Learning from your blog by using analytics

In a recent post the ProBlogger Blog touched on an important issue – pay attention to your readers and regularly check on what they are interested in by keeping tabs on your analytics. This doesn’t mean that you should only focus on those topics that drive the most traffic, rather, also pay attention to:

  • How you write and structure your articles
  • To what extent you include imagery, video or even humour

By experimenting you may find a style or structure particularly suited to your readers.

From a topic perspective I find it best to write around anything ‘current’. Old news is likely to be less interesting as it may already be a subject your readers are already aware of. Of course, you can revisit older conventional issues, but think about how you are going to put your unique spin on it. You aren’t likely to garner many new followers by simply reproducing someone else’s thoughts or even worse, their work.

Some of the items that I tend to look at from an analytics perspective are:

  • Is traffic driven to your site by certain keywords – if so what are they and is there a way to capitalise on your ‘popularity’ in this area
  • Is traffic driven to your site at certain times of day. Would it make sense to put new posts live during these peak periods? (Be careful that you don’t artificially create these peak periods by posting items at these times).
  • Is traffic being driven to your site from certain geographies. If so try and cater for this with your posts. Making your posts too localised you may turn your overseas visitors away.
  • Set up goals for those areas of your blog / site you consider most important. With many analytics packages it is possible to analyse how traffic reaches these goals via funnel analysis.

An important note. Don’t rely on one analytics package alone. It is best to utilise a range and draw insight from each. On my own blog I have the following packages implemented:

Longer term analytics

  • Google Analytics
  • Nuconomy Insights (WordPress plugin)

For the here an now (realtime)

  • Statpress (WordPress plugin)
  • WassUp (WordPress plugin)

The biggest takeaway – an analytics package is only of value if it can help you derive truely actionable insight into your sites activity.

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