At the beginning of this process, you hopefully put a programme such as Google Analytics on your blog & therefore have a months worth of statistics to look at. Darren tries to undertake a proper look at stats each month…
If you’re new to analytics:
- How many visitors are you getting overall? Is it rising or falling? Can you tie the rates into anything in particular (frequency posts, links from elsewhere, topic focus, etc.)
- Most Popular Posts: Gives you ideas about topics to develop further, and think about how to optimise your blog – drive users from these posts deeper into your blog.
- Referral stats: Which sites send you most traffic – if another blog – see if can develop relationship with owner. If a search engine, work on SEO.
- Questions being asked: What do people want to know? Can you answer it?
- Keywords & Traffic – knowing what people are searching for can allow you to optimize your content with the right keywords
- Seasonal traffic – what can you grab here? The Big Bible Project was built out of a Lent project – we’d love to do Autumn & Advent too…
- Daily/Weekly trends: popular days/times of day – do you then adjust posting times? [We use Crowdbooster for some of this – and tested posting stories before rush hour, rather than at 9am – and numbers reading rose]
- Bounce Rates: How many people leave without reading any other pages? Seek to make your site more sticky.
- Page views per visit: Similar but how many – how to increase page views?
- Time on site: Is your content engaging enough to keep people reading – and hopefully commenting!
- New/Returning Visitors: Are people loyal visitors? The Big Bible Project has around 45% loyal visitors.
- RSS Stats: Consider using Feedburner – will give you more stats
- Outbound Clicks: What motivates readers to leave your blog – what might you be able to give them more of (if your aim is to keep them on site – or if you’re happy that you’re giving good links).
- Where people click on your page – Google Analytics or Crazyegg can create heatmaps… giving you an idea of what attract attention/action.
- Exit Pages – Where are people leaving your blog from – if there’s an unusually high number then see if there’s something you can do to change the page.
- Monetisation stats – if you’re seeking to make money – work out which posts are performing.
- Other stats – endless options – geography, broswers, etc.
Avoid becoming a ‘stats addict’ – don’t check more than 2-3 times a day (oh dear, I should check more!), and in depth once a month.
It can be depressing/disillusioning to see all this data – but typically it takes 2-3 years to hit the big time with a blog. This is a marathon, not a sprint – think about how you may want to grow your blog.