If you’re a blogger, understanding how to use Google Analytics is a must! Not only is it seen as the most reputable source for finding your blog statistics, it also shows you important analytics such as where your traffic is coming from and the most popular pages on your blog.
Many bloggers have installed Google Analytics, but not everyone knows exactly how to use it. Below, we’ll go through the main data you can and should keep an eye on for your blog analytics. This data will help you with your content going forward as well as your blogging strategies.
Your Blog Statistics Overview
Keeping track of your blog stats is really important if you are serious about blogging. I don’t suggest checking them every day (although it can be tempting), but taking a look at the end of each week can show you essential patterns you can use to your advantage in the future.
Perhaps you posted an article about your favorite coffee accessories that caused your stats to boom that week, or there’s a major difference in your traffic when you do and don’t share your posts on Pinterest. Google Analytics will show you the nitty gritty of all these types of stats!
Below are some of the main categories you’ll want to be familiar with in Google Analytics.
First thing’s first. The audience overview is a report in the form of a graph that shows you your blog statistics from the past 30 days. It is automatically set to 30 days, but you can easily change the dates if you want to see a smaller or larger time frame. You can also choose whether you want to look at the data hourly, or by day, week, or month.
Within the audience overview, you can see data such as your sessions, users, page views, bounce rate; all of which we will go over below!
As bloggers, we can get stuck on our page views! It can become a little bit addicting to see how many page views your blogging is getting day by day. Within Google Analytics, your page views tell you how many times pages on your blog have been viewed. If one person comes to your blog and reads blog posts on 10 different pages, that will count as 10 page views.
Users, on the other hand, are the count of people who visit your blog within a certain period of time (usually the last 30 days if you are using the default). Going with the example above, the person that viewed 10 pages on your blog counts as 1 user. If they view your blog on Monday and come back on Friday, they are still counted as one user.
Sessions are the number of times someone has been on your site. So, when the person I mentioned above came to your site on Monday and Friday, that is counted as two sessions.
Your bounce rate tells you how many of your blog visitors only view one page on your blog. So, if your bounce rate is 70% that means 70% of people leave your blog after viewing the page they entered on.
This shows you the average number of pages viewed during a session. Repeated views are included.
Avg. Session Duration
The average session duration counts the amount of time readers stay on your blog. A higher avg. session duration means people are reading through your content and taking the time to visit other pages on your blog, not leaving after they’ve read one post.
% New Sessions
The percentage of people who have visited your blog for the first time.
Visitor Pie Chart
The pie chart on the right-hand side shows you the percentage of new visitors versus returning visitors to your blog. Returning visitors are your loyal readers, while new visitors have come to your blog for the first time.
Your Site Content
Keeping track of your site content ensures you keep creating content your readers will love and makes it easier to plan out your content for the future. In order to see your site content, go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.
Using the default setting of the last 30 days, this will show you how many times people visited each of your blog pages, in descending order. The first page on the list had the most page views, while the last page on the list had the least. This is awesome information because it tells you what your readers are looking for. It shows you what content they love and why they are coming to your blog.
If you are stuck on coming up with ideas for blog posts, you can get inspiration from your top posts. You already know this is the type of content your readers love, so you might as well give them more of it!
For example, if your most popular post in the last 30 days was “My Best Photography Tips for Instagram” you might think about doing a post on Instagram Flat Lay Photography or Your Favorite Instagram Accounts to Follow for Photography Inspiration.
Another important thing to keep track of is where your traffic is coming from. By analyzing your referrals, you know where to put most of your energy when promoting your blog.
To see your blog referrals click on Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals. This will show you where your traffic is coming from, the first on the list being your highest source of traffic. Your referrals could be coming from Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, Reddit, or another blog or website.
If the majority of your traffic is coming from Facebook, this means the majority of your readers are hanging out on Facebook. This is great information to have as you start creating your blog promotion strategy going forward, wouldn’t you agree?
These are the basics of how to use Google Analytics for bloggers. The platform can tell you so much about your current content, what your readers want, and how you should plan for your blog in the future.
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