Blog stats and analytics are essential for any serious blogger. They aid you in tracking your performance. Further, they are necessary as they empower you by allowing you to see what your audience is reading and to gain insights about them. This can help you grow your blog and assist you in creating valuable content. Also, it allows you the opportunity to replicate your success. Further, monitoring your blog performance will enable you to find any performance issues that are affecting your traffic.
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We host #TravelBlogTips chat every last Sunday of the month. The aim of the chat is for bloggers to share their knowledge and tips with other bloggers to grow together. In the ‘hour of power,’ some of the valuable topics we have covered include Optimizing your Site Structure for SEO and Blog Photography Tips for Bloggers.
This last month, we chatted about blog stats and analytics. We love analytics and will try any tool once. For us, this chat was about sharing our knowledge as well as looking out for any valuable information to add to our arsenal of blogger’s tools.
Thanks to all our participants. This review is for you. It is also for anyone who is serious about blogging and wants to grow.
Blog Stats & Analytics
Tracking your Site’s Health & Growth
Q1. Which tools do you use to keep track of your site’s health & growth (errors, traffic, etc.)? #TravelBlogTips— #TravelBlogTips | Bloggers’ chat (@TravelBlogTips_) May 31, 2020
With Hosts @TravelBugsWorld@MonkeysVentures @KaliTravel @GreenMochila @Clarissa_Laskey pic.twitter.com/pvrnvXnOVl
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are the primary tools bloggers use to track their website health and growth. Every blogger should set up these free tools.
With Google Analytics, you will learn valuable information about how many visitors and page views your blog receives, as well as identifying your traffic sources.
Additionally, Google Search Console shows you the traffic you get from Google, including what keywords you are ranking for and positions. Also, it allows you to check for errors on your site.
Further, some bloggers use the WordPress dashboard, though mostly out of convenience as they claim there is not enough information compared to Google Analytics.
Other tools that bloggers use for traffic analysis and blog stats are Moz, GTmetrix, Ubersuggest, SEMrush and Keysearch. They use these websites to check errors on their site, check site speed and study traffic from keywords as well as keyword research.
Further, others use plugins such as Jetpack and Monsterinsights.
They use them for ease of convenience as the statistics are on the dashboard when they work on their posts. Also, some use Jetpack to alert by email of issues with their site. However, many bloggers recommend not to use plugins to analyse your website as they may cause it to slow down.
Also, regarding plugins and site health, it is necessary to make sure that all plugins are up to date and unused ones deleted. Otherwise, you may encounter speed issues, errors and security risks. And remember you need to clear the cache regularly and check speed after adding new plugins.
“Once I learned what my audience liked most, I started building on that, and things started growing.” @DRgotsoul
Q2. How often do you check your blog stats? What’s your favorite stat? #TravelBlogTips— #TravelBlogTips | Bloggers’ chat (@TravelBlogTips_) May 31, 2020
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Most bloggers at the chat stated they checked their analytics once to a few times a week. However, some reviewed them daily to a few times a day.
Some bloggers checked their blog stats once a month or rarely. Additionally, some bloggers received the monthly notification from Google and reviewed their stats then.
Many bloggers favourite blog stats include what country their readers come from, how many visits and page views, top posts and which posts people read and navigation paths.
Other important statistics reviewed were organic traffic, source and landing page.
“I start each morning (with coffee), and then I filter my top 10 posts by RPM (highest to lowest), so I know which posts to push on social, to update SEO, to create new pins for and more.” @Clarissa_Laskey
“I track everything. Social stats, peaks and reasons for those. Traffic is reconciled monthly. And thanks to @maketraffichap, I also track keyword/title changes, click-through rate and top 10 searches! ” @HHLifestyleTrav
Ultimately, the reason to check your stats is to see what is working and to help you grow your traffic.
Tracking Metrics for Growth
Q3. Which particular metrics do you always keep an eye on?— #TravelBlogTips | Bloggers’ chat (@TravelBlogTips_) May 31, 2020
And how does it help you grow further? #TravelBlogTips
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Among the most monitored metrics for bloggers are page views and traffic sources. Bloggers use these metrics to monitor if their traffic is improving. Accompanying that, they monitor the most popular posts, landing pages, average time on the page and other pages visited, including exit pages.
But by far, the most useful metric that bloggers like to keep an eye on is organic visits, which keywords they are ranking for and which ones bring traffic to their blog.
Other metrics that bloggers monitor include bounce rate to keep it as low as possible, site speed so to avoid Google penalties and mobile vs desktop viewing.
All of these metrics give you insight into your audience. And by knowing what people are searching for, it enables you to create content to demand. Therefore, these metrics help you increase traffic and grow.
