Google Analytics is a great tool if you know how to read what it's telling you. I'm not going to go into great detail this morning but I would like to hit the highlights of what mine are telling me.
The Dashboard gives a plethora of information and from there you can drill down to more in depth information. At the very top right just under the name of your site is a button that says "advanced segments" where you can customize what you want to instantly see and it will appear in graph form.
The information is presented in one month increments. I first look at number of visits and number of page views. This tells me how many of my visitors are drilling down to more than one page. My second most important piece of information is the amount of time my visitor is staying on my site. This is important if you want to know that people are reading or simply landed and left. Everything will show in actual numbers with a corresponding percentage of the total.
An important aspect is the total number of visitors to new visitors. This will give you a feel for how your blog content has performed over a monthly period. You want first time visitors to convert to Visitor Loyalty over a period of time. I also look at non-bounce visits. While some will tell you that your bounce rate is not important, I for one respectfully disagree. If I'm looking at a high bounce rate then I know visitors have landed and instantly moved on to another site. As it happens my bounce rate is down almost 5% in the last month and the time spent is up correspondingly. I'm elated.
The bottom line is Google Analytics is such a powerful tool and should be checked on a very regular basis. I could write a book about the information contained in these reports but ... Google has done the work for me!
Check your reports, keep a log if you wish (I do) and you will know how your work is paying off. The bottom line is not the number of people who "follow" you but how many people are reading (or commenting) on your blog. As I've said many times before; I've seen blogs with hundreds of followers but fewer than a dozen comments during a week.
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