We’ve covered how to add Google Analytics tracking code to your website and briefly described what data is available in Google Analytics. In this post, I’m going to show you what real data looks like, what it looks like after you’ve published 30 blog posts in 1 month, and what kind of strategic changes should be considered based on that data.
A Behind the Scenes Look at Massage Therapy World
Just because we’re friends (we are, aren’t we?), I’m going to share some of the traffic data for this blog. I’ve gotten rid of some of the raw numbers, because they don’t really matter much and I don’t want to distract you with that. What I want you to see is the difference between data taken July 2 – 31 and data taken August 1 – 30. Here’s the big graph of VISITS.
The blue line is August, when I blogged every day, and July where I only blogged 6 times in the first half of the month. You also see that the traffic leveled out the last half of the month of August. I was posting later at night and not promoting it as heavily on Social Media. I suspect that the visits dropped due to the time of publication. I’ll experiment with this more in September to see if the time of day continues to have an impact on traffic.
So, that may not look like a completely huge change, but it is. Let’s look at the comparison:
Visits and Pageviews were both nearly DOUBLE compared to July. While the Visits were 73% higher, the unique visitors was only increased by 35% and % New Visits were down by 23%. All 3 of these changes were in line with my goals. Why would I want a decrease in % New Visits? Because I wanted to see an increase in return rate. In other words, I wanted to write content that would draw the same people to keep coming back for more.
The Pages per visit increased while the Bounce Rate decreased. These are both in the direction I wanted. Not only were people reading more pages when they visited, but the amount of time they spent on the site increased by 57% – a pretty hefty increase.
Blogs will usually have a higher bounce rate than a static site. Why? Because regular readers will come and read the new post of the day and then wander off. New readers, hopefully, will read the new post, like it, and read a few more posts.
Strategery going forward:
August was a month of blogging every day, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to write a post every day forever going forward. I’m concerned that some of the leveling off in visits may have been reader fatigue, but that’s something worth testing again in the future.
I will be blogging more often that in the past. I believe that ya’ll like the shorter posts with the occasional long winded, detailed posts. I’ll be testing some of that, in the future, too.
I’m happy with the current ratio of new to returning visitors and I would be willing to let it get to 50%/50%, but I always want new visitors – that’s how you grow a market. I will be watching to see what keywords are bringing in new readers and to see how many visits are the result of my social media promotion efforts and tweak to maximize the results.
I’ll also be watching to see which posts get the most views and comments to help determine if I’m writing about things you want to read. Of course, you should always feel free to let me know what you’d like to see me cover.
So that’s what happened to my blog after blogging 31 Posts in 31 days (actually, 30 posts, this is #31). I can’t guarantee that you will see the same results – or as they say on the interwebs: YMMV (your mileage may vary).