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Blog Analytics Is Easier Than You Think

Blog Analytics made easy

Blog Analytics Made Easy

Blog analytics is easier than you think if you just stick to the basics.

And, if you use the right tools to help you along.

Now, I’m not going to try to tell you that I’m any kind of analytics geek – because I certainly am not.

I actually stayed away from applying standard analytics for bloggers for a long time because I assumed it would be difficult.

I finally came to realize, though, that I really needed to know a little bit about what’s going on “under the hood” of my blog, not because I’m so interested in analyzing numbers.

But because I needed to know what was working and what was not working.

I needed to know where my blog was failing.

I wanted to know where I’m getting traffic from.

And I wanted to understand more about my target audience.

These are not just questions asked out of curiosity.

And the answers will help direct the course of your blogging business.

Special: Start Your New Blog Today… 3 Easy Steps

Blog Analytics Tools

In order to understand what’s really going on with your blog, you need to use some kind of tool.

There are many different analytic tools that you can use.

I personally use Google Analytics and find it to be pretty straightforward and simple.

And it’s a free tool, so there’s no reason to go on and about, stalling and shilly-shallying.

Just sign in, and start getting some insights into your blogging business.

3 Things I Analyze With Google Analytics

The three things that I have found most important to analyze, given my particular business model, are these.

  1. How many visitors I get.
  2. Where my traffic is coming from.
  3. What my bounce rate is.

Here’s How I Do My Blog Analysis (simple and easy)

1. Number of Visitors

In Google Analytics, “visits” are known as “sessions.”

This is important because you need to know how much traffic your blog is getting.

Google Analytics Shows your amount of traffic or sessions

Traffic is called Sessions in Google Analytics

How Much Traffic Are You Getting?
Have You Thought Of Connecting With Joint Venture Partners

Do You Have Joint Venture Partners?

Not only is it important because you want to know how much traffic you are getting, but you want to pass that information on to potential Joint Venture partners.

Have you ever thought of getting someone to work with you in your blogging business?

Have you ever considered reaching out to JV’s who can help you with specific aspects of your business?

You might decide to ask people to advertise on your site, write a guest post, do reviews for you, interviews or anything else that might help the popularity and ranking of your site.

People generally don’t want to do too much in terms of joint ventures with you, or guest spots on your blog… until you can show them the amount of traffic you are getting.

A decent amount of traffic can open many doors.

But without having some analytics in place, it’s difficult to show people the benefit of running a joint venture with you, or joining you in some sort of partnership enterprise.

Analytics For Bloggers

Blog analysis can tell you a lot about your market as well as your audience and traffic flow.

I like to check how particular pages or blog posts are doing compared with one other.

This gives me an idea of which topics are most important.

The value of this type of blogger tracking is that it helps me to write topics that my readers are interested in.

If I see everybody rushing to a blog post about email marketing, and hardly anybody is reading my blog post about video marketing, then I have learned how to analyze a blog in a critical way.

I have learned that my audience is more interested in email marketing than video marketing.

Special: Start Your New Blog Today… 3 Easy Steps

Blog analysis of this sort is a great way to do internal market research.

And it’s very simple and very easy.

Now, if I can tell you it’s simple and easy… believe me… it is 🙂

TIP: Here’s An Easy To Follow Guide To Getting Google Analytics Set Up On Your Blog

2.  Traffic Sources

It should be obvious that knowing where your traffic is coming from is valuable.

If you don’t know how to analyze a blog properly, you will never know how traffic is getting referred to you.

Traffic source data is a key goal of blog analysis.

Here’s why.

First of all you see who is promoting you.

This will tell you what blog sites or social media platforms are important to foster interaction with.

Here are key social media sites that send lots of traffic my way, according to my blogging analysis.

Blog Analysis of Social Media Traffic Sources

Here are a few blogs and websites that refer a ton of traffic to me.

Blog Analysis of Traffic Referral Sites

This kind of blog analysis reveals “Acquisition” sources.

