I have been reading through an excellent post by Avinash Kaushik on Occam’s Razorin his post, Blog Metrics: Six Recommendations For Measuring Your Success writes one of the most in-depth, thorough and comprehensive articles on blog analytics I have ever seen. The article goes into great detail on what metrics to use and how to analyze in measuring the growth of you blog- whether it is an online diary, personal blog or blog maintained to promote your business.
Metrics can be one of the most intimidating aspect of building your blog- and one of the easiest to avoid figuring out; but he really nails it. Plenty of graphics, diagrams and beautifully communicated concepts in his post.
Why Do I Care? I Hate Numbers…
If you are serious about growing your blog and making decent money by blogging or using your blog to promote and establish your online business presence you need to understand how to look at data and see how to use it.
Looking at traffic stats and checking your AdSense account balance is not enough.
If you have a basic blog that you throw up and use as your own diary and don’t dare if anyone reads it..ever.. then skip all of this.
If you want to make money at blogging- make even MORE money blogging or use your blog to promote and market your business you HAVE to understand what the numbers mean.
Get Some Sort of Analytics Program
A free analytics program that packs a lot of power is Google Analytics.
What Are Web Analytics?
Analytics are the results of crunching your blogs traffic data. Seeing where your site visitors come from- did they find you in a search engine? Which one? What words did they type in to find you? Or did they come from another referring site? How many came from that site and when or why?
Analytics is Understanding Your Visitors Behavior
Where did they go when they got to your site? How long did they stay? Did they go to other pages or leave right away? Did they buy anything? Email you as a result? Click on an ad? Make a comment?
All that information is available to you and for free neatly laid out in graphs and text . In real time. Knowing where they came and what they did when they came are the most powerful tools you can have when building a successful blog or building a website. Having that information and knowing what to do with separates you from the pack.
Knowledge Is Power
If you know How, What and Why and When of your visitors behavior- you have everything.
See what keywords they use to get to your site. Build on those. Experiment with variations. If you see that you have 50 hits in day for term ” black dog” start writing about grey dogs and white dogs. Try small dogs and big dogs.
If all your “dog” visits are a 1500 hits a month… and then you look closer and see that of those 1500 visits the visitors who came to you via “white dogs” bought something from you 25% of the time and those you came via “black dogs” bought ( or converted ) 10% of the time and the ones who came via “grey dog” not only BOUGHT nothing buy they left your site after 10 seconds- Knowing this is POWER. You can use this information in sooooo many ways.
Look at your stats and see what pages “white dog” people are looking at. You may have written an informative post or talked about a product and linked to it on your site. You may have used text with “call to action” in the post or an image link that took you to product page. See what you did right and duplicate it for other topics. Oprah may have a show on white dogs that month. Get her to do one on grey dogs ? OR – see what kind of dogs are in the news and write about those, too.
Check out “black dog” people. maybe you only have 2 other posts about black dogs on your site and readers think you don’t much about them. Show them they are wrong with a litany of “black dog” posts Maybe the post has spelling errors. See if there is a link to product or whatever a conversion is for your site.
Lift ideas that worked in “white” post.
Look at “grey dogs” path. They bought nothing and left quickly. What page did they visit? Are there broken links? Was it a bad day and not a convincing post? Maybe you had too many links or ads and the post lacked credibility. Did you have lots of picture of white dogs and no grey dogs?
Sometimes looking at other keyword strings can paint a picture for you. If “white dogs” doing well you may see a pattern. Like “best white dogs” . “Top 10 white dogs” “free white dogs”.
Trying to write a “definitive” post on how analytics work is not possible. Some of it is intuition. I can look at my analytics and pick up patterns very quickly. Is that because of my enormous brain? No. This is because I understand them and I look at them frequently. You can’t go check on you stats very 2 months for 5 minutes and check mark “ done.”
If you start early it is a great way to learn. less info will confuse you less and you will see trend more quickly when they happen. It is NEVER to early to start looking at your web stats, they will help you shape your blog and help you write what readers are looking for.
You simply cannot grow your blog without analytics tools. Get them. Learn how to use them and how to “see” what results mean. Take the information and experiment with it. How can you get more traffic and how can you take that traffic and have the visitor behave the way you ant them to. You can only do that by look at past results and duplicating OR by experimenting i.e. t (Which is the title of my next post in series.. “Long Tail Search or Throw Up a Bunch of Stuff And See What Sticks”