This post is part of a series on blogging tips. This one is all about statistics and how to use them to your advantage. When I first started blogging, the advice I got from most people was: don’t look at your stats. Don’t read the statistics. Don’t worry about the statistics. Statistics are meaningless.
- Install Google Analytics or Stat Counter on your blog. You can use it to see useful things like how many unique visitors you have each day/week/month. You can compare this week with last week, and see loads of other things besides.
- Look at how people are finding you. Which websites are your main sources of traffic? What words do people search on Google to get to your blog?
- Use your statistics to see whether the links you post on Facebook or Twitter are bringing you any more traffic. Did that linky post you linked up with on a whim the other day actually bring you more traffic than all that Tweeting?
- Which are your most popular posts? Look at what’s different about these, and why they might be more popular – do they have more useful information, more personal content, more controversial arguments? Perhaps they have better SEO?
- If you have a Facebook page, look at the Insights at the top of the page to see which posts had the most interaction. Do posts made at a particular time of day get more interaction? Is it photos? Links to other pages? Random “I am picking my nose” TMI posts? Try and use this information to better time when and how you posts links to your blog. If you click “Insights” and then “posts” you will see a chart showing you the times of day your followers are online. I try to make sure I have a post scheduled for this time each day.
- You can use sites like bit.ly to shorten your links – but they will also count how many times that link is clicked on. This can be useful if, for example, you use these links for specific posts only (at a certain time of day or in a certain place) – you can track exactly how much effect these actions are having.
- I keep track of the number of visitors my blog has had in the last rolling month. As a rule you want this number to go up, or at least stay the same – if it starts to go down then you know you need to have a look at where you are losing readers.
- If you are on WordPress, the App for your mobile/tablet has some great statistics tools that you can use to see more about your traffic.