How To Grow Your Blog With Google Analytics

How To Grow Your Blog With Google Analytics | KeatingBartlett.com

As a blogger, the use of analytics tools is so important to driving traffic to my site and making connections within the blogging community. While most social media platforms have their own analytics dashboard for users to look at, I’m a big fan of Google Analytics. When I started blogging, I had set up Google Analytics and then really never gave it the time of day. I’d occasionally check in on it to see my page views and that’s about it. At the start of the year, I decided it was time to make some serious upgrades and changes around here and that included getting more acquainted with Google Analytics.

It wasn’t until I started doing more research and really taking the time to explore my dashboard that I realized just how beneficial it is for bloggers and business owners. Now, I check in on my dashboard on a weekly basis to see if there are any changes I need to be aware of. So what areas of your Google Analytics dashboard should you be looking at? Here are my top five areas you should be looking at in order to grow your blog with Google Analytics!

AUDIENCE OVERVIEW.

The first area you want to be checking is your audience overview (typically this is the first page you land on when you log into your Google Analytics account). This is where you’ll find your sessions, users, page views, bounce rate, pages per session, average session duration, etc. If you plan to work with brands and incorporate sponsored content on your site and social media channels, then this page is where you’ll be looking for your blog stats to add to your media kit. These statistics tend to be much more accurate than those found in your WordPress dashboard (or whichever blogging platform you’re using).

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So how do these numbers help you? While numbers aren’t everything, it’s important to keep an eye on them to see your growth. This can also help you with pricing your sponsored content and gaining collaborations with brands as well. So it’s good to check in on this page on a weekly or monthly basis.

AUDIENCE DEMOGRAPHICS.

Knowing more about your audience is super important. If you don’t know your audience, then how can you market to them effectively? You can’t. For a blog, you want to be checking out your audience demographics located within your Google Analytics dashboard. This will tell you their ages and gender and if you play around with it a bit, you can even find information on their interests and behavior as well. For my own site, a good majority of you all are between the ages of 25 and 34 years old (this is a more recent transition for me! My site used to cater to the 18-24 age group) and 91% of you are female. A lot of you are also returning visitors as well which I love!

So how is this information helpful? With this information, you’re better able to target your specific audience both on your blog and on your various social media platforms (**check in on these analytics within your social media platforms as well for a more detailed look!). This is especially helpful when creating custom ad campaigns. Rather than marketing to everyone on Facebook or everyone on Twitter, you can instead narrow down the audience to cater to YOUR target audience. This will also end up saving you money in the long run too because you’re not wasting money marketing to those who aren’t interested in your site, products, and/or services.

AUDIENCE GEO.

This is another area within the audience section of your dashboard that can be super helpful. This section will tell you where your audience lives and what language they speak. For many of you, this will really just help even more in setting up your Facebook ads and finding new ways to market your site to your audience.

Not only are these two things helpful in creating ads, it’s also super helpful for those of you who speak multiple languages. I see this issue in blogging Facebook groups al the time. If you speak multiple languages, then what language should you blog in? Well your Google Analytics can be super helpful in helping you make this decision. If your audience is primarily in the United States, then it probably wouldn’t be as beneficial for you to blog in French as this isn’t a very popular language here in the United States. It would be more beneficial to write in English. Same with if your audience is located in Spain and you’re writing in German.

Of course, this is a personal decision depending on the blogger and there are tons of plugins out there that can help you translate your site as well. But if you’re in need of some additional insight and help in making that choice, then your Google Analytics dashboard is the place to go!

SOCIAL ACQUISITION.

This one is HUGE. This is the are of my dashboard that has been a complete game-changer in my site this year. Your acquisition tab tells you where your traffic is coming from. So for example, the top source of traffic for my own site is Pinterest at 80%. Facebook comes in second at 15% and then the rest of my traffic is broken down between Twitter, Instagram, and Google.

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So why does it matter where your traffic comes from? Well if you’re wasting all you time and energy on Twitter, but your audience is coming from Pinterest, then that’s just not going to be very beneficial for you or your site. Yes, it’s great to be well-rounded and be present on multiple platforms, BUT it’s just not possible to be everywhere and it can be extremely time-consuming to put that much time and energy into a platform that just isn’t doing much for you. And having less traffic from a particular platform isn’t a bad thing either and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to “up your game” in that area either (although learning more is always helpful!). If your audience just isn’t there, then it isn’t there. And that’s okay!

I use social media schedulers to help me stay consistent and present on all my various social media platforms, but since Pinterest is my top platform, that’s where I invest more of my money, time and energy. If you’re finding that a good majority of your traffic is coming from Facebook, then spend some time researching new ways to use it. Find new blogging and business groups to join and make connections in, invest in some Facebook ads, revamp your blog’s Facebook page. There’s always something you can be doing to improve so find the platform that works the best for you and rock it!

RelatedMy Top Social Media Tools For Bloggers

TOP PAGES.

Lastly, you should be looking at your top pages. What types of blog posts are your readers landing on the most? This can help you in multiple ways.

