’ll get there!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Consistency and dialogue are key. Good for you, Erica.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

    On my blog, more comments doesn’t mean more people are engaging with my content. Usually, it just means I had a lengthy chat with one commenter.  

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      CQ,
      Great point. (anyone) Which would you rather have 30 comments on a blog post and 1000 people reading it OR 500 people reading and 100 comments?

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

        A paucity of comments tells me that my readers were simply blown away and rendered speechless by the brilliance of my points.

        That aside, the comments count is a misleading indicator of popularity, as only two commenters (including the post author) can drive up the comments count quite a bit. The number of commenters (not comments) would be a more telling metric.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          I don’t see comments as an indicator of popularity but engagement. They are related but different. Number of commenters would be a good metric if you could get it without a lot of fuss, but I don’t know of a way to do that. Thanks.

  • scottbills

    More of a question than comment.  I usually read your posts via the email I receive and may not visit your online post.  Will you still receive that some way?  Just wanted you to know you have an avid reader of your material who may not be counted at the present time. :)  Occasionally I do comment, but there has definitely been a connection with the material far more times than my comments would indicate.  Thanks for all your work on our behalf.  It shows.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I track my subscribers, so I consider that in my page views. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/debra.l.butterfield Debra L. Butterfield

    I definitely need help in the comment and share department. I know people are reading my posts, pageviews tell me that. However, I cover sensitive topics such as sexual abuse, subjects people want to remain anonymous about. That’s possible to do with comments, but certainly not with sharing. How do I get readers to engage when the topic at hand is so sensitive?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I would allow them to post anonymously or even encourage a “screen name” that is different from their own.

      • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

         I was thinking the same thing. People who have been through abuse will get to a place in recovery where they really want to tell their stories, and try to help others, and being able to do it with anonymity might make all the difference.

  • http://twitter.com/JulieSunne1 Julie Sunne

    My traffic is growing slowly, but engagement and sharing are sporadic, even though I always invite discussion. I imagine if my follower numbers increase, the others will increase as well–as long as my content is well written. It takes a lot to attract people to stay long enough to provide input. Everyone is so busy.

    • Rachel Lance

      You’ve got the right idea, Julie, keep up the day-to-day and you’ll see those numbers grow!

  • http://www.prosperproject.org/ Erica Pyle

    SO helpful! I just started my new blogging site a few weeks ago, and you can certainly find me every morning checking analytics. It’s good to know what to focus on, as you really can get lost in all the different metrics. For me, it’s a full sprint to get all three of the metrics mentioned going in the upward direction. I blog on four specific topics, so right now I’m really focused on determining which topics drive the most visits, shares and comments. It’s helping me to refine what I’m writing about, because – at the end of the day – it really comes down to what people want to read, right?

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Good to hear you focused and looking to be more focused.  That will help big time. 

  • Mark Anthony

    Hey Michael,

    I’ve just finished reading your book and majority of your blog posts. You’ve inspired me to open up my own blog on “improving overall an martial arts lifestyle”. 

    I’m getting my site set up as we speak, now my main problem is getting the traffic. I know you mention certain marketing aspects but nothing genuinely solid for a blogger with zero followers to start with.

    I hope you or any moderators can answer my question. I will keep you updated as we speak via your blog posts with hopefully I can become a part of your loving tribe and family of bloggers.

    • Rachel Lance

      Hi Mark, I’m glad you’ve read Platform – it’s really solid advice. Don’t get too hung up on being so new to the game, find small ways to engage and grow and eventually you’ll see a snowball effect. are you interacting on other sites whose audience might also be prime to join your tribe? This applies not just to your blog audience but also twitter and Facebook. Get out there and mingle! Don’t forget it takes time – keep on!

    • Jim Martin

      Mark, I want to affirm what Rachel is saying in her comment about interacting with other sites as well as engaging  in Twitter/FB.  This helped me tremendously.

  • http://bit.ly/hWr7Cw Rob T

    Seems right on to me.  Any thoughts on getting more comments (besides the obvious–writing better content)?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      If you haven’t already, read Chapter 52 of my book, Platform. It’s entitled, “Get More Blog Comments.”

  • http://www.baptisteducation.org/ Joshua Rivers

    I can definitely say that comments and sharing are lacking. But my traffic is also pretty low. I need to work on driving more traffic.

  • http://www.danapittman.com Dana Pittman

    I would say engagement. I have people emailing me and contacting me but not posting comments.

    Weird huh? I receive great feedback directly but they don’t leave comments.

    I’m wondering if my questions are too challenging or too personal. I’ll have to think this one through. 

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Dana - 

      That is interesting.  What age groups are your readers? 

      • http://www.danapittman.com Dana Pittman

        Tim,

        I’d say adult women between mid 20s to early 50s. Ballpark, of course.

  • http://www.justcor.com/ Cor

    THANK YOU, Michael. What may feel like common sense to you is not always to me. So, thanks for sharing. Your help has been instrumental in my blog, increasing traffic being just one of many ways. I’m so thankful to have received Platform in the mail today and keep learning.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Cor -
      You will really enjoy the book.  

