This post is Day 16 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge. Post about the challenge on social media using the hashtag: #THNblogchallenge. (You can view all of the challenge prompts here.)
Your analytics. They are essential to blogging if you want to find success online. They allow you to track your growth and find out exactly what people are looking at on your site. Your analytics will tell you what pages and blog posts are getting the most hits. They’ll tell you what people are searching for to land on your site and whether or not they’re interacting with your pages. However, many people still struggle to understand the basics of Google Analytics, which is why I’m here to break it down for you.
If you don’t already have Google Analytics installed on your site, I highly recommend you install it today. Tracking your stats can be very beneficial for your blog. Google Analytics is easy to install and start using, despite the fact that it may look a little overwhelming.
Now, I will start by saying it’s a good idea to not get too attached to the numbers you see in Google Analytics. It’s easy to see low pageviews and get discouraged. Don’t! Just because your blog isn’t getting as many hits as another blogger, it doesn’t mean you aren’t as good. And it doesn’t mean you will never find success online. Instead of getting obsessed with the numbers in Google Analytics, use them as a way to see how much better you’re getting each month and to track your progression.
Google Analytics: Audience
You’ll find the most essential information within the Audience Overview section of your Google Analytics. I check this daily to see how many people are visiting the site. This is where you will find the following:
- Pageviews: The total number of pages that were viewed.
- Sessions: A group of interactions that takes place on your website within a given time frame.
- Users: The amount of people who have had at least one session.
- Average Session Duration: The average amount of time for a session.
- Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors who navigate away from your site after landing on a page and never interacting with it.
- New Sessions: The percentage of people who are visiting your site for the first time.
You can also use this section of Google Analytics to check out the demographics of your blog’s visitors. You can find out if you’re mostly attracting males or females and what their age range is. This will let you know if your site is attracting the right people. So, take a look at your analytics and see if your target market is primarily who is finding your site.
Google Analytics: Acquisition
If you’ve ever wondered how someone has found your blog, what they’ve searched for to land on your page, or who is linking to you, this will be your favorite section of Google Analytics. Here is what you’ll find within the Overview section:
- Social: The number of click-throughs via social media. (This does not include Instagram, as Instagram registers as Direct traffic.)
- Organic Search: The number of people who found your blog through a search engine.
- Direct: The number of people who visited your site by typing your URL into their browser.
- Referral: The number of people who have visited your site by way of another site that has linked to you, thus referring their readers to you.
Under the Search Engine Optimization section, you’ll find options to check out the queries people are searching to land on your site, as well as the landing pages. This is a great way to see what the people who land on your site are interested in. You can actually use that information to inspire new blog post ideas.
If you don’t already have Google Analytics running for your blog, get it installed now! That’s your first task. If you’ve already been using it, you’re in luck because you’ll have stats to check out. So, take a look at your Google Analytics and compare your stats from the past month and the month before. Have you seen any growth in terms of pageviews, users, etc.? Are there any areas you’d like to see improved?
Set some goals for yourself when it comes to your analytics, whether it’s to increase your pageviews or make your bounce rate drop. How many pageviews would you like to reach within one month? Six months? Having that goal in mind will serve as a motivator to work hard hard to grow your blog. But you’ll have to create a plan to make sure you achieve that goal!