There are plenty of conversion activities you could track, but the two that stand out to me are:
The simplest way to monitor your conversions is with an on-click event. It's a bit of code you add to the button or link you want to track.
For example, I have 4 conversion events tagged on my site:
- Subscriptions from the big RSS buttons
- Subscriptions from the little reader specific chiclets
- Clicks on the Submit button for email newsletters
- Sign ups from my "What Would Seth Godin Do?" plugin message (this display a special message for new visitors).
All I did was adjust the code on the link itself. For example, here's how the on-click event looks for the Add To Google chiclet:
This essentially creates a fake page view whenever someone clicks on that link. Notice how I named it "/goal/chiclets", so that it's easy to read and remember.
Next, I setup a goal to track each on-click event
- Log into Google Analytics
- Click "Analytics Settings"
- Create a new goal under "Conversion Goals and Funnels"
- The Match Type is "Head Match"
- Enter the URL, e.g. http://www.alexlcohen.com/goal/chiclets
- Give it a name
- Save the changes
Then, go to Traffic Sources > All Traffic Sources. Click on the conversion tab and, voila:
Your goals are now columns and you can see how different traffic converts!
For more about on-click tagging in Google Analytics, read this. This is a pretty standard web analytics procedure, so ask your vendor how to do it.
Of course there are plenty of other events that you can tag and other important metrics (like repeat visitation). Naturally, many of your "conversions" occur outside of the blog--emails from readers, job offers, invitations to speak (I'm still waiting :-)).
How do you define and measure your blog's success?
PS: Props to Hamlet, whose post taught me this method.