Expert opinions about blog and content ROI differ. If you ask 5 marketers how long it takes to see results, you will get 5 different answers. Some will tell you as little as 6 months, others will say 18 months to start seeing results, and a wide range of answers in between, Nonetheless, the prime benefit of blogging is that it can pay dividends well into the future. Therefore, we need to come up with some way to easily evaluate and justify this investment, using marketing analytics.
First, you want to determine your goal. If you are just starting, or are revamping an ineffective blogging strategy, then sales and conversions may not be the best indicator. If seeing results mean making a sale, and it takes 18 months to start receiving significant sales from blogging, frustration will set in. “Viral” content has created unreasonable expectations but is the exception, not the rule. The idea that one blog or video can turn a startup into a multi-million dollar company overnight is unreasonable.
So, for a new or rebuilt blogging strategy, a better measure is comparing organic entry-point traffic versus cost-per-click (CPC) advertising. Some of the prime objectives of blogging are building an audience, growing brand awareness, building trust, and earning the right to sell. In marketing, we know it takes a consumer seeing your message 3 or 4 times before making a decision. Moreover, repeat visitors have a higher conversion rate than first-timers. Therefore, until effective frequency takes hold, the initial measure of your blog’s effectiveness is a quarterly review comparing the cost per click from paid advertising versus content creation.
Here’s how to do it. Using analytics, examine the organic entry-point traffic from a sample of your blogs for the quarter. List the primary keywords for each blog, and research the click cost for those keywords using paid advertising. You know the cost to create your blog article, and the traffic it generated. You can now calculate how many paid clicks equal the cost of blog, and the traffic that would generate. With this data in hand, create a trend assuming a blog’s effective half-life at 9 months and full value at 36 months. If your blogs cost versus value is 100 percent within its half-life, it has done a great job. However, if it does not pay for itself within 36 months, you must reevaluate your blogging strategy.
We believe that marrying good blog content with a long-tail SEO strategy can deliver outstanding results and build the overall traffic for each post and the whole site. You can learn more about that here.