That’s the Google Analytics term for what I call “traffic” traffic sources.

Here’s a Blog Analysis Example

Let’s take a look at how blog tracking tools can help you better understand your business.

If I’m spending all kinds of time on Reddit but nobody is coming to my blog from there, then I’m probably wasting my time with it.

So, I can just stop using that social site.

Or,  understanding the implications of blog analytics like these, I may decide to rethink my Reddit strategy.

There are things I might do on Reddit that actually can help drive more traffic to my blog.

But if I was not doing this kind of blog analysis, I would never have known that.

Meanwhile, I may be doing very little on Twitter.

My blog analytics could reveal, though, that lots of people are coming from Twitter anyway.

So maybe I’m just better off to work my business through Twitter instead of Reddit.

This is just an example, of course, of how to analyze a blog properly.

Special: Start Your New Blog Today… 3 Easy Steps

But it’s the sort of thing that you can learn by using some basic blog analytics tools.

If you see a lot of traffic coming from a certain blog post or authority site, it might be a good tip-off that you want to do some to connect and interact with those sites.

Maybe you want to put a banner ad on those sites.

Or you might want to guest post on their site or even ask their owners to guest post on your site.

The fact that you see a lot of traffic coming from their site shows that their crowd is interested in what you’re doing.

So it’s just good business to do more of it.

This is the whole point of implementing the habit to do blog analysis on a regular basis.

3. Bounce Rate

Tracking your “bounce rate” is really important because it tells you if people are leaving your blog right away, without really reading it.

If that’s happening, then you’re doing something wrong.

Bounce Rate viewed in Google Analytics

This Shows A 28.86% Bounce Rate

Internal Links

Maybe you need to put internal links to other articles in the first part of your blog post.

This gives people a chance to visit other pages on your blog, and start to draw them deeper into your blog content.

Blog Post Introductions

Perhaps you simply need to come up with a more interesting and compelling first paragraph.

You might have been saving the best for last, when really, it would help you out if you put your best foot forward, right off the bat.

That keeps your readers from “bouncing” over to another site.

Promises, Promises

You could even put some bold promises the first paragraph.

Say things like “you are going to learn 5 amazing things in this blog article about _____.”

Or, try this…

Special: Start Your New Blog Today… 3 Easy Steps

“By the time you’re done reading this post, you are going to know ____ ” (list things, like, a, b and c).

Now you wouldn’t know that is important to do this unless you were doing your blog analysis and seeing that your bounce rate is getting too high.

Use your blog tracking tools to inspire you to use some of new strategies.

You can then backtrack and see if it made a difference.

If it did, you’re on the right path.

If not, let your continuing blog analysis point you to some different strategies.

Blog Analytics Is Easier Than You Think

So I told you that doing blog analytics would be easier than you think.

And, what I just showed you that I do with Google Analytics is pretty much all I do.

There certainly are more advanced analytics you could be using.

But I think it’s a good idea to stick to the kind of basics I just described, if you’re just beginning to use blog analysis tools for the first time.

When you’re ready… Here’s The Best Beginners Guide To Google Analytics that I’ve found.

It is certainly a great and in-depth guide to pretty much anything you’d ever want to know about running Google Analytics on your blog.

So I hope that by seeing what I do with my blog analysis inspires you to start using Google analytics or one of the other tools out there. They can help you start getting a much better idea of what your blog is doing and how to run your blogging business.

I especially hope that you agree with me that… it really is easier than you think.

Coaching with Donna

So, I’ve gone on and on, here, and it’s probably time for you to just start implementing some of these things.

Now, I’d like to hear from you.

Do you use any blog analysis tools?

Or do you just wing it? … like I did for so long… for too long, really.

If you use some blog analytics tools that I didn’t mention here, I’d certainly like to hear about it.

And what do you say…

Have I convinced you that Blog Analytics Is Easier Than You Think?

