Google Analytics can be used on many blogging sites. It is a free tool that anyone can use. It works on Squidoo, Hubpages, Seekyt, and Zujava. By leveraging the reports available anyone can measure how engaging their content is, and see how to optimize their blog or microsite to increase traffic and revenue.
When Google Analytics came out it was used to measure web traffic for websites. It is simple to install and use for even a novice. Now it can be used on several platforms if you do not have your own website.
Professionally I learned about web analytics when I started in the travel industry. I was handed the responsibility of managing Web Trends with no training. At this same time, I knew about Google Analytics and I had decided to start my own company, and have a website.
I am a web-marketing analyst.
As the web has evolved there are more blogging sites launching every day. Some are, Squidoo, HubPages, Zujava, and Seekyt. I discovered Squidoo by accident because I was reading a book on EBAY marketing, and it is a great free platform to cross sell items you are selling on EBAY.
HubPages, is another site I had discovered by accident. Because I own an EBAY Store, the basic store analytics are tracking In Omniture. I had noticed that I was receiving referring traffic from HubPages so I investigated further. I had tried to launch a few Hubs but because they are very strict about unique content, I had to delete them .
After I started to publish on Squidoo, I was using their analytic reports to optimize my lenses. I had known that I could put Google Analytics on my Squidoo account but I felt like I did not have the time to sit there and analyze everything.
Then I realized anything I publish on these blogging platforms is just like having a website. I proceeded to set up my Google Analytics account to track what I have published.
(I am not on Seekyt right now because my articles have been rejected. They are very strict about duplicate content.)
Because these are blogging platforms, I classify everything as “content.”
Google Analytics Starting Point
Google Analytics is free to everyone. All you need to do is sign up for it. For any of the blogging platforms I have mentioned there is no code to install. The only piece of information you will need is the tracking ID which starts with “UA-XXXXXX-X,” when you download the tracking code. (Follow the complete instructions in Google Analytics. ) On the blogging platform there will be instructions where to put the tracking ID.
Google Analytics Reporting and Analysis – Lets Keep It Simple
Google Analytics has over 100 different types of reports you can look at. You can spend hours going through them. Because blogs are geared to someone who is publishing engaging content there are some key reports and metrics to focus on.
Key Reports and Metrics
Reporting - Audience
This is your Overview report
Demographics – Language is ok if that is your focus the
Demographics – Location is a great report because it will give a picture how far in the world your published content is reaching. You have the ability to see as far as the city level anywhere in the world.
Behavior – New vs. Returning – shows new visitors compared to returning visitors. This is an indicator of people who return to read your content.
Behaviors – Frequency & Recency – click on Days Since Last Visit. This is an indicator of how often people come back to view your content.
Behavior – Engagement – by default the report will tell you the visit duration in seconds. It is another indicator of how strong your content is.
Technology – Browser & OS – This report gives you a picture of what browsers people are using to view your Lens. There are numerous options with the report.
Mobile – Overview – Gives you a split if readers are using mobile technology to view your content.
Mobile – Devices – Gives you a breakdown of what mobile devices are being used to view your content.
Traffic Sources – Overview - Gives you a breakdown of where the traffic to your pages is coming from. You have some options to look at by clicking on the links.
Traffic Sources – All Traffic – This report when opened defaults to source and medium. Source meaning where did it come from and medium being the channel. You have the option to look at by source or by medium by clicking on the links. This report is a snap shot of where your traffic is coming from.
Traffic Sources – Direct Traffic – This report indicates if a person either typed your Pages url directly into their browser or has it saved in the their favorites. Odds are there will be very little traffic
Traffic Sources – Referrals – This report will give a picture of how well your content can be found via search.
Traffic Sources – Search – The overview report will default automatically to Traffic Type. You have the option to select Source, Keyword, Campaign, and Other. The options to look at are Source, and Keyword. Depending on the tags you have on your page should drive the keywords, but in some cases a person might find your content using a keyword that you have not used in your tags, so you have the ability to add to your tags.
Traffic Sources – Organic – This report defaults to the keyword report.
Social- Overview – Social reporting is new functionality that I am working on. I have submitted some of my article URLs to Stumble Upon recently so there is not enough data to show any significant results in the reports.
Reporting and Analysis
In terms of reporting and analysis because the blogging platforms are your own personal microsites, there is only so much data you want to analyze. I do have a Google Analytics Reporting tool that summarizes my results in Excel.
It is great to look at my results daily, but I like to look at the trends. The gap in Google Analytics is that it does not summarize results month over month.
Remember the more you update your content the more traffic you will get.
For the sake of keeping it, simple this is what I look at. The reason I say that is there approximately 90 different metrics that could be analyzed.
Time Spent on Page
New vs. Return Visitors