5 Google Analytics Tips & Tricks for Bloggers

google analytics tips, google analytics for bloggers

Looking for some new tips and tricks to boost your Google Analytics game?  Here are five that may be useful for you in your day to day blogging routine…

Tip #1: Geographic Location – How Well Do You Know Your Readers?

Check the pathway Audience –> Demographics –> Location to sift through data about your readers.  You can also select to filter information by Country, City and Continent.  I like to keep myself informed of top readers over a few key periods (1 month, 3 months, 1 year).  This information may catch you by surprise.  You might not be surprised that your top readers come from your home country and city, but there may be a growing trend in a country or city far from home.  Perhaps you may be inspired to blog about products or events in these areas to cater to local readers.

Tip #2: Get Crafty with SEO/Keyword Strategy

You may already check organic search terms for your blog in Google Analytics, but what can you do with this information and how can you transform your learnings into an actionable strategy?  One interesting idea is to sort your organic search term list by “Pages/Visit” or “Avg. Visit Duration” rather than the default number of Visits.  This may give you a richer understanding of visitors who are coming to your blog via organic search terms, and ranking those search terms based on the level of engagement rather than simply number of visits.  Use pathway Traffic Sources –> Overview –> Search –> Organic then sort results by clicking on the column “Pages/Visit” or “Avg. Visit Duration” to glean more information.

Tip #3: Use Internal Site Search Terms for Content Ideas

Are you checking the terms that your readers are naturally searching within your blog search box to craft ideas for future blog posts or to optimize current blog posts' keyword terms?  Use pathway Content –> Site Search –> Search Terms to learn more.  The top 10 search terms may surprise you.  I recommend taking a snapshot of these terms over 1 month, 3 month and 1 year to assess trends over a few periods of time.

Tip #4: How Healthy is Your New vs Returning Visitor Ratio?

You should be regularly monitoring your new visitor versus returning visitor ratio which tells you how many of the visitors to your blog are new readers versus returning readers.  You want to maintain a healthy balance of new readers finding your blog (whether through organic search or referring traffic) while also maintaining a flow of loyal, returning readers.  Keep track of this ratio on a monthly basis.  This will inform your marketing strategy on an ongoing basis (whether you need to focus more on new reader programs versus loyalty programs for your current subscriber base).  Use pathway Audience –> Overview.

Tip #5: Go a Little Deeper with Referring Traffic Intel

Referring Traffic is an important metric to measure on an ongoing basis.  How are you analyzing this information? Instead of looking at referring traffic from just a pure number of visits standpoint, dig into the rankings by engagement metrics (Pages/Visit or Avg. Visit Duration) or source of traffic (% of New Visits).  This may tell you whether you are gaining engaged readers over the long term from a referring traffic source or simply witnessing a short term spike in traffic with no long term benefits. Use pathway Traffic Sources –> Sources –> Referrals.

What tips and tricks about Google Analytics surprise you the most?

[Image source Shutterstock.com]

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28 Responses

  1. tori

    I would also suggest checking the position of your google analytics code. I was instructed by Google to place the code in the but upon further reading, it find it’s best to put the code in the . I notice a significant drop in my bounce rate, and an increase in all other areas.

  2. Rachel from My Fair Vanity

    I have google analytics for my original blogspot URL as well as for my new url (www.myfairvanity.com) and I can’t figure out which analytics are more accurate, or if I should only have one, and what that means for unique visitors…Iif anyone has insights, please share. Clearly I have vry low google analytics understanding 🙂
    Thanks in advance, IFB community!

  3. essentjewels

    These are great, I need to put them to work.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sheryl Blasnik

    Thanks for this

    When I go to Content –> Site Search –> Search Terms I do not show any results??

    Am I missing some code?

    Fashion Development Group

      • Sarah Harman

        This might be because you don’t have a search bar option on your blog for people to search things they’re looking for, or if you do its not connected with your analytics account.
        Hope that helps!
        Sarah x

  5. chris

    Really good article, I have found many mistakes in my blog through google analytics. The key is not to be scared of tweet older posts that are still relevant.
    I have found that my keywords were not uniform through checking what the search queries for example I had red dresses and dresses in red, by making them more uniform I moved up the search results.

  6. Terry

    A lot of this all makes sense, but what I find difficult is trying to understand my stats is that the statistics I get from Blogger and those from Google Analytics and even statcounter do not match. So I don’t know which is an accurate representation especially as I only set up statcounter and analytics half way through the life of my blog.

    That and I don’t think I set either up properly errgh


    • Tina Cruris

      Google Analytics has strong algorithms to filter spam visits and also does not record visits from sources with cookie setting adjusted accordingly. Your stat counter will also filter various traffic according to their own policies, while blogger will give you the basic raw data including visits from spambots and even some web crawlers.

      There is no 100% foolproof method of measuring genuine blog traffic accurately, but you should choose your preferred system and stick with it for consistent monitoring across multiple dimensions.

      I personally enjoy using GA and I am looking forward to seeing how their extended demographics section will function over the coming months. To break down visitors by sex and age allows the blogger to tune sections of the blog accordingly

  7. Itzybellababy

    I find many differences between google and blogger’s data. I even find that I lose visits over the day. I am not sure where they went.. it is very weird.

    Thanks for the tips!

  8. Tracy Osborn

    I just started using http://Briefmetrics.com and it’s made life so much easier — it’ll send weekly emails with info about new referrers, how much traffic I got, etc… and I don’t have to log into Google Analytics and click around anymore. Love it, highly recommend it. 🙂

  9. Ashley LaMar

    Can I add two things? First is to explore building your own custom reports. Do this via the “customization” header at the top of page once you’re logged in. I have reports set to tell me what day of the week I get the most traffic and at what time of day. It really helps me when it comes to scheduling my posts. Second is to make sure that your own visits aren’t being tracked. I use Google Chrome and you can install an addon to block Google Analytics. You just block specific sites and I always block Analytics from tracking my visits that way I know the data isn’t skewed by me looking at my own site.

  10. Ruxandra

    Hey, how do you deal with spam referrals? Do you eliminate them when reporting analytics?