Don’t just read and run… give me your thoughts in the comment section below and, when you’re done with that… share this article on your favorite social sites.

Thanks much 🙂

-Donna

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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39 Responses to Blog Analytics Is Easier Than You Think

  1. Ravi Chahar
    Twitter:
    January 24, 2017 at 9:21 am #

    Hey Donna,

    There are many people who are still struggling to find out the perfect way to analyze their blog.

    Google Analytics has always been a friend to me. The bounce rate, sessions, users, traffic from the social media platforms.

    You can get every detail. You can even find out the countries and cities.

    Thanks for bringing this up.
    Have a great day.
    ~Ravi
    Ravi Chahar recently posted..How To Send Emails From WordPress Using Gmail SMTP?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 26, 2017 at 9:46 am #

      Hi Ravi,

      There are many paid alternatives, but Google Analytics is free and many will argue it’s still the best.

      I think a lot of the paid platforms specialize in certain areas of analytics, like heat maps or something.

      But really, for most people, it seems like Google Analytics is still the favorite.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Do You Spend Money Blogging?My Profile

  2. Ruth Bowers
    Twitter:
    January 24, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    It’s so important to know your numbers if you want a successful blog. Google analytics is a godsend in that for me. I would be lost without them.
    Ruth Bowers recently posted..[Friday Five] 5 Content Mistakes That Drive Readers AwayMy Profile

  3. Sherman Smith January 24, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    I was just like you in the beginning.

    I stayed away from blog analytics. The difference was that it looked hard with all the metrics, settings and so forth.

    I actually did 2 things to bring me to start using Google Analytics. A lot of searching on information on different blogs and vlogs, and a lot of soul searching at that.

    Eventually I figured it out, and just like you said it was a lot easier than I thoyght. As a matter of fact the 3 metrics you mentioned is all you’ll need at first to get a strong understanding of what’s going on with your trsffic.

    Thanks for the share! This will help a lot of beginners!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..ADZBuzz UBlock Review: The Best Free and Paid Popup Ad BlockerMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 26, 2017 at 9:53 am #

      Hi Sherman,

      It’s just kind of overwhelming to people who don’t like “numbers” and “statistics” to see all those charts, graphs, percentiles etc etc

      But I think if you just put it in your mind to track one little thing… like page views… after a while, you start getting sucked in to checking out something else, then something else, then, hey… you’re doing it 🙂

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why Does My Blog Fail To Grow And Make Money?My Profile

  4. Cori Ramos
    Twitter:
    January 24, 2017 at 2:03 pm #

    This is awesome Donna. I also stayed away from setting up my blog’s analytics because I thought it would be too hard…Google Analytics is a big monster – there are still some things I don’t understand on it so I just track the basics like the ones you mentioned here.

    I love the tips you gave too – especially the ones to improve our bounce rate. It never crossed my mind to put an internal link in the beginning of a post. I just place one as it flows in the content. Great share!

    I’ve already passed this along! Hope you’re having a great day so far!

    Cori
    Cori Ramos recently posted..The Motherload of Online Jobs ListsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 26, 2017 at 9:56 am #

      Hi Cori,

      Bounce rate is really important for SEO, but also because if people are “bouncing”, that means they are not finding too much value in what you’ve written…

      or it can be the design of your blog that chases them…

      or too many popups…

      or an annoying splash page…

      Who knows?

      That’s what the analytics are there to help you figure out 🙂

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..8 Blogging Fears You Can OvercomeMy Profile

  5. Marquita Herald
    Twitter:
    January 24, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    I use Google Analytics as well, though I admit I only check it a couple of times a month or if I’m participating in a traffic challenge, etc. The last time I checked I was quite surprised to see how much traffic I was getting from SlideShare because once I post a presentation there and share it I tend to forget it, but obviously, there is an audience so I’m planning to create more presentations this year. Thanks for the reminder and tips!
    Marquita Herald recently posted..Beyond Uncertainty Lies a World of PossibilitiesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 26, 2017 at 9:58 am #

      Hi Marquita,

      SlideShare is a really good way to pull traffic.

