Serious bloggers who want to grow an audience and earn income from their blog must know and understand the term analytics.
When you Google “analytics definition” you find this definition atop of the SERP (search engine results page):
the systematic computational analysis of data or statistics.
“content analytics is relevant in many industries”
In more simple terms when applied to blogs, analytics is the review and study of your blog visitors and subscribers (audience.)
Analytics provides many pieces of data including:
- The age range of your blog audience
- The gender ratio of your blog audience
- The amount of time visitors spend on your blog
- Which articles get the most page views
- Which articles get the least amount of attention
- Which websites are linked to your blog
- How much traffic your social media is sending to your blog
And many other important pieces of information.
Without this information, your blog posts are basically being stuck into bottles and thrown out into the ocean…nobody knows where they end up and your blog drifts to nowhere…
That is why analytics are not only important but necessary. We will be talking about analytics periodically, but I want to start off with an introduction to analytics basics that newbie bloggers can understand.
Start With This Free Analytics Tool You Can Use Today
Google provides a free analytics tool that is easy to use. It’s called Google Analytics (of course.) It has a user friendly dashboard that is continuously updated with improvements.
With this tool, you can figure out who your audience is and what topics they respond to. Collecting this data while blogging enables you to customize your blog posts so they are tailor made for your readers. Your content will become “magnetized” so-to-speak, thus drawing in more and more readers.
Analytics also helps you determine what CTAs (Calls to Action) work best for your audience.
Having a set of goals for your blog is great, but how can you measure success without analytics? Integrating Google Analytics into your source code provides a clear measurement of how much success you are having in achieving your goals.
When you first begin using Google Analytics, to prevent confusion and information overload, start with focusing on these three sets of data:
- RSS Feed Subscriptions
- Visit Duration
- Number of Pages Per Visit
These are great indicators to help you get an overall grasp of how effective your blog is performing. But keep a few things in mind as you start.
A visitor who only looks at one page of your blog will be categorized as a “short term visitor (0-10 seconds).” This doesn’t always reflect that the person bounced off your blog that quickly. Most likely, it’s going to take more than ten seconds to read your post, and someone in this category may have actually read your entire post, so this data may be more positive than it looks.
To keep yourself from getting discouraged, pay closer attention to the data on how long visitors spend on your site. If people are reading your posts all the way through and then navigating to other posts, you can take heart knowing that your content is pulling in readers.
Email Subscribers and RSS Feed Subscribers
By far, subscriber data is the most straight forward indicator on how effectively you are converting visitors into loyal followers and even brand advocates.
Google Analytics includes additional features like Unique Visitors, Page Views, Real Time, and Traffic Sources and Referrals that provide additional ways to identify the behaviors of your blog audience along with spotting which content and offers resonate the strongest and prompt readers to take an action (like making a purchase.)
Wrapping Up Our First Look at Analytics
Blog analytics can be quite fascinating.
I know some of you are more inclined to writing and being creative, and that’s a wonderful trait for a blogger.
My hope is that you will also see the value of analytics for your blog success. Using Google Analytics will prevent you from wasting a lot of time and energy.
You Don’t Want to Miss the Additional Teachings
We have only covered the very basics in this article for the benefit of the freshman bloggers reading this. A slow and steady progression into this subject matter will help you wrap your head around it.
There is a vast amount of additional details on analytics that will be covered on this blog down the road.
Why don’t you go ahead and subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss any. Just leave your email address in the Get Exclusive Tips box on the right side of this page.
Cheers to your blog success!
Matthew Kaboomis Loomis is the owner of Build Your Own Blog. Connect with him on Google+