More and more businesses are seeing the vital importance of having a blog as a means on content development, communication, and thought leadership. There are many hurdles to overcome when creating a blog, including strategy, focus, editorial, and time management.

It can be discouraging to put all this time, effort and resources into your blog, only to see post after post without comments. You don’t want to be writing content in a vacuum, do you? But comments aren’t the best way to define engagement. In fact, depending on the content of the post, comments may not even be appropriate.

There are other indicators to determine interest level and even interaction with your blog. Here are several key engagement metrics to consider.

Post Popularity

There are key analytics to determine which of your posts are more interesting that others. Using an analytics program like Google Analytics, you can track:

  • Visits per post
  • Time spent on a post

These two metrics are viable indication of the general level of interest in one topic of another, and can help you determine which topics might be beneficial to write more about.

Social Signals

Even though a blog is, by nature, a social media platform, how people engage or declare your blog posts in other social platforms is a strong indication of engagement. Posts with a lot of

  • Facebook likes
  • Google +1s
  • Tweets

and shares can be topics that peak the interest of your visitors. Additionally, people who may be less likely to comment on your post might, however, be willing to engage you through your social media outlets, with a post on your Facebook page, or a request to connect on LinkedIn.

A Need for Nurture

While some people may be hesitant to leave a blog comment, they are showing interest in your brand and your solutions by performing actions in which they indicate a level of interest in regular communication with your company. These are people who may not be ready to actively communicate, but who show interest in learning more. These actions include:

  • Subscription to your blog’s RSS feed
  • Join your mailing list
  • Communication through other media such as emails or phone calls

Seek the Subtle 

In addition to the actions above, visitors may make more subtle indications of interest in your blog posts, such as

  • Downloading of any assets linked from the post itself
  • Trackbacks of your post
  • Clicks throughs to your website
  • Lead referrals from your website

Keep the end goal in mind

The purpose of your blog was not to get comments, right? You began this endeavor to increase brand awareness, thought leadership, or even for lead generation. The purpose should be about growing your business.