How Analyzing Statistics Can Make You a Better Blogger – Part 1

Entrepreneur 44 Comments

Statistics CartoonI mentioned briefly in yesterday’s post about how blogging and business in general is more than just creating a website, tossing up some advertising and hoping for the best. It’s about knowing your customer and analyzing statistics to better tailor your product to maximize profit. Because of this, it is extremely valuable to track as many details as possible about your blog’s visitors. How are they getting to your blog? How long do they stay? What do they view? Which posts perform best?

How Can I Track My Visitors?
In my opinion the best website statistics script is Google Analytics. It tracks a ton of information and displays it in a very nice and easy to use interface. The best part is that it’s free! Simply signup for an account, insert a small block of code at the bottom of all of your pages and visitor information is automatically tracked. For those of you using WordPress and that don’t want to manually insert the code there is a plugin available to add the code.

How Will This Help Me?
As I’ve said before, knowing your customer/reader and what they like is important because it can help you write additional content that interests them. Remember that an interested reader is a recurrent reader. So I’m sure you still want to know how to use the statistics to your advantage. After you have been collecting statistics for awhile (1 week or more) login to you analytics account and click on the Traffic Sources -> Keywords tab. You should see a screen like this:

Google Analytics Keywords - Erik Karey

You can see from the screenshot, that I’ve highlighted and numbered a few key areas to focus on.

1. The first thing I’ve highlighted is the keyword ‘good business partner’ which I wrote an article on back in June. You can see that besides my name, this is the best keyword for my blog during this time interval. Secondly, note that the average time spent on my blog from that keyword is a whopping 46:40. What does this say to me? Well it says that I should consider writing more information about business partner selection and maybe target that keyword a bit more.

2. I’ve also highlighted the keyword ‘internet entrepreneur’ because this is one of the keywords I’ve actively been targeting through SEO tactics. You can see that it’s performing pretty well and bringing me close to 100% new traffic which is a good thing. Bringing new readers to the blog is great to expose myself to a larger and larger audience.

In the second part of this series on how to use statistics to make you a better blogger, I will discuss more areas of Google Analytics to focus on as well as additional statistics websites which can be helpful in better knowing your readers.


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    1. 1 Dean @ Technical Itch August 24, 2007

      I analyze my stats quite a lot but I haven’t looked at the keywords tab much before. Seeing how long visitors stay on your site for each keyword is a useful metric.

      I also like how it shows the top keywords performance to the site average.

      I look forward to the rest of the series.

    2. 2 Simon's Money Notes August 24, 2007

      Thanks Erik, this was a short, simple, but very useful post.

    3. 3 parenting tips August 25, 2007

      Yes, stats can help you focus in, but they can also be a huge distraction. Who among us hasn’t gone through a phase where they check their stats compulsively to the detriment of actually getting things done?

    4. 4 Get Paid For Survey August 25, 2007

      That was great. I’ve been using CrazyEgg to analyze my visitors, but Google Analytics looks killer. You’ve convinced me, I’m going to sign up and add the code right now. Thanks!

    5. 5 Christina August 26, 2007

      This is a very useful article. Thank you.

    6. 6 Mitch Mauldin August 29, 2007

      Yes, indeed that is a very resourceful post on this blog. Keep up the Great Work!

    7. 7 Ferienwohnung August 30, 2007

      great post, looking forward to part 2 :)

    8. 8 Miscellaneous Friday Updates & Weekend Reading August 31, 2007

      […] just started a new series on How Analyzing Statistics Can Make You a Better Blogger such go check that […]

    9. 9 Liberty and New Creation August 31, 2007

      Good metric for also seeing if the traffic from digg and SU is actually worth trying to pursue. Bounce Rate is usually high and time spent is usually low.

    10. 10 Charles Lau September 1, 2007

      I have been using analytics… It’s good… I wanna know your part two soon! :)

    11. 11 Gregg Hawkins September 1, 2007

      Erik, Just wanted to let you know that I tagged you in my post http://www.gregghawkins.com/cash-for-comments-contest/

      -Gregg

    12. 12 Word Hugger September 3, 2007

      I started using analytics for all my sites recently. It has all the stats in the world!

    13. 13 Louiss September 3, 2007

      I personally do use Google Analytics too. As you see what you have attached here, its really convenience us to know how new visitors visit your blog for which keyword.

      I do agree with Liberty and New Creation that social bookmark community does help to increase the blog traffic

    14. 14 Paypal2u Bloggers September 3, 2007

      I track my site using MyBlogLog. I’ve never use Google Analytic before this. Maybe I try it later.

    15. 15 Tomaz September 4, 2007

      Erik, did you do any keyword research for those keywords that you targeted or did you find out later that they are in demand?

    16. 16 Enterprise Feedback Management September 4, 2007

      Statistics are huge and often overlooked. I use Google Analytics and found it to be simple and very informative. But like you said it’s not just having the information but using it that’s important.

    17. 17 Dave RH September 5, 2007

      Great advise Erik! I am always advising my customers to pay attention to their webstats and glean any information about their customers that they can.

