How To Make A Blog Part Fifteen: The Crucial Things To Monitor

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There are certain tasks you’re going to have to do either daily or weekly to keep your blog attracting even more traffic!

These include

  • Moderating/answering comments
  • Building back links
  • Producing content
  • Monitoring and adjustment

In previous articles in the ‘how to build a blog’ series, we have already covered ‘building backlinks’ and ‘producing content’.

And moderating and answering comments is a given.

So let’s discuss ‘Monitoring and Adjusting’.

Monitoring and adjusting is extremely important.

Here are the things that I like to monitor:


Ad Banners/Links

You need to know which affiliate product banners are bringing you the most revenue (or none at all).

The space that any advertising occupies on your blog is valuable real estate. If something isn’t performing well, change it for an ad that pays its rent!

ACTION POINT: Depending upon how much traffic your site gets, you may want to monitor such activity every one to three months.

By using the Max Banner Ads plugin, you can monitor the number of times your banner ads are clicked on.


Google Analytics

If you don’t have Google Analytics installed on your site…do it now.

Many themes allow you to enter the GA code directly or you can use Yoast’s Google Analytics plugin.

Once installed there are so many different statistics you can monitor including number of visits, time visitors have spent on your page and keyword terms visitors have used to find your site.

ACTION POINT: Install Google Analytics


The Crucial Statistic

A crucial statistic is ‘Bounce Rate’. Google use it to monitor the ‘quality’ of your site and that goes towards your website page rank.

Bounce Rate is simply a measure of how many visitors visited your site and left after viewing only one page.

A 100% Bounce Rate would mean all your visitors are leaving after viewing just one page.

Any Bounce Rate below 70% is deemed to be very good.

As I say, Google use this as part of their ‘quality’ ranking…so it’s worth paying close attention to it.

If it’s high then something is wrong.

If a visitor has come to your site via a link that should lead her to an article on a specific subject then she may be leaving quickly because your article doesn’t look enticing, isn’t written or formatted well, or doesn’t contain the information for which she is searching.

If a visitor can’t find what she’s looking for then she will leave, so make sure your site is easily navigable.

Some ACTION POINTS you can take to reduce your Bounce Rate:

Use internal links from blog post to blog post – see my video on the free plugin that does this for you.

Use your sidebar areas to list your recent posts and popular posts.

Use a related posts plugin like LinkWithin or nRelate.

BIG TIP: Use Google Analytics to see which of your pages/posts get a 100% Bounce Rate. Then go back to that post and add some interlinking or even remove that post from your sitemap.


How to Monitor over 50 Stats at Once!

Although we mentioned Google analytics above, it only analyzes things that are relevant to Google. As you get more experienced you’ll probably like to know how you’re doing with other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing.

And what about your Alexa and DMoz rankings?

And how many Twitter followers and Facebook fans do you have?

This can take quite some time going to each site, logging in and digging for the information.

Pro Blog Stats is a FREE WordPress plugin that gathers all of this information for you in under 6 seconds and delivers it directly to your WordPress dashboard!

You can see more details about Pro Blog Stats by clicking here: Pro Blog Stats

ACTION POINT: Download and install Pro Blog Stats


Monitoring your Links

It’s extremely frustrating when you visit a site, find something you’re interested in, click on the link to find it’s broken.

If it’s a link to an e-book you’re selling for example you will also lose revenue as a visitor is unlikely to return.

Understandably if you have a blog that’s now stretching to hundreds of pages you don’t want to have to spend a day clicking on every link to make sure it works! The solution is using another free plug-in called Broken Link Checker which tells you immediately if you have a problem. It monitors links on all your posts, pages, comments, your blog roll if you have one and any custom fields. It will even let you know about any broken links by e-mail!

Remember if you delete any of your posts and you have internal links from other pages pointing to that post, they’re not going to work.

ACTION POINT: Install the Broken Link Checker Plugin


What do you monitor to make your blog successful?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.         

In the next post on the series, “How to make a Blog” we shall cover the topic of “Getting Organized and Outsourcing”

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41 Responses to How To Make A Blog Part Fifteen: The Crucial Things To Monitor

  1. Jamie Northrup May 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    I love integrating things into my WP dashboard, the Pro Blog Stats plugin will make my life so much easier and save some time. Thanks for sharing that awesome plugin.

  2. richard
    May 28, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    I always go back and forth on how important bounce rate is. If you have high conversions off a landing page that will push your bounce rate up, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think that the time a visitor spends on your site may be the more important stat.
    richard recently posted..Juggling Work, Play and BloggingMy Profile

  3. Felicia May 29, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    Hi Andrew,
    I always thought before that having a bounce rate that is more than 50% is considered to be a very bad sign for a blog. After reading your post that indicated “Any Bounce Rate below 70% is deemed to be very good”, I checked my personal blog and saw that it is below 70%, and I was relieved to see that.
    Thanks for suggesting some ways on how to reduce bounce rate. I will check out the plugins nRelate and LinkWithin.
    Felicia recently posted..2012 WSOP: Many familiar faces left in Event #2: $1,500 NLHMy Profile

  4. Jack Sander May 29, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    If we want to evolve and improve the results we have to experiment and assess the results. It is always a good ting to see what ads or banners do well and try improve the conversion of the others.
    Jack Sander recently posted..Wooden Gazebo PlansMy Profile

  5. Becca May 29, 2012 at 3:59 am #

    For blogging it is also very essential to do your own research and write your own contents. Read a lot and do a lot of brain storming before writing killer contents. People will visit your blog to read new contents.

