Google Analytics offers a huge range of insights into how your visitors engage with your blog. Use it to find out what they like, they don’t like, how long they’re hanging around, and how well your carefully considered calls to action are performing.
Sound useful? Of course it does. So read on for TheGenieLab’s top tips on using Google Analytics to track and improve your blog.
Find out How Many People See Your Content with Unique Pageviews
If you want your blog, and in turn, your ecommerce store, to be successful, then traffic is key. Unique visitors then is the metric that tracks how many individuals are actually seeing your content. If there aren’t many people coming to your blog, it could be that you need to put some work into increasing your reader acquisition.
To find unique visitors, click ‘Behavior’, then ‘Site Content’, specific blog post in the search bar, and then rank your posts by ‘Unique Pageviews’.
This could be by making SEO improvements and utilizing longtail keywords, promoting your blog on social channels, or by investing in a little PPC to promote your content.
Track Pages per Visit
By tracking the number of pages each of your visitor’s view you can get a sense of how well your content flows, i.e. how well your visitors’ needs are catered for and how interesting and relevant your blog topics are. Basically, the more pages your visitor views, the more engaged they are with your site.
To find pages per visit, click on ‘Audience’ then ‘Overview’.
In part, the number of pages per visit can be improved by paying attention to content flow – how well one piece of content leads on to another. If you’ve written a focused piece that answers the question that your visitor had in mind when they landed on your site, that’s great, but the next step is to encourage them to click deeper into your site taking them one step closer to conversion. Inter-linking between relevant articles can help your visitors answer questions you may have posed in your blog, encouraging them to further their knowledge, and ‘read more’ or ‘related post’ features can also help pique the interest of a curious visitor.
Discover What Your Most Popular Posts Are
To really understand what content works best for your blog, in terms of topics or headlines for example, it’s a great idea to keep track of the most popular content on your blog. These are the pages that are attracting your visitors, and it’s up to you to figure out why.
To find your most popular posts, select a time frame at the top right of your screen, then click ‘Behavior’, ‘Site Content’ and ‘All Pages’. To concentrate on your blog specifically, type this into the search bar (it should be just above ‘Bounce Rate’).
In the above example, we looked at three months’ data and learnt which topics, headline structures, writers and styles were performing best – so we know to concentrate our efforts here in the future and to analyze these pieces to try to understand what made them so successful.
Understand and Improve Your Bounce Rate
Bounce Rate is a big deal, and measures the percentage of visitors who come to your website and leave without viewing any other pages. If you have a high bounce rate (average for blog content is about 80%) it means that your website isn’t retaining its visitors, and that people are either coming to your website, finding what they need and leaving, or worse, not finding what they want at all.
To find bounce rate, click ‘Behavior’, ‘Site Content’ and ‘All Pages’, then specify in the search bar that you want to look at blog posts. Bounce rate is the fifth column over, and you can rank it in ascending or descending order. However, be careful not to let your bounce rate stats become skewed by poorly performing posts – if one of your earlier posts only had three visitors and each clicked through to another, it’s going to show as 0%. It’s sometimes more useful to look at the bounce rate of your most popular posts to get a true idea of what’s working and what’s not.
To improve bounce rate, you need to make sure that once visitors land on your blog, they’re drawn to visit more pages on your site (as an ecommerce store, you’re there to sell them something after all).
Start by checking out the posts that have low bounce rates, as these are likely to have good leads to other areas on your website. These posts can be used as best-practice models to help you understand how your visitors are moving through your site, so that you can decide which pages are appropriate to link to. If on a high bouncing page you link directly to product pages, for example, it could be the case that your visitor isn’t ready to buy. They might be interested in learning more about your product or service however, so it could be more useful to link to a page that will help them further their research.
Another great way to improve bounce rate is by linking to content that anyone could enjoy, regardless of their position in the sales funnel. ‘About Us’ pages serve this purpose particularly well, and are a great way to introduce new visitors to your business.
Focus Your Efforts with Traffic Sources
Your blog’s traffic will come from a variety of sources: search engines, direct traffic, social and referral (other websites). Knowing where your traffic is coming from is useful because it can help you decide where to spend your time and money.
Find traffic sources by clicking on ‘Acquisition’ and then ‘Overview’. This will show you which channels are sending visitors to your site as well as associated information such as their behavior in terms of percentage.
Dig a little deeper and click on ‘All Traffic’ and then ‘Channels’, and you’ll start to see more detail. Click on each channel and it will tell you which search terms are bringing in visitors organically and which websites are bringing you referral traffic.
You could find that you’re ranking for terms you haven’t targeted and a little SEO could further improve your traffic, or that some blogs you contribute to bring more traffic than others, so you know which to concentrate on in future.
Don’t Stop There…
See, Analytics isn’t that scary, is it? And with the above guidance, you’ll find you’re perfectly placed to realize its full potential.
Analytics really is filled with wonderful insight that can make your blog efforts infinitely more efficient, leaving you with loads more time to focus on your ecommerce efforts.Speaking of which, we can help you with that, too!
If you’re looking to improve or develop your ecommerce store, TheGenieLab can help you drive your business forward. To find out more about our services, click here.