Google Analytics on your blog can give great insight into blog activity by showing you where your audience is coming from and which posts are the most popular.
Identifying your readers and their interests will help you to streamline your topics so that you can focus on writing posts that appeal to your visitors.
1) WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?
In this section of Google Analytics, you will find information that will tell you WHO your viewers are, the area in which they live, their age, and the languages that they speak. This is how you do it:
Log in to your Google Analytics account.
Go to “Audience” in the left column and then scroll down past “User Explorer.”
Scroll down further and choose “Demographics” to see the age and gender of your readers then close “Demographics” and choose “Geo” to see what languages they speak.
Choose “Location” to learn what countries they reside in. Clicking on the name of the country will take you further in to the details of where they live.
If you click on the United States, for example, you will be led to the state and then to the city.
Underneath “Geo” you will find “Behavior” which shows new visitors vs. returning ones.
2) HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE VISITING YOUR BLOG AND HOW MANY PAGES ARE THEY READING WHEN THEY VISIT?
Select a date range in the upper right corner of the page. Checking your monthly stats and comparing them will give you a good idea of how your blog is growing.
Find “Audience” in the left column. Scroll down and select “Overview.”
Now to the right you will see the number of “Sessions” which is how many different times viewers clicked on your blog and this includes repeat visitors. It is the total number of visits to your blog.
Underneath that, you will see “Users” which is the number of PEOPLE who came to your site.
“Pageviews” shows how many different pages were accessed during the selected time period and it includes repeat visits.
“Pages/Session” is the average number of pages viewed during a visit and repeat views are counted.
“Average Session Duration” tells the average length of a session.
“Bounce Rate” shows the percentage of visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
“% New Sessions” is the percentage of first time visitors to your site.
3) GOOGLE ANALYTICS SHOWS YOU EXACTLY WHERE YOUR TRAFFIC IS COMING FROM
The section that answers this question is “Acquisition-Overview.”
Scroll down in the same left column beneath “Geo” and click on “Acquisition” and then “Overview.”
The first thing that you will notice on this page is the colorful pie chart that compares visits that come from all of your top channels:
Social – Pinterest, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ etc.
Direct – Those readers who went straight to your URL.
Referral – This is traffic coming from other blogs..maybe you joined a link party or a blog hop and readers who were interested in your post clicked on it and visited your blog.
E-mail – These viewers have come to your blog through an e-mail that you sent to them. For example, they are a subscriber to your blog and you sent them a newsletter with a link to your blog.
4) WHAT DO YOUR READERS DO WHEN THEY GET TO YOUR SITE?
The main thing that you can learn from this metric is which of your posts get the most traffic. Those are the ones that you should focus on either to update or to expand, OR the topic is one that you should write more posts about.
To see what your most popular posts are, click “Behavior-Overview.”
Scroll down to the bottom of the chart on the right side and click “View Full Report.”
This will show you the ten most visited posts on your site. If you want to see more than ten, choose the drop-down menu beside “Show Rows” at the bottom and then choose the number of results that you want to see.
This is very helpful information because knowing which of your posts are the most popular with your readers gives you insight into the types of posts that they are interested in as well as the format and the style that attract your readers.
Well, there you have it! I hope that this will give you a good start with Google Analytics.
This is just the tip of the iceberg…there is so much more to learn by digging deep into Google Analytics and applying your newfound knowledge to your blog!