Using Google Analytics to monitor your blog traffic is free, simple and generates several different reports that give you awesome insight to grow your blog or website.
I’ll show you some of the most important things I look at for my own websites.
Be sure to scroll down to the end for an on-screen training and tutorial for these reports.
Using Google Analytics WordPress Plugin
To use Google Analytics, you need to first set up a free account. There are a few options to integrate it with your blog, but if you are using WordPress as your blog editor, then I recommend using the Google Analytics plugin.
This plugin allows you to simply enter a code (Web Property ID) generated by Google Analytics so that it can link to and track activity on your blog (see the screenshot below).
Once you link Google Analytics with your blog, it will automatically begin tracking visits and activity on your site.
Google Analytics Insights to Skyrocket Your Blog Traffic
So, what info and insights should you be paying attention to the most? Let’s look at some tracking from a couple of my websites so you can see what I pay attention to the most, and how I use it to continue growing MONETIZING my blog!
OK, so here are the top four things I look at:
Source of Acquisition (what brought ‘em)
New vs. Returning Visitor
That’s really it. I don’t spend a whole lot of time analyzing and researching.
I put more of my time and effort toward creating content and promoting my sites. And honestly, unless you have a really complicated site or blog, you don’t need to spend a whole lot of time checking on your analytics.
BUT (big BUT) you seriously need to use this to grow your blog.
Just make sure you’re spending a lot more time taking action than you are analyzing. Let’s look at the main benefits and importance of each one.
Google Analytics: Site Content/Pages
This is my favorite one. This is what analytics is all about. It simply shows you the most visited areas of your site.
What pages, links and blog posts are people visiting most and spending the most time on?
As you can see from the screenshot below from one of my sites, three out of the top five most visited links on my site are blog posts. The top one accounts for nearly 27 percent of all visits to my site during the selected date range.
Think blog posts aren’t powerful, hhhmmmmmm?
At the time this screenshot was taken, that top post was written about five months prior. Sometimes you just don’t know which post will get popular. But use this Google Analytics report to show you which ones people are visiting most.
That way you can go back to these areas and add some related links, links to relevant product sales, email opt-ins, etc. Basically, spend time fluffing up most popular areas of your site.
The other important thing this tells you is how much time people are spending on these pages and posts. A short amount of time is not always a bad thing. It depends on what you want your visitors to do.
Google Analytics: Source of Acquisition
This is exactly what it sounds like. It shows you where your visitors came from.
And that’s HUUUUUGE!
Are you getting visits from Google organic search? From Facebook? Pinterest?
This tool shows you how many visits you’re getting from different sources. It will also show you how many are new or returning visors and the average time they’re spending on your site.
This Google Analytics tool can show you where you need to focus your marketing effort.
Maybe you want to improve your traffic from Facebook. Or maybe your blog and content is more of a natural fit for Pinterest. You can focus on your strengths or try to find areas you want to improve.
You can see from the screenshot below that more than 78 percent of my total traffic comes from Google organic search. That means that I’ve done a pretty good job creating targeted blog posts and other content my target market is searching for.
Google Analytics: Behavior Flow
This one is a little complicated. Honestly, I’m still trying to figure you how to maximize and implement the info I get from this tool.
Still, it’s pretty damn cool.
It basically gives you a map of where people are traveling on your site.
EXAMPLE: Someone finds your blog post on Google, and from there they go to your About page. Then from there they click on your products page.
“Through Traffic” indicates the number and percentage of visitors who clicked on another link on your site. “Drop-offs” indicates the number that left your site after visiting that specific link.
It always helps to see the journey your average visitor takes on your site. It also can be surprising.
Pay attention to this because it gives you good insight to what visitors see as the important and relevant areas of your site.
Then, you can go back to these areas and add or change things that help them get to the point you eventually want them to go. Buy from you. Contact you. Hire you. Join your email list.
Google Analytics: New vs. Returning Visitor
This is a simple report that shows the number and percentage of new visitors and returning visitors. You can find this under the Audience section of Google Analytics.
It’s not an in-depth report, but it is very interesting.
If you have a growing number of returning visitors, that’s fantastic. That’s what you want. FOLLOWERS!
You can also compare the number of page views and average time spent on your site between new and returning visitors.
This can be interesting info since returning visors (especially some that come to your site or blog often) can behave very differently than new visitors.
SO…. those are the four primary Google Analytics blog traffic reports I use. Some of these I check once a week. Others I check once a month.
Just figure out what makes sense for you. But make sure you use this info to improve your blog and bring more value to your followers.
When that’s your focus, you can’t help but succeed.