  • http://thevirtualonlineassistant.com/ Nica Mandigma

    Hi Michael!  I also look at my bounce rate and average time on site because these will tell you whether people are indeed reading your content and looking for more. Say, I want my bounce rate to be lower than 70% and average time on site to be more than 2 minutes.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Nica,
      Yeah, I like bounce rate and time because they tell me if my site is “sticky” or not.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

     According to the stats, my strongest months are well behind me. Instead of growing, I’ve wallowed in mediocrity. I’m glad you quoted G. K. Chesterton in your previous post.  “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” Blogging has been a daily education. I started with little to no idea of how to blog. Now I at least know how to do it badly. Thanks for helping me assess where I am in the process. And the answer to where to start? I’d start targeting “engagement.”

    • Jim Martin

      As someone who has blogged for a number of years now, I can identify with what you describe.  I can remember (particularly in the early years) when I got stuck.  Couldn’t seem to get any movement.  

      It helped to be able to assess where I was and then target one or more of the gaps.  In targeting one of these areas, it seemed easier to move a step forward.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

        The stuck moments also become the crisis moments, those crucial opportunities to learn and grow. I know this first year plus has been a true learning experience. As Mike said in his webinar tonight, blogging has helped develop a writing voice. Right now I’m having to think about passion. What will fire me up for years to come as a writer?

  • http://theeverydad.wordpress.com/ The EveryDad

    Just curious if I might be getting caught up in semantics but is the term “unique visitor” interchangable with “pageviews”? It would seem that a unique visitor would count as one regardless of how many times they visit a certain post, for example. Whereas a pageview might be skewed on a particular post if, for instance, my mother is constantly checking back to “read it to her friends.”

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      From my understanding, a unique visitor is counted at once within whatever time frame is referenced. If someone visits more than once, regardless of hte page they viewed, they are counted as 1. Page views is just that. Every time your mom reads your article again, it counts as a page view. But if she is the only one reading it, then your unique visitors will be 1.

  • http://www.justcris.com/ Cris Ferreira

    As usual, not only the post is excellent, but I found many valuable comments here too. 
    As many have commented here, I too have focused on site metrics, and I need to look into the social proof more. It seems that I’ve got myself some “homework” to do.

  • Kathleen McAnear Smith

    Thank you for the blogpost. I need traffic and engagement. The only people who read my blog are friends…and they say they can send me an email or see me or comments!

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    For my blog shares are the weakness, and I did read what you said to Joe, got to work on the headlines! This is a very helpful posts to even the veteran bloggers, we do get too caught up in the stats.

  • Beyondchatter

    You also have at least one group of readers that engage among themselves.  This group ranges in size depending on the topic, with discussions via email.  The discussions have little or no meaning to anyone outside of this circle. 

    You have certainly made an impact and continue to do so with many of your posts.  Thank you. 

  • Jenifer Harrod

    I believe I need the most improvement in all of these:) I have been blogging a long time and have learned a lot of tips but I am still lacking the amount of traffic that I crave. I have recently learned to ping my posts and that did help some. I don’t have any budget and I know that is what is slowing me down but that is life. Thanks! come by and see me sometime.

  • http://twitter.com/WealthyFamilies Hilary Martin

    Since my firm is regulated by the SEC and financial folks are subject to all sorts of onerous rules that you all aren’t, I’m struggling to figure out if I even WANT interaction. As it stands right now, I believe I’m fully liable for anything someone writes on my blog. So, I moderate. But, I’m considering turning off comments. *sigh* I do read what people are reading about their finances and investments on the Internet and I KNOW I can add value, it’s just hard to get people to listen…

  • Dan Erickson

    The technical side of blogging is my weakest point.  I really have little idea of what I’m doing in regard to creating more traffic.  I’ve had my blog for a little over a year and just recently discovered how to use tags and SEO plugins.  I also signed up for Google analytics.  Although my traffic has slowly increased, I’m still getting relatively little.  I believe my content is fair, although my lack of time and technical skills keeps the format simple, without video or podcast.  I stick with simple how-to articles and my own B & W pics.  Interestingly the articles that get the most activity are my articles about people: memorials, retirements, etc.  I’m beginning to understand metrics, but how to I get more traffic in the first place?  http://www.danerickson.net  

  • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

    In essence, I need help in all of these areas for my blog. However, my comments are normally steady and everyone who comments engages with others. I switched to using Disqus this past month, and it has been amazing!

    I also set up my twitter account at the beginning of this month. It has been doing well, but I would like to see it do a lot better. Hopefully the shares will be up!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I’m in the process of switching to Disqus as well. A much-needed change. Glad to hear it’s been a good switch for you!

      • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

        I highly recommend it!

  • Su@TheIntentionalHome

    What percentage of those who read a post leave a comment?? I am finding that abut 1 to 3% do on my blog posts.  Just wondering if that is common or if the percentage is higher on other blogs?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      My percentage isn’t even that high.