  6. Adrian May 29, 2012 at 4:34 am #

    Hi Andrew, thanks for showing us the essential stuffs must to have while setting up the blog! I have a question! I read in your blog post i.e. The Google uses the bounce rate value for their quality ratings! but As I had read in Google’s webmaster central Blog that neither Google Engineers nor the quality raters get any direct access to the Analytics(even Rand fishikin said the same) So how come the Google folks come to know about the bounce rates while deciding the quality rating!?>

  7. Prithvi
    May 29, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    Again nice tips.. You are right, Google analytics dashboard gives us access to many things at a single platform. No of visits, page views, clicks, revenue, bounce rate everything can be monitored from a single page.

    And also, monitoring the links is an important factor. I had no idea about it till i got 100’s of errors in webmasters saying about the broken links. I then removed all my broken links or redirected to the home page.. 🙂
    Prithvi recently posted..How to Overclock Graphics Card ?! Overclock video card..My Profile

  8. Debbie
    May 29, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Hi Andrew,

    thanks for explaining the bounce rate in plan English. i have always wondered how that works.

    Is that what I have (pro blog stats)? I know what ever it is it is very easy to keep track of things and by the way I do love the broken link plugin. It makes life much easier.

    Thanks Andrew for the great tips. Always count on you.
    blessings to you always,
    Debbie recently posted..The Zen of Actions For HappinessMy Profile

  9. Claire May 29, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    After reading your post that indicated “Any Bounce Rate below 70% is deemed to be very good”, I checked my personal blog and saw that it is below 70%, and I was relieved to see that.

  10. Shilpan May 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    Great article Andrew. My blog traffic is growing, but I am a bad marketer. I’d love to read an article about monetizing my blog. I am clueless.
    Shilpan recently posted..What’s Your American Dream?My Profile

  11. Azam May 30, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    After creating a blog the most important thing is to maintain the blog. Cure the broken links. Banner links are very important in affiliate marketing as they are the cause of attraction.
    Azam recently posted..Silpada Designs National ConferencesMy Profile

  12. Corinne Edwards
    May 31, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    Dear Andrew –

    I am interested in the broken link checker.

    Before I post, I always check every link before I publish. If there is a problem, I correct it.

    I am curious. How does a link get broken later?

    There is nothing more annoying than getting a 404 when you click on a link.

    Could you tell me if I still need a checker – months later?

    If so, I need a checker. Let me know.
    Corinne Edwards recently posted..YOUR MEMOIR – Write Your Book – Publish Your Book – Promote Your BookMy Profile

    • Andrew
      June 1, 2012 at 12:57 am #


      Links get broken for many reasons.

      Blog owners may change their permalinks or change the name of a blog post url or have affiliate links that get changed by the product owners.

      Many of the broken links found are by commenters.

      The commenters could be just commenting to get a backlink to a website and after a few months when they give up, the website gets deleted but the link from your blog is still there!

      So, yes I recommend it.

      Andrew recently posted..How To Build A Backlink From Your LinkedIn ProfileMy Profile

  13. Andrea T.H.W.
    June 1, 2012 at 12:46 am #

    Great post as usual Andrew, the how to make a blog serie is fantastic and every post is full of good advices every time. I’m using Outbrain for linking internal posts and broken link chacker is simply great. Now let me take a look at my bounce rate. 🙂
    Andrea T.H.W. recently posted..Getting Things Done The Wise WayMy Profile

  14. Maja June 1, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    It is reality that we can see the fruit juice of of our blogging through Google Analytics.This tool is free from Google.
    Maja recently posted..Fantastic Sams Promo CodesMy Profile

  15. Rajnish
    June 1, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    Thanks you I was looking for something like Google Analytics for my new technology blog but I was not knowing how to find it so I got it here, Thanks for sharing.
    Rajnish recently posted..Your Own Social NetworkMy Profile

  16. john June 3, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    Thank you for the suggestions, eventually I can do better the next time around. A Job Well Done.

  17. Chucky June 3, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    You are right, Google analytics dashboard gives us access to many things at a single platform. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Maja June 4, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    Hello Andrew
    Good tips. Bounce rate is one of the main factor that is related with the contents quality but some bloggers post videos on their blogs that is also very helpful to increase the bounce rate of a site.
    Maja recently posted..Fantastic Sams Promo CodesMy Profile

  19. Anand nair
    June 4, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    I am confused about the role of backlinks in gaining adsense approval.I got 21000 pageviews in 6 months of beginning my blog without much backlinks.So are they necessary still??

  20. William Lee June 4, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    I am using for my blog. Most of the customization need to be done myself and a lot of the things need to be done manually. 🙁 For example, CommentLuv integration requires more step to install on my blog bt it is now working great!

    But I am thinking to start a new blog using wordpress soon.

  21. Divas Chitkara June 5, 2012 at 3:20 am #

    great post ………well explained ……..will help me ….as i’m new to this field

  22. Chris Williams June 29, 2012 at 4:58 am #

    Andrew, Thanks for the info, I have read a couple of you blog posts now and am learning something new every time I come back. I feel a bit less stressed knowing a decent bounce rate is leass than 70%
    Chris Williams recently posted..How To Start A WebsiteMy Profile

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