Most blog owners are aware of Google analytics but relatively few have mastered it. To tell the truth, we haven’t even mastered it, and we are also keenly aware of its limitations.
Though we are aware of our shortcomings we still have a bunch of great hacks that have been extremely useful in improving our ROI on our SEO content.
Wouldn’t you love to get weekly updates on YOUR content that is bringing the most users to your site?
Wouldn't you like to know about the pages that are just starting to bring in traffic so that you can start spending your resources on optimizing them as soon as people start to look at them?
Wouldn’t you like to measure the quality of your article experience as well? Not only which ones are getting the most traffic but which ones are making users want to check out your other pages too?
There are ways you can set up Google Analytics to give you that exact data.
This should pull up a sidebar with the top performing pages! Specifically: Top Page by Week over Week Growth of Pageviews
Then click beneath it, go to reports.
Here you will see a complete list of each of your articles and the %change of weekly views.
This number is telling you how much your page has grown over the past month (in two week increments).
To get this data reoccurring simply click share and schedule your update for daily, weekly or monthly.
Once you’ve got a birds eye view of your top performing pages and top growing pages this is still only one side of the coin.
The real question we should be asking ourselves when we have a good amount of users is, what is the quality of the pages?
What do I mean by quality: doesn’t traffic equal quality?
Well not necessarily. When I say quality, I mean what percentage of the users that come to that page are going to be impacted enough that they are curious about your brand.
That means, they’ve read the article, and started snooping around your website. Maybe they even go as far as looking at your shop!
So how do we measure those pages. The pages that are really working.
One insight is to look at your pages per session. This means how many pages (on average) are your users visiting?
To do this type in: Number of pages per session
And you should get this:
Here we can see a birds eye view of the average pages a user is viewing everytime they come to my website.
Ideally this average is slowly growing.
We can also see which pages people are more likely to visit another page on!
That is really helpful information, and the interesting thing is these top pages are not even the top performing pages in terms of raw traffic on my site.
This let’s me know that these pages are the pages that get users curious about my site.
When you want a quick glance at your blogs performance, don’t just rely on the first graph you see when you open up Google Analytics. In fact this graph gives you a false impression of where the blog is heading.
Let’s take a look at this example. Here is a screenshot of the user metrics of my blog when I first log into Google Analytics.
I’ve set this to display the last 90 days to get a sense of the blog's health.
Already this graph is difficult to read. It is very jagged and even looks like there is a huge dip in traffic toward the end… did my site lose almost 40% of the viewers that it gained in February?
Anyone familiar with GA will know this dip is always present on this view because the data has not arrived for the most recent day count. But this is very confusing to someone trying to quickly check their website health..
What you should want to be looking at is your active users, which can be found by scrolling down.
The default view of the active users gives a much healthier view of the site. Instead of the myopic one-day viewers we are able to see the trends of users over time. And in this case, we can easily see the traffic is increasing.
If we switch the site to a longer day interval, even to something as the ‘last calendar year’ we’ll get a really good sense of how the blog has grown:
Now we can see that although the blog has had its organic traffic ebbs and flows, we can clearly see that the blog is stable and growing to new highs it has never seen before.
The active users view is the best way we’ve seen to keep track of your blog growth and to be able to stomach the inevitable ups and downs (seasonal traffic) that comes with organic blog growth.