This guest post is by Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media.
Analytics are great for seeing your site’s performance, but we can’t usually peek into other people’s web stats.
However, there is a tool that gives you a view you may not have seen before. It’s called Google Author Stats.
Embrace your new blogging super power
I think of guest blogging as modern-day PR. It has social media and search marketing benefits, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a key part of blogger collaboration.
The X-ray vision we’re talking about is useful for guest bloggers, but it works for any blogger.
To make it work, you need to do two things:
- Use Google Authorship to add a “digital signature” to your posts.
- Apply some SEO basics to your writing: a bit of keyphrase research and usage.
If you’ve been doing this all along, get ready to see through walls! Here’s how: log into Google Webmaster Tools using your Google+ login info.
This might seem strange because this account isn’t necessarily tied to a website. But keep going.
Now, click “Labs > Author Stats”. Here’s what you’ll see…
You’re looking at the SEO performance of every post you’ve written and tagged for Authorship. Let’s step through the information that’s included here.
- Page: the address
- Impressions: the number of times it has appeared in search results
- Clicks: the number of visits to the page
- CTR/Clickthrough Rate: the percentage of searchers who clicked on it
- Avg. Position: how high the page ranks on average for all its keyphrases
It’s a thrill the first time you put on your Author Stats X-ray specs. You’re seeing the SEO performance (an important part of Analytics) for your site, but also other people’s websites. It’s enough to make a man blush!
Use your powers for good, not evil
Now that you can see through walls, what are you going to do with your new powers? Here’s a tip: use them for good. Use them as a reason to reach out and collaborate. Here are a few ways a guest author can continue to work with a host blog based on Authors Stats.
Your guest post has…
- Avg. Position of 11-15: You’re ranking on page two, but not far from page one. The host blog should look for a few opportunities to link to the post from older posts, improving the link popularity. Or you can write another post on a similar topic with new link to the original post.
- Avg. Position of 1-5, but CTR below 5%: You’re on page one, but not many people are clicking. There may be a mismatch between the title and meta description and the meaning of the keyphrase. Tweak the title to make sure the keyphrase and the topic are aligned semantically.
- Clicks of 500 or more per month: You’re driving some traffic! The combination of your content and the host’s domain authority are powering significant visits from search. You should work together more often!
Now take of the X-ray glasses, email the blog editor, and continue to collaborate. Help the blog, help yourself, and help future readers find your content.
Peek at a few final tips
There are loads of competitive analysis tools that can give you a peek into the stats of other sites, but there’s still a lot we can’t see.
Ever used X-ray vision? Need help troubleshooting it? Got a favorite super power of your own? Leave a comment or question below…
Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. He’s also the author of Content Chemistry, An Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing You can find Andy on Google+ and Twitter.