Every blogger wants it, in fact, we crave it. We all want more traffic and page views. Without anyone reading our blogs, we're basically just journaling. In today's post, I'm going to walk you through how I track my Google Analytics blog metrics.
I try not to focus too much on page views. I understand the importance of getting targeted traffic to your site.
Without the right traffic, you can get all the page views in the world. However, this doesn't mean that anyone is going to buy your products, click on your affiliate links or subscribe to your email list.
Now I'm not a traffic expert, heck I'm not even a Google Analytics expert.
However, I do know enough to keep track of my blog growth each and every month. In fact, I share my blog growth at the beginning of every month on my blog.
If you're a blogger, chances are you spend a lot of time guest posting, networking, promoting your blog on social media the list can go on and on.
If you're a one-person band like I am. Then it's important to know which tasks are helping you grow and which ones are a waste of your time. I don't know about you, but I don't have 12 hours a day to devote to my blog.
Nor do I want to.
I started my blog to eventually create a life of freedom. That's why I'm blogging, my hope is to move away from my freelancing business and create more of a passive income lifestyle.
I'm not a fool, I know that there will never be a total hands-off passive income lifestyle. I'll have to continue working on my blog. The great thing is that I won't have to deal with clients anymore 🙂
I'll try to make this as short as possible. But I want to highlight the important stats that I pay attention to every month. If I leave something out or if you feel like I'm missing something, don't hesitate to share your opinion below.
Let's get started…
How to Use Google Analytics to Measure Your Blog Growth
First of all, every blogger should be using Google Analytics to help them track their blog metrics.
If you haven't installed it yet, here's a tutorial that will walk you through on how to add Google Analytics to a WordPress blog.
If you've just installed Google Analytics you won't be able to follow along. You'll need to wait at least a month or two for Google to gather some data from your blog.
Don't worry, you can come back and follow this later.
It's Time to Check Your Google Analytics Blog Data
At the end of every month, I'll log into my Google Analytics dashboard to check to see how my blog is growing. If you're trying to build a business, it's important to know if your blog is growing in the right direction.
You don't want to waste time on those activities that aren't helping you grow. By checking your blog Analytics you'll know what's working and what isn't.
It doesn't matter the order that you check these stats, you just want to make sure that you're checking them once a month.
Go to Acquisition >> Social >> Overview
This will show you which social network is sending you the most traffic. I like to use this information to help me determine which social platform I should be spending my time on.
Right now, Pinterest is my biggest referrer. Therefore, I am spending my time learning the ins and outs of the platform. I'm personally using the Social Warfare plugin to help me get more shares on my content.
As you can see, it's the same social sharing plugin that Ms. Ileane is using. Watch the video to learn the Benefits of Using Social Warfare Plugin!
Here's a tutorial that will walk you through on how to make your WordPress blog Pinterest friendly.
Yours might be Facebook or Twitter. Either way, you'll get a ton of valuable information you can use to help you know which social network to spend your time on.
Go to Acquisition >> All Traffic >> Source/Medium
This is where you'll see all the different sources that are sending your blog traffic. You'll hear so many bloggers talk about the importance of SEO optimizing your blog posts.
If your site is starting to get some organic traffic from Google, you'll see Google on this list.
Not Seeing Organic Traffic Yet
It's okay, maybe your blog isn't that old yet. I've personally noticed that it takes time to start seeing organic traffic.
Here are some ways to get traffic to your blog if you're still waiting for Google to catch up with your blog.
If your blog is at least a year old and you're still not getting traffic. Maybe it's time to take a look at your SEO optimization strategies and see what needs to be fixed.
Go to Acquisition >> Search Console >> Queries
On this screen, you'll see some of the keywords that people typing into Google to find your blog.
Of course, you won't see all the keywords that are being used. However, if you're having trouble coming up with some blog topics for your blog.
Browsing the queries section of Google Analytics will help you brainstorm some new blog topics for your next blog post.
Go to Behavior >> Site Content >> Landing Pages
This tab is going to tell us which posts are our most popular blog posts. You can then use this information to piggyback off the success of those posts.
Your readers have already told you that they like that information. You can take it a step further and write about that topic again.
This time write about it from a totally different angle.
For instance, if one of your top 10 articles is called “How to lose weight after 40.” You could write another “Best foods to eat to lose weight after 40”
I'm not in the weight loss niche I just took a guess. However, you can kind of see where I'm going with this.
This is a great way to come up with some more content ideas for your blog.
Monetizing These Blog Posts
Personally, I like to find my top 10 blog posts and see if I can go back and add affiliate links to them.
They are the blog posts that are bringing your blog the most traffic, it's time to make these posts work for you.
Word of warning: You don't want to stuff a bunch of affiliate links into the posts. It's important to make sure that you make it flow naturally with the content.
Interlinking to Other Blog Posts
Another thing that I love doing with my popular posts is to make sure that they link to some of my other related blog posts.
This can be a great way to keep people on our blogs longer and help us reduce our bounce rate.
Go to Conversions >> Overview
If you're trying to grow your email list, I highly suggest that you take the time to learn how to track mailing list signups using Google Analytics.
Personally, I had no clue that you could do that. It wasn't until about a month ago that I've finally started using goals for my own blog.
I'm still learning this portion of Google Analytics.
What to Do with All This Information
Now that you've seen the Google Analytics blog metrics I check every month, you might be wondering what I do with this information? Well, I create my blog growth video and put my stats on my blog.
This helps me keep track of what steps I'm taking to grow my blog. I am hoping that it'll help others see what it takes to grow a blog as well.
Blog Metrics to Track
If you're trying to grow a profitable blog, you'll need to know what metrics are important to you.
- Maybe you're trying to grow your email subscribers?
- Perhaps you're more interested in increasing your page views?
- Maybe you want more social media followers?
Every blogger is different and I don't know what your blog goals are. People are different and you may want to focus on other types of blog metrics for your blog.
I have a spreadsheet on Google Drive that helps me keep track of all my blog metrics at the end of the month.
When I first started my blog, I wasn't paying attention to any type of metrics. It wasn't until maybe 4 months ago that I really started tracking the growth of my blog.
You can't expect to create a profitable blog if you don't treat it like a business.
Final Take Away
Starting a blog is the easy part. The hard part is when you're trying to turn it into a full-time business and create profits.
It's not impossible, but it's going to take a lot of hard work.
You need to keep moving forward. That's why it's important to track your blog metrics so you can see the growth of your blog.
This will motivate you to keep working and the best part is you'll know what's actually helping you grow your blog.
I know this was a quick highlight of how I'm using Google Analytics to help me measure my blog growth.
If you're using it to help you track your blog growth, what do you feel I missed?
What other metrics should beginner bloggers pay attention to on a monthly basis?
Let me know, I'd love to hear how you use Google Analytics to measure your blog growth.