What is a KPI?
According to the Google Knowledge Graph:
A key performance indicator (KPI) is a business metric used to evaluate factors that are crucial to the success of an organization. KPIs differ per organization; business KPIs may be net revenue or a customer loyalty metric, pill while government might consider unemployment rates (http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/definition/key-performance-indicator).
Here’s how you can identify KPIs for your blog:
Identify your business goal
In order to identify your KPIs, you must first focus on your high-level business goal that you want to accomplish. As a blogger, start by asking yourself this existential question: “For what purpose does my blog exist?” A couple of examples of answers to this question might be, “to make money from advertising” or “to establish myself as an expert in my field.” Once you’ve realized why your blog exists, you can define your business goals and dictate your KPIs.
Define Your KPIs
Next, identify the metrics that tie to your business goals and allow you to measure the performance of your blog. These are your KPIs. For example, if your business goal is to establish yourself as an expert in your field, your KPI is the metric that will help you define the success of that business goal.
An example of a KPI that could be used to measure how well you have established yourself as an expert in your field is “Social Shares of Articles On My Blog.” You can identify yourself as an expert in your field by measuring how many times articles on your blog have been shared on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. You may even set a tangible goal such as 50 Social Shares, because Person X is an expert and Person X usually achieves about 50 Social Shares as well.
Identify your Key Metric and Assign a Value to it
Once you’ve defined your KPI, you can tie it to a metric in your analytics. For example, the “Increase Social Shares of Articles on my Blog” KPI may be directly tied to the “Social Shares” metric that you have defined as a Goal in Google Analytics. Assign a monetary value to this metric to help you determine how its performance affects your bottom line.
The performance of this metric is the key to giving you the opportunity to brag about your blog and say “My blog is successful, and here’s how I know.”
Report and Filter the Noise
Use your KPIs to guide your reporting on analytics for your blog. Your clearly defined KPI will help you filter out all the noise created by superfluous data that you have collected in Google Analytics, and focus on the metrics that matter. Focus on your end goal and work backwards to find out what behaviors people used to reach your end goal.
Iterate and Improve
When you report the performance of your blog, if you focus on your end goal and work backwards, you can then focus in on the potential for improvement in the future. If you have hit the mark that you’ve defined as your goal, then great job! Wave your flag and capitalize on your success! If you discover that have not hit the mark, use this as an opportunity to find out why. Then, iterate and improve your blog and its content. The existence of KPIs can be the deciding factor of success for your blog.