Having your content featured on other websites can be a boon to you and your business. If done right. But before you start guest blogging, make sure you've clearly established goals for doing so.
Typical goals might include establishing credibility, spreading awareness of your brand, and building backlinks to your site. However, in order to understand whether you're effective in reaching your goals, you'll have to understand how to track things.
To understand if the backlinks are working in order to bring you traffic, you'll have employ some advanced Google Analytics reporting. You can set up analytics to track traffic originating from specific domains. Set up one for each domain you've guest blogged on. If a specific site isn't getting you traffic, stop guest blogging there and move on. If one is working well, pitch more articles to them.
When you start guest posting, start organizing the blog names onto a spreadsheet, with a link to each of your guest posts. Make a copy of the landing page link in the spreadsheet and a note of any incentives, freebies, or discount rates you may have offered those website visitors.
Using your spreadsheet, you'll want to occasionally click through to the post so you can see if there are comments on your post. That way, you can respond to them. Being responsive to comments is a crucial component of successful guest blogging. The more engagement you encourage, the more you'll drive attention to your post, and traffic to your own site.
If you have actually established particular landing pages for each place you put a guest blog post, it will be incredibly simple to determine which guest posts are getting the most sales. This is another reason to set up special links and unique landing pages, in addition to unique referral or affiliate links for the site owners who let you guest post.
Tracking Newsletter Sign Ups
If you've used a few of your articles to get more newsletter sign-ups, then you'll have the ability to know exactly where these new subscribers came from. This can be done via list segmentation or even tracking inside your email service provider's analytics.
Tracking Social Media
When you guest post you should be sure to include your social media account links in your bio box. However, it can be hard to know where the links originated from. So, one way to track things via social media is to ask a question in your post and direct them to your Facebook group, LinkedIn group, or, perhaps, to tweet with a certain hashtag. In addition, you can use the native analytics to discover where visitors are originating from.
Tracking Your Ranking
While Google is not focused on page rank any longer, the fact is you still want your search results to appear as high as possible for the keywords you are trying to rank for. For that reason you still want to know how and where Google has ranked your site.
Utilize the Tools of the Trade
There's software and tools that you can use to help you track your guest blogging, such as Link Assistant. Utilizing this software you can learn how you rank for specific keywords, visitors, and more.
Overall, some things are simpler to track than others, such as traffic. Other things you might have to work harder to be able to track. But, by investing some time and energy in tracking your guest blogging results, you'll have a much better idea of the return on your investment, and be able to set yourself up for future guest posting success.