    18. 18 How to set up thunderbird email September 8, 2007

      I thought this was a really great post. I looked at your stats you provided. There really are so many keywords to focus on that can really increase traffic and get better rankings.

    19. 19 Stevo Perisic September 10, 2007

      Thanx for the tip on the Google Analytics, it is a great tool. I use it everyday.
      Thanx again

    20. 20 Money Maker Blog September 14, 2007

      I have using Sitemeter to track my traffic and not very satisfy with the stat it provides. I think I’ll be trying Google Analytic.

    21. 21 Michael from Pro Blog Design September 16, 2007

      Good post. I use Google Analytics as well. It’s a great system, and the new interface has cleared up any problems I ever had with it before. :)

    22. 22 Roma September 19, 2007

      How do I get the hourly view that was available in the old version of Google Analytics. I used to compare intra-day trends (week-over-week) and cant seem to do this in the new version. Is there a way to look at the hourly trends (e.g. Total conversion) for today vs last week?

    23. 23 Patrick September 23, 2007

      Interesting stuff..

    24. 24 Subconscious Mind September 24, 2007

      great article, have just installed anylitics and amwaiting for the results to come through, but it can get a bit addictin looking at your stats all the time.

    25. 25 DeMerchant September 27, 2007

      I guess I have one more thing to add to my to do list lol… i’m still waiting for my site to generate enough SE traffic so my keywords really separate themselves and I can see some leaders

    26. 26 Doris September 29, 2007

      I will definitely be re-reading this and sharing it with my blogger friends.

    27. 27 Mobile Help Dog October 2, 2007

      It’s been about six weeks since part one… I think it’s time for part 2 Erik. ;)

    28. 28 jeffrey October 18, 2007

      thanks for posting this information… I will try this now…

    29. 29 Dina October 18, 2007

      I’ve been using this tool to analyze my site and it’s really one of the most helpful tool i have!

    30. 30 Coco October 18, 2007

      I really find google analytics helpful… Its free and some features are not present to other analytics out there…

    31. 31 Jane October 18, 2007

      I was using SlimStat and my husband showed my Google Analytics, my lord the difference is so big. It breaks down everything, and for a numbers lady like me it is pure heaven.

    32. 32 Top Ten Meaningless Comments - Part 2 | Lewis Empire October 19, 2007

      […] I see what you mean now! – suggested by http://www.EricKarey.com […]

    33. 33 Adam McKerlie October 19, 2007

      I also use sitemeter for live statistics. Google Analytics definitely gives the most detailed reports though

    34. 34 Jerad Kaliher October 19, 2007

      Good stuff, I’m waiting for the second part of this series. I would like to see some more information on in depth use of Google Analytics. I know I’m not using it to it’s full potential.

      I’ve seen some hacks that allow you to view your new RSS subscribers in real time and the one that you displayed to track the usage of certain words. I wonder what other goodies you’ll come up with.

    35. 35 El Yanqui October 22, 2007

      That was a good post getting to the meat of the issue. I like Google Analytics but there are also some other nifty programs available.

      The one thing that stood out to me was having a time spent of over 46 minutes with that keyword! Good job!

    36. 36 Matthew Anton October 22, 2007

      spot on..knowing where and when your readers are coming from is a huge part of internet success. I just started to utilize tools such as Google analytics and it’s a huge eye-opener.

    37. 37 BugHatMan October 24, 2007

      yea you make a good point. i always like to look at my traffic and see where they are coming from and what it is they are looking at and what they are interested in, so i can try and put together more related articles like that to keep them coming back again and again.

    38. 38 music technology October 26, 2007

      quite right – i’m often surprised by what posts people view most often. It can be a good indicator of what posts are best written or best-optimised…

    39. 39 Cricket Videos October 26, 2007

      Nice post. I just subscribed to your feed. I agree, the more you know about your blog the better it is and the more you are going to earn. I like looking up statistics on my site, but then again a lot of webmasters do. Keep up the good work, from first glance this is a nice blog and i will be frequently returning to visit it.

      Rami

    40. 40 Ruchir October 28, 2007

      In my opinion, analyzing your stats regularly enables you to strike Gold one day. You can identify problem, if any and rectify them if possible and as soon as possible.

    41. 41 Scam Free Money Maker October 29, 2007

      thanks for sharing the stats. a must do thing. we must analyze our stat if we want to have better result. bounce rate , pageviews/unique visitors, page depth, time spent are among the stats we should concentrate on.

    42. 42 Ash August 27, 2008

      Thanx for the tip on the Google Analytics, really helpful Eric buddy.

    43. 43 Low Voltage Lights September 13, 2008

      yeah i agree, analyzing your stats is very important as you can learn a lot about your visitors just by taking some time to study their behavior. It might take awhile, but it will pay off in the long run.

    44. 44 smilarsites July 3, 2011

      I didn’t analyze my statistics before, but now I see it is a vital idea, no matter how good your articles are, if it is not what your readers are looking for, you have worked in vain.
      Thanks!

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