Are you using an analytics tool to track your site metrics? If not, you could be severely missing out on valuable information to help your blog traffic increase. Measuring your site metrics is a great way to analyze information about your traffic, which you can then use to make changes to your site.
What is “web analytics”?
Web analytics programs are programs that measure various details about your visitors. They can measure all sorts of things, including your bounce rate, your number of new visitors (vs. returning visitors), how your visitors are getting to your site, what browser they are using, what operating system they are using, their screen resolution, what keywords they are using to find your site, etc.
Some examples of analytics programs are Google Analytics, Feedburner or SiteMeter. Here is a list of web analytics tools.
Why Use Web Analytics?
Understanding your audience is one of the most important things a blogger can do. One of the first lessons in writing is “keep your audience in mind” and with blogging it’s just as important. Here are 4 examples of what a web analytics program or site can tell you about your blog, and how you can use that information to your advantage to get more readers.
1. Bounce Rate
One of the more basic things that a Web Analytics program can tell you is what your bounce rate is. Your bounce rate is the percentage of your visitors that are leaving the first page they access when they access your site. Lower bounce rates are ideal, because that means that your visitors are staying on your site for longer and are clicking around and exploring your site. If your bounce rate is high, you want to analyze how your blog might be scaring off readers so that you can make adjustments to your site.
2. Site Design
If you know what browser the majority of your visitors are using, then you can use that information when designing your site. Browsers have different capabilities, and some things might look one way in Firefox and another way in Safari.
For example, let’s say you’ve been designing your layout based on how it looks in Firefox, but you find that more of your readers are using Safari. Your site might not look as good in Safari, but now you know and now you can adjust the layout so that it will look better. If the majority of people accessing your site use Safari, but your site doesn’t look right in Safari, then you might have a higher bounce rate. (Another good thing to do is use a website like BrowserShots.org to preview how your site looks in each browser).
3. Keyword Optimization
One of the more important things an analytics program can tell you is what keywords people are using to find your site. This can help you understand how Google views your blog and what Google thinks your site is about. It’s always important to know what your potential visitors would search for when looking for a site like yours, that way you can use that knowledge to use the right keywords and therefore increase traffic to your site.
You might find you are getting a variety of keywords for something unexpected or tangential to your topic. Knowing that, you can reevaluate your SEO, the keywords you’ve been using and the topics you’ve been writing about. Maybe you’ll decide you want to focus more than that specific area of your topic and recreate what your blog is about. Or maybe you’ll decide you don’t want to rank for those keywords and you can rethink your SEO strategy.
4. Traffic Source
Where are your readers coming from? Is most of your traffic coming from organic search results, or from links? This is important to know because you don’t want to “put all your eggs in one basket,” so to speak. You don’t want to have all of your traffic coming from one source. If there is ever a problem and all your readers are coming from one place, your website might take a huge hit and, if you get a lot of money from advertising, your income could be hurt as well.
These are only a few things that a web analytics program can tell you. Try one – or even a few – out and see what else you can learn. Play around with it. When it comes to making money with your blog, you want to have all the information you can about how effective your design and your SEO are so that you can make adjustments to get blog traffic. Having as much info as possible is necessary for the growth of your blog.