Our stats play a key role in helping us manage our blogging business. Whether it’s getting more traffic, analyzing your site’s speed, or increasing revenue, our stats tell us if we’re on the right track or if there are issues we need to fix.
But how much (or little) time should you spend looking at them? How do we make sure that we’re using our stats productively instead of being overwhelmed by them?
Today, we’ll show you how to prevent stats stalking, know which stats are important (and which aren’t), and how to use your stats to effectively move your blog forward.
Let your goal be your guide
Think of your stats as your car and your goal as your destination.
If you don’t know where you’re going, even the fastest or newest car can’t take you there.
Likewise, not having an end goal will pull you all over the place.
Be specific with your blog goals. If you want more traffic, what do you need to improve on your site to get more traffic? Where do you want this traffic to come from?
Lastly, be strategic. The reality is, you can only work on 1-2 things at a time. So focus on the goal that would bring the most impact to your business now.
Look at your stats within context
It’s easy to get swept in the highs (or lows) of your stats. Here are some things to keep in mind when analyzing your stats so you don’t lose the forest for the trees.
Fresher stats within the last 30 days can be understandably lower than your last 90 days. Additionally, readers behave differently throughout the year. During holidays or summer when people are busy, they tend to pop in and out for quick ideas instead of staying as avid readers.
Specific post goal
A roundup post of Amazon products may have higher bounce rates that could pull your overall rates up since you’re leading people to product links out of your site. But it brings in more money using affiliate links. Decide if this is a trade-off you’re comfortable with.
Relation to other stats
Certain stats can directly influence others. For example, increased page views can lead to higher bounce rates. After all, it’s easier to influence the behavior of 10 people compared to 10,000. It’s important to know these relations and what is an acceptable ratio between two stats so that you can look at them holistically.
Turn your insights into action
You have your car and destination all set– but you won’t get there unless you actually drive. Now you understand what needs fixing, it’s time to execute!
Let’s say your goal is to reduce your bounce rates, you’d want to keep readers longer on your site. You can do this by writing related topics and/or creating a landing page.
Using heat maps like Crazy Egg to understand why readers are exiting a specific page is also a great idea. If they’re leaving your site because of a link leading them to an external post or product, consider creating a similar post/product and replacing that link with your own.
If your goal is to focus on a specific traffic source, such as using Pinterest to grow your blog, you’d want to double down on creating and promoting posts that work well on that channel.
Remember, our stats should tell us what needs to be done. They should not take our time away from actually doing them.
Use your stats to know what’s working (and what’s not)
After you implement your plan, use your stats to tell you what’s working and what needs to be improved on.
Check your stats daily. This gives you clarity on where you are with the goals you’ve set.
It will also help establish a baseline so you can easily catch when something is off and needs your urgent attention. Your Real-Time report is your BFF here!
Is there a sudden drop in traffic at a time when there’s usually 50 people there? Maybe your host is down.
Maybe you’re seeing a spike from 25 to 75? You could have a (semi) viral post. What can you do to double it and make money from it now?
You don’t need to set specific stats to check on a weekly or monthly basis.
Instead, we recommend regularly looking at a week’s worth of data and comparing them to last week or the previous year. You can also do this with a month’s worth of data.
From there, you can see which posts need to be updated, can be republished, or shared with Linky parties or tribe groups.
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Lastly, these tips came from a Facebook Live over in the LearnToBlogHangouts group. To watch more videos where we teach you EVERYTHING we know about blogging FOR FREE, make sure to join the private group. If you’re not yet a member, simply request to join– we’d love to meet you there!