15 Essential Business Blogging Metrics & KPIs You Should Be Tracking in 2023

Not sure how to tell if your business blog is successful? Tracking these key performance indicators (KPIs) will give you a clear picture of your blog‘s impact and ROI.

From traffic and engagement metrics to lead generation and conversion data, these are the 15 most important blogging KPIs every content marketer needs to measure in 2023:

1. Blog Sessions/Pageviews

Blog sessions (or pageviews) is the most basic metric for measuring the overall volume and reach of your blog content. It tracks the total number of times your blog pages are viewed in a given time period.

Monitoring blog sessions on a monthly basis allows you to gauge the popularity of your content and detect trends or changes in your blog‘s traffic. A steady increase in sessions shows your audience is growing over time.

According to HubSpot‘s 2022 State of Marketing Report, the average company blog receives 10,000 to 25,000 monthly sessions. But high-performing blogs can reach 100,000+ monthly sessions.

You can easily track total blog sessions using web analytics tools like Google Analytics or HubSpot. Pay attention to session trends and look for correlations with publishing frequency, content types, promotional campaigns, etc.

2. Unique Visitors

While sessions measures total pageviews, unique visitors represents the number of individual people who visit your blog in a given time frame, regardless of how many times they visit.

Tracking unique visitors gives you a more accurate picture of your blog‘s true reach and audience size. A high ratio of unique visitors to total sessions indicates you‘re attracting a large and diverse audience vs. a smaller number of highly engaged repeat visitors.

To grow your unique visitor count, focus on creating content that appeals to new readers and promotes sharing. Optimize your posts for relevant search keywords, promote them across multiple channels, and encourage your existing audience to spread the word.

3. Traffic Sources

Examining your blog traffic sources reveals which channels are most effective at driving visitors to your content. This data is critical for optimizing your blog distribution and promotional strategies.

Blog traffic typically comes from a few main sources:

  • Organic search (SEO)
  • Direct visits (people typing your URL)
  • Referral links from other websites
  • Social media
  • Email marketing
  • Paid advertising

Top blog traffic sources
Image source: Semrush

Drill down into each source in your analytics dashboard to see the specific search keywords, referring sites, social networks, and campaigns driving the most traffic. Double down on the highest ROI channels.

Also pay attention to the quality of traffic from each source. Visitors from certain channels may view more pages, stay longer, and convert at higher rates. Prioritize sources that deliver the most engaged, high-value blog traffic.

4. Average Time on Page

Average time on page is a key engagement metric that measures how long visitors typically spend viewing and interacting with a specific blog post.

This metric reveals how effectively your content captures and holds readers‘ attention. In general, the more time spent on a post, the more engaged the reader is. Low average times may indicate your content is not resonating with visitors.

While average time on page benchmarks vary by industry and content format, a good general target is 2-3 minutes or more per blog post. Extremely long, in-depth posts may see even higher average times.

To boost time on page, focus on crafting compelling, valuable content that thoroughly addresses visitors‘ needs and interests. Break up text with engaging visuals, use descriptive headings, and make content easy to scan and read.

5. Pages Per Session

Pages per session (or pageviews per session) measures the average number of pages a visitor views during a single session on your blog or website. It‘s another important indicator of visitor engagement and content quality.

A high pages/session number shows that your blog content is sticky enough to keep visitors clicking through to additional posts and pages. You‘re providing a positive user experience that encourages deeper exploration.

Look for patterns in your pages/session data to see which post topics, formats, and CTAs are most effective at driving further pageviews. Then optimize more posts accordingly.

As a general benchmark, the average pages per session for a content-rich blog is often in the range of 1.5 to 2 pages. Top-performing blogs may see 3+ pages per session.

6. Returning Vs. New Visitors

Analyzing the split between new and returning visitors to your blog provides valuable insights into how well you‘re attracting and retaining an audience over time.

For most company blogs, the majority of traffic (60-80%) typically comes from first-time visitors, often driven by search and social media. But having a solid proportion of returning visitors (20-40%) indicates you‘re providing content people want to come back for again and again.

To improve visitor retention, focus on consistently publishing high-quality, personally relevant content that addresses your target audience‘s needs. Encourage repeat visits by building your email list, offering content subscriptions, and engaging your audience on social media.

7. Top Viewed Posts

Your blog‘s most popular posts are a goldmine of audience insights. Identifying your top-viewed posts (by pageviews or unique visitors) reveals which topics and formats resonate best with your target readers.

Regularly check your blog analytics to see which individual posts are driving the greatest share of your total traffic. Promote these high-performers heavily to attract even more views and engagement.

Also analyze what qualities your top posts share in terms of topic, structure, length, media type, etc. Use those insights to shape your editorial strategy and produce more best-performing content.

8. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who land on a blog post and then leave your site without visiting any other pages. A "bounce" represents a single-page session with no interactions.

Average bounce rates by content type
Image source: eMarketer

As a rule, a high bounce rate (over 70-80%) indicates that visitors aren‘t finding your content engaging or relevant enough to stick around and explore further. They‘re quickly abandoning your blog without taking any meaningful actions.