  • pgowesky

    I need more work on sharing…  That is the frustrating part.  I am trying to figure that out, but you can’t force people to share it… I guess it does come down to content.  

  • Matthew M. Edwards

    Thanks for helping know what to focus my time on in regards to measuring results!

  • http://www.facebook.com/micky.diaz7 Micky Diaz

    This is a great blog! But I do have two questions. If there was to be a rule of thumb as far as the number of engagements and shares can be presented, what would it be? What would you consider as the minimum number you would suggest before displaying them on your blog? Look forward to your answer. Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I would probably wait until I was getting at least ten.

  • brad stanton

    Is it just me, or do you find all three metrics are lower on Monday than other days of the week?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Actually, Monday is my second best day. Tuesday is usually my best.

  • http://twitter.com/JamesHimm James Himm Mitchell

    Great post, Michael. I have the same challenge as Karin Hurt mentioned early on: I have people tell me offline how much they enjoy my blog posts and my writing, yet they don’t comment or share the posts. I have Google Analytics  installed, so I check the metrics with that. I never thought to consider comments as engagement (which is really high on my Facebook page).
    Now that I know what to look for, I can work on improving these areas.
    Thanks again!

  • Kirk Kraft

    Thanks for a timely post, Michael. I’ve been reading your book, Platform, and attempting to get my blogs really rolling. I’d have to say there is a tie between engagement and shares for which one needs the most work. I’m seeing a flicker of improvement in engagement on my writing blog but it’s still very poor. The only time I see shares on Twitter is generally when I interview an agent. I’m plugging away and mapping out a strategy for my blogs to continually have compelling content but I’ll admit it’s difficult. Interviews have generally resulted in the most views, engagement and shares. 

  • Dan Erickson

    Gravatar?

  • http://www.ofwnurse.net/ ofwnurse

    very informative…thank you very much for sharing your expertise.. =)

  • http://www.2knowmyself.com/ Farouk

    that’s right
    with all these signals we get today it becomes a bit confusing
    thanks for pointing out the important ones

  • http://actuallykatie.com/ Katie McAleece

    Great insight! I always appreciate the wisdom shared here, thank you so much!

  • http://www.theworld4realz.com/ Andi-Roo


    Metrics can distract you if you let them.”
    I’m fortunate in that all I do is write for my blog. My hubz does the rest of the work, so I never get distracted or bogged down by stats. He tells me which posts do particularly well, which ones bombed, when to add more key words/phrases, & whether or not he thinks a topic will fly. Mostly I’m free to just say whatever I want to say, because I have a huge emotional distancing from the blog itself. This might not work for everyone, but for my hubz & me, we make a great team! :)

  • Martin Bass

    Thanks for your input.  My agent has yet to find a publisher for my book.  Hope my blog will help in that endeavor.   Martin Bass
    http://ourdarknightofthesoul.wordpress.com/

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  • Flavio A Lugo

    I need help in engagement and shares. My blog is 
    http://www.n2myheart.blogspot.com/ and although I have heard my posts are very compelling, and I have seen page views growing, I have yet to experience growth in the above two metrics. If you view my blog, I’d appreciate any suggestions, advice, or recommendations given. God bless you.

  • http://twitter.com/ryanccard Ryan Card

    Thanks for this post. I am just plain struggling right now. I think some of it is self-inflicted. My blog laid there with not a whole lot happening for a few months. So now it’s like I’m starting all over again. 

    I have been working hard on a lot of what I have read here and in Platform to try and build traffic. But it’s very hard. At this point I am saying it just needs time and consistent posts. 

    Hopefully it will come around.  

  • john boucard

    great stuff

  • Bringjoyj

    I really need to get better at reader engagement.  I’ve improved this over the past month or so (not quite where I’d like it to be), by making sure I respond to each comment, as necessary.  I know this might not be for everyone, but right now, I have a manageable amount of comments, not too many that I can’t respond to most, if not all of them.  The way I see it, if a reader takes that extra step to comment, I want them to know I not only read what that I had to say, but that I’m appreciative for their engagment.  

  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    Engagement!  This is where I am lacking – and this is where I need the most work! 

  • prophetsandpopstars

    Forgive me if there’s an answer buried in the comments here, but regarding comments…Do you have any suggestions for ways to elicit comments? I ask a question at the end of each blog post. Sometimes, there’s commenting over on Facebook, but I haven’t had much luck getting them on the site.

    Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/thecreditletter Credit Card Compare

    Oh by far, its engagement. We get traffic and some shares but engagement is slow. Maybe we need to ditch Facebook only comments?

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  • jaspreet jassi

    “Dallas, Fort Worth, Construction Company, foundation repair, home remodeling, roofing”
    Let the world know what you think, but please do so responsibly.

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  • http://twitter.com/TobyLeads Toby Marshall

    Insightful article, Michael. I agree with you on the importance of engagement, which is only more necessary in this Social Networking Age.