First, this can help you determine which topics your readers tend to be most interested in. So for example, a lot of my readers love reading my more personal posts about my life and my most vulnerable posts tend to me the most popular of them all. Being a lifestyle blogger, these posts make it so much easier to directly connect with my audience because they’re better able to relate to me. Another hot topic of mine is anything blogging related. Bloggers love finding new ways to grow and improve their own sites so this tends to be a hot topic in the blogging world. Lastly, my readers seem to like wellness-related posts. So knowing what posts my audience loves the most makes it easier for me to know which topics to include more of in the future.

In addition to knowing what topics I should be writing about more often, this section also helps me to create series posts, products, helpful freebies and so much more. Again, it tells me what my audience is most interested in and what parts of my site see the most action. For the most part, I use this for freebies.  So if I’m able to add in a great checklist or helpful download to enhance that post, then I will. And this also helps me build my email list as well!

The last point I want to make here is on blog updates. While it’s super important to update older posts every once in a while, I know it can be very time-consuming as well. But knowing what posts people tend to land on the most can help you determine where to start when you’re making those updates. Your top posts should be up to date and looking their best at all times.

How does Google Analytics help you grow your own blog or business?

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  • Love this- so informative and very relevant for anyone wanting to grow their blog! Thank you!

  • Great insight and tips…I rarely check my google analytics but I’m gonna check it a lot more now!

  • Love this post! Super informative. I think, like you said, you can really narrow down GA to just tell you what you need to know. There’s so much advanced stuff in there that you don’t really need to focus on when you’re just starting out. Narrowing it down to acquisition and behavior makes your life a lot simpler!

  • I can’t tell you how helpful this post is. I’ve mostly ignored my Google Analytics because I didn’t really know what mattered. I’m definitely going to dig into it now. Thanks!

  • This is a great post! Thanks for all of the tips, Keating! This is an area I’d really like to grow in, so that I’m growing my blog effectively and thoughtfully!

  • Good reminders!

    I love Acquisition – it tells me so much – but I haven’t been paying at all enough attention to the rest!

  • You’ve got some great tips here! I think it’s good to know your top referring pages so you’ll know which topics are bringing people to your site (helpful for lifestyle bloggers who don’t always stick to a single topic).

  • I’ve just been checking out my Google Analytics and trying to understand what it all means so thank you for your help!

    • There’s definitely a lot to look at haha I haven’t even come close to full exploring it yet. I really just found those target areas and got suggestions from other bloggers as well and it’s helped so much. I’m sure I’ll find other uses for everything else on there at some point lol

  • Amy Blake

    I need so much help with google analytics, thank you so much for the info!

  • Super helpful! thank you! When you say you’ve invested money in pinterest, are you just talking about courses and tools or have you dont a promoted pin?

    • Thanks Rachel! I have not done any promoted pins yet. I’m still learning and exploring that as of right now. Same with Facebook ads as well. For now, I invest in tools like Board Booster and Tailwind as well as courses like Melyssa Griffin’s Blog to Biz Hive course and her Pinfinite Growth Course as well. Her site is amazing for all things Pinterest-related. She’s fantastic!

  • Stacey Eckert

    Learning, understanding and using GA effectively is on my list of things to do. It has been for awhile! It just seems so overwhelming but I’m going to go in and work on it today…thanks for the inspiration!

  • Joscelyn | Wifemamafoodie

    Ugh, the administrative side of blogging has been so difficult for me to get a handle on! Thanks for all of these great tips! They’re very helpful!

    • There’s definitely a lot to learn! I totally feel you there haha the moment I feel like I have a handle on everything, something new comes my way and there’s a whole new list of things for me to learn. It’s never-ending! But I’m glad you found this helpful 🙂

  • These are great reminders! I definitely let Google Analytics fall by the wayside when I’m working on content. I definitely need to step up my game!

  • Carly Ned

    This is a very informative post for us bloggers! I’ll have to start looking at google Analytics more and using the information to figure out what works! Thank you 🙂

    xx Carly | http://thecarlycollective.com/

  • Shannon Sams

    Great info thanks so much for sharing! Never had looked much at Google Analytics before, but I will make sure to change that in the future.

  • Sushmita Thakare Jain

    Great Information shared out here 🙂
    This is amazing, any newbie looking for the info must definitely check out the post, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Using my google analytics has been SO helpful in knowing what type of content preforms the best for my audience! I also love using the search queries to see what terms are bringing people to my site – that allows me to brainstorm more topics for those searches!

    • Yes! I love looking at the search queries as well. I do need to look at those more often though. Always room for improvement!

  • Stacey York

    Keating, I appreciate you sharing why you explored Google Analytics to foster the footprint of your blog. As a new blogger, this is helpful for me to start off on the right foot to increase my followers. Thank you!

    • So glad you found this helpful Stacey! I definitely wish I had started Google Analytics sooner so it’s good that you’re starting off with it!

  • Lindsay Satmary

    This is such helpful info! I love the Pinterest Analytics but I never really thought about Google Analytics as a tool for growth, only measuring performance. Thanks!

    • I’m so glad you found this helpful Linsday! I didn’t think much of Google analytics either until another blog friend of mine was talking to me about it. It’s been a life saver ever since.