To reduce bounce rates, make sure your posts are delivering on their titles and serving visitors‘ needs. Use engaging formatting like headings, bullets, and images to draw people in. Add prominent CTAs and links to related content to encourage visitors to go deeper into your blog.

9. Average Session Duration

Similar to time on page, average session duration measures the typical length of time visitors spend on your blog across all pageviews in a single session.

This metric offers a high-level look at how engaging your blog is as a whole. A high average session duration shows people are spending significant time consuming your content. A low average may indicate a lack of resonance or a design/UX issue that‘s impeding engagement.

According to a 2021 Contentsquare study, the average session duration for a media/publishing site is 2 minutes 33 seconds. Aim for a comparable or higher average for your business blog.

10. Lead Conversion Rate

For many company blogs, generating leads is a primary measure of success. Tracking what percentage of your blog visitors convert into leads is key for evaluating your content‘s impact on your sales pipeline.

To calculate blog lead conversion rate, divide the number of leads generated from your blog by your total blog sessions:

Blog Lead Conversion Rate = (Number of Blog Leads / Total Blog Sessions) x 100

If your blog receives 10,000 monthly sessions and generates 200 leads, your conversion rate is 2%.

Average blog conversion rates vary widely, but often fall in the 1-5% range according to industry data. Even a modest conversion rate can translate to a major lead boost from a high-traffic blog.

To improve conversions, make sure your blog posts include compelling, relevant lead magnets like ebooks, webinars, demos, trials, etc. Use clear, specific CTAs to drive action. Optimize your highest-traffic posts first for maximum impact.

11. Sales Conversion Rate

Leads are great, but revenue is the ultimate goal. Tracking what percentage of your blog visitors eventually convert into paying customers is key for proving content marketing ROI.

Calculating sales conversion rate is similar to lead conversion rate:

Blog Sales Conversion Rate = (Number of Blog Sales / Total Blog Sessions) x 100

Average blog visitor-to-customer conversion rates are typically low (often under 1%), as only a small fraction of readers will be ready to buy. But successful business blogs can generate significant sales volume from even a 0.5% conversion rate.

Look for opportunities to directly drive sales from your blog when appropriate, especially from bottom-of-funnel posts. Add purchase CTAs to demo/trial pages, product reviews, case studies, etc. Always tie your content to the next step in the buyer‘s journey.

12. Social Shares

Social media is a top distribution channel for many business blogs. Tracking how often your posts are shared on social platforms is a good way to measure your content‘s reach and resonance.

Tools like BuzzSumo and SharedCount can help you track the social share counts for your individual blog post URLs across networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Aim for steady growth in average shares per post over time.

Posts that earn high share counts are striking a chord with readers. Analyze top shared posts to identify common traits and replicate those qualities in future content. Also make sharing as easy as possible by adding prominent social share buttons to your posts.

13. Comments & Engagement

Reader comments, questions and interactions in your blog post threads are clear signs your content is sparking interest and discussion. Engaged readers are more likely to become leads and customers.

Along with comment counts, track other blog engagement metrics like:

  • Average comments per post
  • Percent of posts with comments
  • Replies and discussions per thread
  • Likes, reactions and other interactions

Also monitor the sentiment and quality of comments to gauge how well your content is being received. Encourage thoughtful discussions by replying to comments promptly and inviting further feedback.

14. Email Subscriber Growth

For many companies, the primary goal of business blogging is building a targeted email subscriber list for lead nurturing and customer acquisition. Tracking subscriber growth is key for measuring your blog‘s audience-building impact.

Key email list metrics for bloggers to track include:

  • Total subscribers
  • New subscribers per month
  • Subscriber growth rate
  • Average new subscribers per post
  • Unsubscribe rate

Offer compelling subscriber benefits like exclusive content, discounts or resources to incentivize signups. Optimize your blog‘s subscribe CTAs and offers based on what drives the highest conversions. Also monitor subscriber engagement metrics like opens, clicks and list churn.

15. Inbound Links & Authority

Earning high-quality inbound links from other reputable websites is a key sign your blog content is seen as authoritative and shareworthy. Inbound links also boost your blog‘s search rankings and organic traffic.

Tools like Moz, Ahrefs and SEMrush can help you track your blog‘s inbound links and domain authority over time. Look at metrics like:

  • Total inbound links
  • Total linking root domains
  • Domain authority score
  • Page authority scores

Publishing original research, industry news, in-depth guides and authoritative thought leadership content is key for earning more high-value links. Also pursue strategic guest blogging, digital PR and influencer outreach opportunities to build inbound links.

Putting Your Blog Metrics into Action

Tracking these 15 essential KPIs gives you a comprehensive view of your business blog‘s performance and ROI. But the key is to go beyond just collecting data to taking action on it.

Schedule a monthly blog metrics review with your content team to monitor progress towards goals and identify improvement opportunities. Create a blog reporting dashboard that tracks your core KPIs in one view.

Where is your blog falling short of benchmarks or goals? What content and tactics are driving your biggest successes? Use those insights to continually optimize your strategy, editorial plans and promotional efforts.

By committing to data-driven content marketing, you‘ll maximize your business blog‘s impact where it matters most: driving real business results.