DEMYSTIFYING GOOGLE ANALYTICS DATA
When it comes to blogging you can get stuck into the techy stuff as much or as little as you like. For the first few years I embraced HTML hell and tried to learn as much about CSS and every other computer coding acronym there is under the sun. It felt good to learn and make changes and see the results of my labour. These days I focus more on the data side. I say focus, but really I mean dabble.
I like to keep up to date with my Google Analytics each week, seeing my traffic flow, the monthly increases and decreases and try and make some sense to the data that changes day in day out. More often than not I can’t make rhyme nor reason why some days you lovely lot come and visit and read double than you do other days, equally It’s hard to understand why the pieces of content that rocket do, whilst others don’t. But the great thing about google analytics is that it helps you get an insight into your readers … how they consume your content, how frequently, from where in the world and even what content they tend to like the most.
I can’t say I currently do all that much with the data other than clock it in my knowledge bank, but when it comes to google analytics there is so much you can do with the data to improve your blog, your content and your blogging strategy. Today I thought i’d share 5 of those things.
5 WAYS TO USE GOOGLE ANLAYTICS TO IMPROVE YOUR BLOG
First thing first understanding your audiences behaviour when it comes to consuming your content and visiting your blog can really help you tailor your strategy to suit their needs. Whether it’s understanding where in the world the bulk of your traffic comes from, and then therefore tailoring the time of day you decide to post your editorials, or understanding the most popular day of week and ensuring you focus on publishing your best content on these days. Or even just understanding how often your readers tend to visit each week or month (sessions versus users) to establish the optimum frequency and volume of your content. Understanding these little nuances can really help you tailor your strategy to boost traffic and optimise on the opportunity.
It’s not just about boosting when you post, but also what you post too. By looking at you behaviour and audience stats you can understand who it is that visits your site, and most importantly what pieces of content they consume the most … for example for me, my tips posts are always my most popular and create the most traction, despite my blog starting out as a fashion blog. Now I feature tips posts covering blogging, lifestyle and career two or three times a week.
The other great thing about Google Analytics is that it can help you nail your SEO and keyword strategy … which ultimately can help boost and bring traffic to your site. Whether it’s reviewing the keywords that drive the most traffic to your blog and optimising on this further (by linking to those relevant features or creating more content on the theme) or even understanding trends to help tailor future content.
Google Analytics data allows you to dig a little deeper into your traffic, and can importantly inform you of where your traffic is coming from, who or what is ‘referring’ you. Whether its direct traffic, organic search or other websites or social channels. By reviewing your acquisition data you can understand which channels to optimise to boost your channel – perhaps you get a lot of traffic from twitter and therefore that could be a good channel to focus on driving more shares and followers etc.
#4 TEST & LEARN
Most importantly of all, google analytics can help you test and learn, you can set yourself goals and try out new techniques, monitor results and as a result optimise and tailor your blogging strategy. If i’m honest i’m so stuck in my ways that I don’t currently do this, but its something I really want to try more of, to help my blog grow and flourish this year. For me I want to test my traffic volumes versus the number of times I post a day, to see whether if I post less often whether people still come as much. There’s tons of things you can test and learn, the time of day you post, what you post, where you share it, what keywords you use and like I said, how often you post too.
Really it’s about having a play around and understanding what’s been working for you, and perhaps what’s not. Data doesn’t have to be daunting, just spend some time playing around & you might discover some great insights.
Did you find these tips helpful? Do you have any other advise for using Google Analytics data to improve your blog?