There are two words that can send shivers down a bloggers spine – Google Analytics.

Is that you? Maybe you’re not sure. After all, you have an analytics account that you sometimes look at, so you must be ok with it…right? Ok then – I’ll ask it in another way… do you log into analytics and wonder what on earth it all means, then proceed to open Facebook and have a browse?

If so, then this blog post is for you. I’m going to explain (in a non boring or technical manner) why if you want to monetise your blog – using the information google analytics tells you is vital to actually making an income.

If you’re blog is purely for fun, then please feel free to read on…but the post is directed at people looking to make an income.

Let’s have a quick look at what on earth Google Analytics actually is and then how it can help you.

 

do i need google analytics for my blog

 

What is Google Analytics?

Google analytics is a tool that allows you to see how many people are visiting your site, how they found you (was it from Facebook, searching, a linked site and so on), what they’re doing when they’re there (how many other posts are they reading?) and a bunch of other bits and pieces about how they use your site.

You can see what posts have been most popular, what time people visit most and build different rules into your reporting to make it more useful and relevant to your blog. For example, if you had an email subscription at the bottom of a blog post and wanted to know how many people clicked over to sign up, you could track that. Pretty cool.

You can log into the program via a web browser (Chrome is best) or mobile (through an app on your phone). So you can access it anywhere (yeah I know another thing to think about).

Sounds ok. But do I really need it? I have a blog!

In short, yes! If you find that very hard to believe, we can work through it.

Put it this way…what’s your aim for your blog? Is it is make an income so you can give up your current work? Or even just make a small amount – maybe enough to cover your costs?!

If the answer is yes, then you definitely need the data within analytics. To make money from your blog, regardless of how – the one thing we can all agree upon is you will need readers. Whether you are selling advertising in your sidebar, using affiliate links, writing sponsored posts or selling products you need eyes on your content to be able to make an income. Agreed? Good!

But I love Facebook, I have great stats on there?

To get eyes on your page, you need to be writing things that people want to read. Sounds obvious, I know. Unfortunately it’s not enough to be counting likes on your Facebook page – you need to know who actually came across from Facebook to read your post. The like doesn’t mean they read your content.

{side note – I’m not saying you can’t use posts that have high engagement on Facebook as indicators for what to write about – that’s a whole other blog post! And I’m not saying Facebook isn’t important in itself…just stick with me on the example ok?}

Knowing who is reading what on your site will tell you which content is resonating with (getting a response from) your audience and what isn’t. If your aim is to make some money from this blogging game (which is totally cool, by the way) – then you need to be writing stuff people want to read.

So how do you know who is reading what? How can you tell what you should be writing without guessing?

How can you avoid putting all your heart and soul (and hours of time) into blog posts you feel are truly amazing – but no one is reading?

Ah I know – ANALYTICS! See it is useful!

The Power of Search

Another angle of great importance when trying to increase visitors to your blog is utilising the power of search. Think about how many times a week you type something into Google Search. If you’re like me – it’s a LOT.

If you can make your blog be one of the results in those searches, then imagine how many people you can have visiting your site – without you having to promote yourself all over town.

Understanding who is visiting from a google search (and not through another avenue, such as Facebook) means you can see what type of content they are searching and reading – then start to write more along those lines.

More relevant content = more searches landing on your site = more pageviews. This also means an increase in visitors for little or no extra work, versus having to promote your posts across social media several times a week. Do both and you will have increases in numbers all round!

That sounds ok to me!

Just to demonstrate, I’ll share some stats with you – back in the day when I first started my blog, around 80% of my traffic was from Facebook. Makes sense – I didn’t have much content and wasn’t ranking very highly in searches. I spent a lot of time promoting my posts on social media, with mixed results.

Today (just over a year later), 80% of my traffic is from SEARCH! Those visitors are searching for things I’ve already written about and landing on my old posts. As a result, I spend less time on social media promoting my posts and more time understanding how to produce more relevant content.

But I have Stats within WordPress, I’ll just use that

Sure, you can use the statistics within WordPress (if that’s your platform), however Google Analytics has much more powerful reporting and can be customised – you just have to know how to.

I also think it looks much nicer too…

Have I convinced you yet? I hope so, as this is so important to running a profitable blog and really connecting with your audience. In future posts I’ll share how to get set up and what to look at!

So tell me – do you use analytics? Or do you DESPISE it?

If you would like help setting up Analytics for your blog, please see my WordPress SEO page.

Hey, I’m Kristy

Kristy runs a web development consultancy, specialising in WordPress sites. Kristy combines her excellent technical knowledge with her ability to translate this into ways that are understandable to the average person, so her clients feel informed and in control of how their websites are developed and managed. She is also the Co-Founder of B Directory where the team is supercharging small business growth.

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