16/01/2015

Blogging tips: how Google Analytics can help improve your blog

Analytics programmes can be great tools for bloggers as it allows them to monitor how many people are visiting their blogs, which posts are being viewed and lots more besides. If you've got one installed (I use Google Analytics, which is free, but pretty reliable), then I've come up with a few tips on how you can use these stats to help improve your blog.

Blogging tips - how you can use google analytics to improve your blog

Visit the 'content' section and see which posts received the largest number of views - are there any trends? E.g. do your tutorial posts tend to get double the number of views than other posts? Or do they tend to be looked at consistently for months on end?  Take a look at what your most popular posts have been over the past six months and which trends you can pull out. These are the kinds of posts you want to do more of (not necessarily exclusively, but you know this content is popular). Similarly, take a look at which of your recent posts were viewed the least. Maybe these aren't quite touching your audience how you'd hoped - why not try a slightly different approach and see if that bumps up the number of views? 

Referrals - this section shows which sites are sending traffic to your blog. If you're posting regularly on Facebook for example but only getting a small percentage of your referrals from them then it might be time to think of an alternative strategy or focus on other platforms that are bringing you more visitors. If you can see you get lots via a certain channel, make sure you keep up engagement levels on there and see if you can increase those numbers month by month. 

Don't just focus on visitor numbers - yes we would all love to see our visitor numbers go up consistently but measuring average pages viewed, time spent on site and bounce rate can all be great indicators of how engaged your audience is. Bounce rate literally means someone who came to your blog and only viewed a single page before leaving. If yours is quite high, then try to think of ways to keep visitors interested - signpost other relevant blog posts (there are simple widgets you can install to show these automatically) or give them an incentive to click through to your next post. 

Don't forget your old blog posts - some of my most popular posts are ones I wrote ages ago but that come close to the top of Google's search results.  If you find that this is the case (check your most viewed posts) why not consider updating it with fresher photos or giving the text a quick edit? I know a lot of my early photos left a lot to be desired, so increasing the quality of some of the popular older posts could encourage visitors to click through and read other blog posts

When to publish a blog post - if you're not sure which days are best to put up blog posts, then take a look at your traffic and see which days you tend to get the most hits. I found that on Saturdays I receive a lot less visits, even with a brand new post that day, so I've now moved to posting six times a week from Sunday to Friday without affecting my traffic levels. The locations section is also really useful in helping you to decide when to publish your content.  If you find that 50% of all your traffic comes from the US for example, you might want to schedule your posts to go live for 9am New York time instead of 9am UK time.

I hope that you've found this post useful - I'll be dropping in a few 'blogging tips' posts over the next few months so let me know if there's anything specific you'd like me to focus on! 
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12 comments

  1. Hi Kat,

    As a new blogger, hoping to make a name for myself but not sure how to go about it, this is a fantastic post! Thank you very much for your tips. I'm looking forward to reading more.

    Thank you,
    Jen

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    1. Thanks Jen - I''m so pleased it was helpful. Good luck with your blog! x

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  2. Thank you for sharing these tips! Google Analytics really overwhelms me and I only use a few of the options. I noticed that thing about posting on Saturdays too, my traffic is significantly lower on Saturdays! :)

    Olivia x
    Beauty from the Fjord

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    1. It's interesting to see how people interact online, isn't it. I guess a lot of people are busy 'doing' on Saturdays and Sundays seem to be more relaxed x

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  3. I really need to learn how to use GA better, thanks for the tips Kat!
    Nic x

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    1. Just give me a shout if you want any tips! x

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  4. I'm just in the process of getting my blog independently hosted so these are some great tips! Thanks!

    www.eatwearwander.com

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    1. No problem, glad they were useful x

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  5. Great tips Kat! I really want to go back to old posts and re-do some photos - it's just finding the time! xx

    Ramblings of a Beauty Bird | Beauty Blog

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    1. It definitely takes a bit of time to do back and re-do the old ones! I've found it worthwhile in the long run though x

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