After receiving many questions on the use of Google Analytics on the blog and on Blog Class Events, the time has come to tackle this difficult topic and dedicate an entire post on it. It’s a complicated subject, but one that is definitely worth to master: it’s a lot easier to become successful if you know your statistics.
Google Analytics is the easiest tool for monitoring your traffic; it keeps track of the basics such as the number of unique visitors and page views and keeps an eye on other critical statistics too. With a little insight this miracle worker will let you adjust your content and publishing strategy entirely according to your traffic.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: HOW CAN GOOGLE ANALYTICS HELP YOUR BLOG?
Analyzing your blog on a business level
Google Analytics provides information that enables you to analyze your blog on a business level. You won’t only know what your readers are interested in, but also where your traffic’s coming from and how long your visitors stay on the blog. If you want to establish a business strategy, this is where it all begins.
THE NEXT STEP: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
With Google Analytics you can…
… keep track of unique visitors and page views
This is one of the basics, but definitely one to know. Google Analytics helps you keep track of your unique visitors and makes a division between new visitors and returning visitors. With this division, you’ll know exactly how many visitors return and when/why new ones arrive. For example, if another blog, website or magazine writes about your blog, this gives a boost to your traffic. You can spot this in Google Analytics and react accordingly. If publications like these indeed create a flow in traffic, you know where to put more effort in. Go to audience > overview to find out more.
… monitor where you’re readers are coming from
What you probably haven’t realized, is that your readers come from somewhere on the Internet. At a certain point, they stumbled upon your blog and decided to follow it (or not). Maybe they found you on Bloglovin’, read about you on another blog or website or came across your blog on Facebook. The important thing is knowing where your current readers came from: this might help you gain more readers in the future. You can easily find out which referral sites, as they’re called, drive readers to your blog. Go to acquisition > all referrals to find out more.
… find out which articles are read regularly
Finding out which articles are read most often is probably one of the most interesting features Google Analytics has to offer. You can find out exactly how many times an article is viewed, and, more generally, which pages are popular. For example, if your fashion page is viewed more than your lifestyle page, it might deserve a bit more of your focus. To find out more, go to behavior > site content > all pages.
… find out which search terms are popular
Once you have readers on your blog, they might just check out what’s new. But readers can also use the ‘search’-feature on your blog to find specific content. Finding out what readers search for shows you which topics they are interested in. This might help you come up with new content ideas, but it can also trigger the use of specific keywords for your posts. Go to content > site search > search terms to find out more.
… make sure your readers come back
Now that you know where your readers are coming from, what content they like to read and what topics they’re interested in, it’s time to adjust your strategy to optimize your traffic. You got this!
(Image via Pinterest / Noor Rustige)