There are 5 metrics you must check on your blog. You need to do this for every blog post and here’s why…
If you are a new blogger, you may be writing different blog posts with different intentions to find out what works and what doesn’t. You may be blogging for fun or as a hobby or you may be trying to turn your blog into a business by selling your own products or services or through affiliate marketing.
Although you may have different reasons for running your blog, there are things that remain constant. Things that are important for bloggers to know.
Read time around 10 mins. Listen to podcast instead.
Once you have started your blog you will want, and need to know which posts are engaging your audience, where your readers are coming from and how long they are sticking around on your site. (By the way, if you haven’t started yet but would like to, why not download my Ultimate Starter Kit for Brand New Bloggers)
Knowing these things will help you to provide content that is engaging and makes it worth their while coming back or subscribing to your blog. This will help you to grow your blog and your business. After all, wanting to grab people’s attention is what got you started blogging in the first place isn’t it?
Keeping an eye on what is going on in your blog, (or tracking your metrics) is what will help you to improve it and gain more readers and subscribers. This in turn will help you to sell more products if your blog is a business.
Google Analytics is a fabulous tool for tracking all the important metrics for your blog – and it’s totally free to sign up for and use. You can even get a free plugin that puts it right on your dashboard to make it even easier to track your results.
Knowing what to track is key as everyone is very busy and you need to be spending your time creating new and engaging content and not sitting all day trawling through the analytics.
Here are what I consider to be the most important metrics to track…
Knowing where your traffic is coming from and how it ended up on your blog is very important. Knowing this will help you to decide where to focus your attention or where more effort is needed if you want to grow traffic from a particular source.
To find out where your traffic is coming from use the Aquisition > Overview in Google Analytics. These are the main sources of traffic that will be displayed for you:
Organic Search – These are visitors who used a search engine to find your site.
Social Media- These visitors are drawn to your site from social media profiles or content.
Direct – This indicates users who typed in the actual URL of your site.
Referral – This shows visitors who were referred to your site from another site.
By checking this information you can better tailor your marketing strategy so that you are reaching more of the people who would be interested in what you have to say (or sell).
You can either spend more of your time devoting content that will appeal to the traffic sources that are already good for you, or you can spend your time improving those that are not so good.
The bounce rate shows the percentage of visitors to your site that exit from your blog on the same page they entered on. Mostly you want your bounce rate to be low so that would be the overall aim for your blog but…
If you are creating content that is designed to be a one stop option then you would expect to see a high bounce rate on these pages or posts and this would be good because it means that your readers are getting what they came for and don’t have to go searching around your site for more information.
A low bounce rate would indicate to you (and Google) that your blog content is engaging and helpful and that people are having a look at what else you have to say rather than just leaving from the page they landed on.
You can improve your bounce rate by putting links to other posts within each post that you create – or inserting a plugin that shows other relevant posts at the end of each one.
This metric is a little more difficult to ascertain as it requires you to go and do a little bit of research. Unlike the other metrics, SERPS is not presented as a definitive number or percentage. Instead you need to go to Google and test how well your content is doing by checking out your SERP ranking.
This means going on to the search engines and keying in the keywords you are trying to be ranked for and seeing where you fall in the rankings. You can improve your SERP ranking over time and by tweaking your content, tags and headlines. Google has over 200 criteria that it ranks you by. Studying these criteria will help you to improve your ranking and so attract more visitors.
Knowing which post gets more views is going to help you determine which topics or types of post are resonating with your audience. By knowing this you can then create more of the same content and increase engagement with your audience.
Make sure your content is amazing. Quality is far more important that quantity when it comes to blogging. Having a great post that people engage with and get value from will mean it is far more likely to be shared and commented on.
By keeping an eye on the visitors to your post over time (the average life time of a blog post is about 2 years) you will see whether or not your audience is happy with the content. If the viewers increase over time then this is a good indication that your content is being found and shared. If it falls over time it might mean that you are not resonating with your audience.
This information will help you with your post planning and will, inevitably help to improve the overall score of your other metrics too.
The final thing you should be checking is the number of visitors to your blog. This can help you to plan your content more effectively.
For example, if you are blogging about camping and you notice a reduction in traffic to your blog in the summer months, it might be that you need to re-think your content or change your marketing strategy so that you can reverse the trend and stop the decline.
In my opinion, and indeed the opinion of better and more experienced bloggers that me, these are the most important metrics that you should be tracking with Google Analytics.
This information is free and easily accessible so take advantage of it and use it to inform and educate you about your blog and it’s content.
Are you using GA already? Are there other metrics that you think we should be checking, if so please comment below.
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