      The thing is… you’ve got to learn how to do it, then you’ve got to do it well.

      And, of course, like everything else… you’ve got to start doing it consistently.

      Thanks for posting the tip here.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..8 Blogging Fears You Can OvercomeMy Profile

  6. Harleena Singh
    Twitter:
    January 24, 2017 at 10:25 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    You are right about all that you mentioned 🙂

    Google Analytics IS easier than we think, though when we are newbies – the fear of the unknown and lack of knowledge, keeps us away from such tools and sites!! I think most of us were like that initially, till we learned how to go about it all.

    Yes, it is one of my favorite go to places also, as it tells me where my traffic is coming from, which are my most read niches, which social platforms I should be tapping more, and so much more! It gives us direction to take or change if need be, and that is a huge help for bloggers.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..10 Ways to Increase Domain Authority (DA) of Your BlogMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 26, 2017 at 10:09 am #

      Hi Harleena,

      The fear of the unknown + lack of knowledge… aren’t those always the things that strike fear in our hearts and stop us from doing things that can really have such a positive impact on our business.

      Yet, it’s always such a good feeling when we “slay the dragon” and reach new heights.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..You Are What You Tweet | With Germany KentMy Profile

  7. Osho Garg January 25, 2017 at 3:01 am #

    Hello,

    Very useful guide, I think I have never read any posts which is written in simple manner to understand easily. I have been using analytics since a long time but I have learned something new today from this post.

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Atish Ranjan January 25, 2017 at 3:08 am #

    There are tons of Analytics tool available online, Donna. But, I have been sticking to Google Analytics because I have been using it for more than 6 years now, and I have great grip on it. Moreover, the data representation is quite easy as well.

    Nice post.
    Atish Ranjan recently posted..10 Games Like Slither.ioMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 26, 2017 at 10:21 am #

      Hi Atish,

      I agree (and many others do, too) that Google Analytics is definitely the way to go.

      Especially if you’re just getting into analytics for the first time… why pay for an expensive platform to try to learn all this stuff when Google-A does such a great job and you can learn for free .. 🙂

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Do You Spend Money Blogging?My Profile

  9. Bren Pace
    Twitter:
    January 25, 2017 at 11:24 am #

    Hey beautiful friend! 🙂

    I have to admit, it took me forever to start using Google Analytics on any of my blogs. I was scared. I didn’t understand how to install it. Where to put the code. Screw it, who needs it. I can use Jetpack Site Stats. However, finally, I got brave. I jumped in and did it! Although I do still use Jetpack Site Stats in conjunction with it, I love to look at my analytics now. Page views/Sessions is cool. I really like knowing where my traffic is coming from (social media/resources). This is how I find focus on what social media platforms to use more and ones to forget altogether. There is so much more inside the Google Analytics panel that I have used yet. Maybe in another 5 years when I get brave again. 😉

    Thanks for sharing this, Donna. It’s a fab and easy to understand tutorial. Passing it on girl! Hugs to you, David, and the furry ones!

    B
    Bren Pace recently posted..It’s Time To Let You In on a Little Secret!My Profile

  10. Sue Bride
    Twitter:
    January 25, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

    Google Analytics has so many aspects that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But, for most of us, the features you mention are all that we need. So if you just focus on these it’s not hard.
    Sue Bride recently posted..Instamate Review – Use Instagram On The Web from Your ComputerMy Profile

  11. Ryan Biddulph
    Twitter:
    January 25, 2017 at 9:33 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    You did a fab job keeping it simple. And powerful.

    If I did track things I’d focus on these 3 statistics. When I track. If I ever track. Ever. LOL!

