IFB’s Quick-and-Easy Blog Analytics Cheat Sheet
By: Taylor Davies

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Analytics Cheat Sheet

Today, I want to discuss what your analytics measurements actually mean. We talk about how important they are all the time, but let’s get into what some of these terms tell you about your site. A stronger understanding of your analytics makes you a more powerful blogger. Brands want these numbers and your media kit should have (some of) them, and they also provide valuable clues to reader behavior and engagement that can help you improve your content.

Here’s an introductory cheat sheet of analytics terms every blogger should know:

 

Visits: This number tells you how many your site has total, over the specified period of time. Because this number is so general, it is not often used in determining the health of your blog or audience trends.

analytics screen shot

Unique visitors: This is the number of individual (unduplicated) visits to your site in the given time period. This is a key number for your media kit as well as for brands to get a sense of the visibility of your blog. Usually they will ask for your UMV, which is unique monthly visitors. (To get this number, set your time period for the past 30 days.)

Pageviews and unique pageviews: Your pageview count represents the total number of pages viewed, including repeated views of the same page. Unique pageviews means the number of visits during which the specified page was viewed at least once. Also, note that a “page” is anything on your site: slideshow clicks, individual posts, your homepage or any other pages like “About,” “Contact” etc.

Bounce rate: This percentage represents the number of people who, when entering onto any page on your site then exited from that same page, without clicking over to any other content or pages. A lower bounce-rate is always desirable because it means that more visitors are looking at more content than the page they started on (which means they like it!).

traffic sources screen shot

Search traffic, referral traffic and direct traffic: When you look at that nice colorful wheel on your Google Analytics “Traffic Sources” overview dashboard, it divides your visits into different kinds of traffic. Search traffic represents the percentage of visitors getting to your blog using search engines. Referral traffic represents visits that arrive via a link from somewhere else online, like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or a blogroll. Direct traffic comes from literally a direct source, like a bookmark, a link someone sent you or from typing the URL into your browser.

Keywords: These are the words and phrases that people are typing into search engines for which the results are leading people to your blog. If you look at the “full report” of your site’s keywords, you can see the bounce rate for each one. A lower bounce rate would indicate that people who found your blog through this keyword found what they were looking for and stayed on your site. That’s good, and those keywords have more value for you.

Landing page & exit page: This is the page (URL) that people are arriving at, through search, referral and direct traffic. You can find your top landing pages in your site content dashboard. The exit page is the last one the visitor sees before moving on.

audience demographics shot

Audience demographics: This map and the chart below show you where in the world your visits are coming from, and can be viewed by country, city, continent or even sub-content region (like North America or Eastern Europe).

Also: note that these terms are generally similar for different analytics tools – whether you’re using the “stats” feature on your Blogger / WordPress site or using Google Analytics. This is of course not an exhaustive list of all the measurements you can explore in regards to your blog’s content, traffic and audience. These are the first important pieces to understand as you grow your blog.

 

Comments

  1. Avatar of Clara
    Clara says:

    Man, I wish someone had explained all this to me a year ago! Still learning new things about Google Analytics every day… but luckily I’ve got the basics down haha

    xx Clara
    http://www.thatgirlmag.com

  2. One of the things I don’t understand under the Keywords section is when it says “(not provided)”. What does Google Analytics mean by that?

    • BikePretty says:

      Me too! That’s my biggest Keyword category so it’s very mysterious.

      • Did some digging into the (not provided) category and it appears that those come from anyone who is logged into any Google owned site when they begin their search. To protect privacy Google hides the search terms those people used.

        • Bike Pretty says:

          Just saw this post again, Erin. Thank you for the response!
          I guess that means when I’m logged into my g-mail and performing searches, Google is not providing the keywords I use to third parties.

          Very interesting.

  3. Avatar of Mocha Daily
    Mocha Daily says:

    I was looking forward to see this post!

    Thank you!

    • Did some digging into the (not provided) category and it appears that those come from anyone who is logged into any Google owned site when they begin their search. To protect privacy Google hides the search terms those people used.

  4. Avatar of Tiffy Diamond

    What a wonderful breakdown. I was always curious how each stat worked. Thank you so much!
    xo
    Tiffy
    http://www.CuteLA.com

  5. Avatar of Incognito
    Incognito says:

    Thank you for these explanations !

    I was just wondering in the diagram indicating the percentages of our traffic sources what does the campaigns percentage stands for ? It has started appearing on my analytics and I really can’t get a clue of what it means.
    Can you clear my mind about it please ?

    Thank you,

    Shug Avery of Incognito

    http://www.thinkincognito-eng.blogspot.com

  6. Avatar of Nadya Helena
    Nadya Helena says:

    I’m still not very clear about the visits and unique visits. So the unique visits are new visitors right? While visits in general count for returning + unique visits? If so, then how come only the unique ones count as a key data?

    Nadya
    http://thedillychic.com

    • Avatar of herimagination

      Visits are indeed everyone that visits your blog, but among those numbers there might be some people that visit your blog more than once in one day.
      If somebody visits your blog 10 times, those 10 times will be added to your visits but not to your unique visits, there will only be added one visit there.
      I hope you understand what I mean if not just shoot me a message and I’ll try to explain it more in dept.

  7. Avatar of Lydia
    Lydia says:

    Thanks for explaining this to us! Finally a comprehensive and concise explanation!

    ravenmaidenmaven.blogspot.com

  8. Avatar of debi c
    debi c says:

    i just noticed something odd.my blog stats are showing an entirely different and much higher number of monthly pageviews while google analytics in showing a much lower one.can anyone explain that?

What do you think?