    I do see the value in learning more about metrics and the like as I’ve even digging a bit into the nitty gritty of my blog. My blog was down quite a bit today as I was having CDN issues with images being broken and stuff. Phil Dews was on task as always, diving into the tech muck to get things up and running. He has a bit more to go but really, I learned more about CDNs and hosting and all that stuff today than I ever learned.

    Thanks for the informative share Donna and have a fab rest of your week.

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..5 Travel Photography Tips for the Postcard Perfect ShotMy Profile

  12. Amar kumar
    Twitter:
    January 26, 2017 at 1:08 am #

    Hey Donna,

    It is really a very informative post and this will going to enlighten many people regarding blog analytics. Google Analytics is absolutely genius tool for providing better information regarding our blog visitor. Today, Google Analytics is the leading free tool that has a good relationship with the internet marketing and offers suggestions and improvements for our website.

    Google Analytics allows us to track website behavior and reports on visitors, engagement, traffic sources, content and e-commerce sales. It is the most popular web analytics platform on the market and can help us to identify our most profitable marketing channels. Eventually, thanks for reveling a light on this topic.

    With best regards,

    Amar kumar

  13. Mi Muba
    Twitter:
    January 26, 2017 at 2:53 am #

    Hi Donna

    Numbers do have their own importance even in this age of quality. The accurate analysis of a performance could better be done with numbers.

    Google Analytics is one of the most effective tools to know how a blog is working. As you showed numbers of your blog is an ample proof you can check every aspect of blog performance with it.

    Once we know where we are standing then we can plan where we should go now and this is done with situational analysis that is done with a proper tool like GA.

    Many thanks for sharing this very informative post.

    Have a great rest of the week.
    Mi Muba recently posted..10 specialized blog comment examples to get free trafficMy Profile

  14. Shamsudeen Adeshokan
    Twitter:
    January 26, 2017 at 2:37 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    For many marketers, Google Analytics is just one of the few SEO tools they actually rely on for most SEO task.

    Unarguably the best SEO tools out there. It comprises most of what you need to know about your website and it users.

    While I was just that beginner blogger, I find Google Analytics too complex to understand or wade through. So for many years, I neglect it usefulness and just doing marketing blindly.

    But as I grew older in online marketing, I learned that to be successful here, “validations” is important. We need to analyze every possible available data to see what works from what’s not working.

    So I learned the importance of Google Analytics and since then, it has been my go-to SEO tool.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Shamsudeen Adeshokan recently posted..The Insider’s Guide to Link BuildingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 29, 2017 at 1:09 pm #

      Hi Shamsudeen,

      Thanks for sharing your story.

      It’s always nice to see how people are using the tools and methods I share to build their blog and grow their business.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Do You Spend Money Blogging?My Profile

  15. Ilka Emig
    Twitter:
    January 28, 2017 at 10:15 am #

    Hi Donna!

    Spot on. I agree with you that it is easier than it sounds. And it is really important to know your statistics if you want to improve and get better.

    Of course, like with everything some people obsess about it. But you mention some useful basics every blogger should use.

    All the best 🙂
    Ilka
    Ilka Emig recently posted..How Dopamine works in favor of our Reward SystemMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 29, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

      Hi Ilka,

      You’ve shared such a valuable insight… people can “obsess” on analytics.

      I’ve worked with far too many people who were spending so much time “under the hood” trying to figure out their analytics (the way their blog performs) and optics (the way their blog looks) – there was just no time left for growing a business.

      After all, isn’t that what’s most important?

      Analytics are crucial to understanding what’s going on, but really, let’s not turn that into our whole purpose of blogging.

      That’s why I only focus on the 3 metrics I described in the article.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Build Relationships With People Through BloggingMy Profile

  16. Ash
    Twitter:
    January 29, 2017 at 10:41 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Love or not, hate it or put up with it, analytics should be a part of the work that goes in along with the rest of everything else you’d need to do for digital marketing.

    If you don’t know what’s happening on your blog/business, why do anything at all?

    Google Analytics is indeed powerful and it took me quite a while to figure it out. There’s more to it than what seems apparent, but it’s a fantastic, free resource.

    It also lets you tap into one of the greatest gifts the digital medium could ever give to businesses and bloggers: the ability to track and take decisions based on data, and not emotions.

    Ash
    Ash recently posted..Why Digital Marketing Is Not What You Think It Is?My Profile

  17. Donna Merrill
    Twitter:
    January 29, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

    Hi Ash,

    Very well said my friend.

    Analytics might not be glamorous, but if you want a successful, profitable blog… just do it 🙂

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..8 Blogging Fears You Can OvercomeMy Profile

  18. K. Lee Banks
    Twitter:
    January 29, 2017 at 5:36 pm #

    Thank you for making sense of blog analytics! I do understand better now and have started keeping better track of things recently. I’m still confused about bounce rate – is the lower number better, meaning fewer people leave soon after arriving? Funny, I just signed up for a FREE Alison course on understanding social media analytics! 🙂
    K. Lee Banks recently posted..Photo Sunday – Some Favorite Quilt ProjectsMy Profile

  19. ikechi
    Twitter:
    January 29, 2017 at 7:26 pm #

    Hi Donna

    It is true that if yu don’t keep track of your blog, you certainly will not be able to know what works and want needs tweaking.

    I use the Google analytics and I focus on key metrics which you have mentioned above. I recently checked my site on GA for a whole year and it revealed so much.

    Thanks for sharing this post. Take care
    ikechi recently posted..The 10 Most Popular Posts That Rocked in 2016My Profile

  20. Joy Healey
    Twitter:
    January 29, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Well I’ve been BAD. i got Google Analytics all set up for my blog, but haven’t been to check it out for ages.

    Yes, it is important – and the silly thing is that I always find it totally fascinating to look at all the information there….. then forget to go again.

    Big reminder to myself now!

    Thanks,

    Joy – Blogging After Dark
    Joy Healey recently posted..How To Be A Successful Networker In Home BusinessMy Profile

  21. Mark
    Twitter:
    January 30, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

    Another winner for sure Donna!LOL!

    And I much as I hate to admit this publicly,
    like you, I too for years, shied away from trying to
    both learn and install Google Analytics!LOL!

    Even the very name, suggested, it was just too
    darn techie and numbers intent, for me to be
    remotely bothered with!LOL!

    But thanks goodness, I too, came to my senses and
    finally got with the program coach.

    I finally learned how to not only install and learn to
    interpret the incredibly useful data.

    But after doing so, just as you pointed out, it’s sort of like an online
    GPS, potential profit mapping meter!LOL!

    The very straight forward data, definitely lets you know, where
    (as you mentioned), we definitely need to (either) be investing more time,
    money or other extremely valuable resources.

    And where not to. And thanks for sharing so many other extremely valuable
    resources! I’ll definitely check those out as well!
    Mark recently posted..How Savvy Entrepreneurs Use Simple Automation To Increase Their Profits!My Profile

  22. Mitch Mitchell
    Twitter:
    January 31, 2017 at 11:51 pm #

    Good stuff Donna. I use Google Analytics also and I check my sites at least once a month. Course my list isn’t close to being as clean as yours is. I seem to generate some traffic from some dodgy sites that I’d never heard of until I started looking deeper into it. Because of this I’ve had to create two separate lists to weed out those particular sites when I want to know what’s really going on. It may decrease my numbers but at least I trust the accuracy.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Is Google Analytics The Only Viable Traffic Entity?My Profile

  23. Praveen rajarao
    Twitter:
    February 22, 2017 at 10:44 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    yes, GA has been a great asset to all bloggers and I use it quite a bit, but not in all aspects that you have outlined.

    The data provided to us to so overwhelming and sometimes I shy away from it due to lack of time ( really?? )

    Thanks for a wonderful post yet again
    Praveen rajarao recently posted..Top 10 Best Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $100My Profile

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