“I look at my most popular posts and work on related posts to add as internal links – I wrote one to link from a popular post, and I definitely noticed an improvement in my bounce rate after that!” @SarahsSojourns
“Organic traffic and Click-Through Rate. Don’t put all your eggs into social channels. SEO is real and tangible, and important… I can’t stress this enough. Once I know what works, I can replicate this best practice and drive traffic!” @HHLifestyleTrav
Leading Sources of Traffic
Twitter has always been fantastic traffic for us. But more recently, Google and Pinterest are the best sources of traffic. The ultimate goal for bloggers is to come up in Google organic search and get traffic to their website from it. Social media traffic can be significant, but you do need to put in a lot of work for it.
We found out from bloggers at the chat that their leading sources of traffic came from Google organic search, Pinterest and Twitter. Further, a few claimed that Instagram, Facebook or direct traffic from email marketing were their most significant traffic sources. And other traffic came from Quora, Flipboard and LinkedIn.
“Twitter is No.1 because I participate in weekly discussions and send tweets about new posts.” @KhanaMadeEasy
“Pinterest has been a real game-changer! Not only has it generated a ton more traffic to my site, but its analytics have been a huge help. Thru my account, I have been able to better gauge what my audience likes the most and who they are. My site traffic has doubled since March.” @DRgotsoul
Site Speed Tools
Q5. Have you set goals on Google Analytics?— #TravelBlogTips | Bloggers’ chat (@TravelBlogTips_) May 31, 2020
What’s a great goal to have as a blogger? #TravelBlogTips
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It’s essential to have a fast site for good user experience. We found out that some bloggers check their site speed monthly, and others rarely check it. Though, they do things to help speed up their site such as compressing their images to help them load faster and lazy images loading on their website.
All agreed that site speed was essential. And while a few use a plugin for site speed checks, the consensus was a plugin is not necessary as so many exceptional websites offer these services.
Further, many bloggers said they make sure not to have too many plugins on their site, as too many slow it down. Additionally, they check their speed straight away if they add a new plugin.
Make sure you check your website speed and health regularly. We have provided you with a list of the sites most recommended by chat participants to check your site speed and health –
Google Analytics Goals
Q6. How often do you check your site speed? Which tools do you use for that?#TravelBlogTips— #TravelBlogTips | Bloggers’ chat (@TravelBlogTips_) May 31, 2020
With Hosts @TravelBugsWorld@MonkeysVentures @KaliTravel @GreenMochila @Clarissa_Laskey pic.twitter.com/nIlGFX7r7w
Most of the bloggers at the chat said they had not set goals on Google Analytics. However, they did have goals to do with the growth of their blog.
The most prominent goals were to create content, increase page views and to monetise their sites to generate a passive income.
Also, another important goal for bloggers is to increase their email list to get more returning visitors and direct visitors to their sites.
Other goals mentioned include reducing bounce rate, increasing the amount of time visitors spent on their blog and shifting to more traffic coming from a Google organic search.
And finally, a few bloggers mentioned their goal was to learn Google Analytics and how to use them to help them grow their website.
“It depends on the blogger. If you want to monetize and grow your audience analytics and keywords are your best friends. If you just want to write your opinions and musings, you might not care so much about keywords.” @Kasiawrites
Auditing your Site’s Health
Q7. Do you audit your site’s health? Do you find errors and how do you fix them? #TravelBlogTips— #TravelBlogTips | Bloggers’ chat (@TravelBlogTips_) May 31, 2020
With Hosts @TravelBugsWorld@MonkeysVentures @KaliTravel @GreenMochila @Clarissa_Laskey pic.twitter.com/ucwnzhxCJG
Besides site speed, it’s essential to check for errors on your site. However, many of the bloggers at the chat claimed, except for checking site speed, they did not check their site health very often. However, they did check for broken links.
For auditing site health, popular tools bloggers use include SEMrush and Neil Patel’s SEO Analyzer. They use these to do an SEO check and a site audit. They also use brokenlinkcheck.com to check for broken links.
We also found out several bloggers use plugins such as Jetpack and other site health check plugins for auditing their site’s health and picking up technical issues.
Finally, some bloggers claimed their host provided a daily report of any issues, or they contacted their host when they had issues.
It’s essential to check your site health and fix any technical errors as soon as possible as it can affect your user experience and your ranking in Google.
Not sure about the future of blogging and travel?
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Free Courses on Using Analytics Tools
There is an extensive range of free courses that Google offer. We recently started the beginner one at https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/
Here are some more recommendations from our fellow bloggers https://digitaldefynd.com/best-google-analytics-training-tutorial-course/
So that’s it. There’s no excuse. Go out there and start learning analytics, and let’s keep our blogs growing and be inspired to create.
Thanks for joining #TravelBlogTips chat— Travel Bugs World ✈️🐞🌎 (@TravelBugsWorld) May 31, 2020
Make sure to Follow your hosts & @TravelBlogTips_
May you find inspiration and motivation in everything you do!
And wishing you success for your blogging dreams!#TravelBlogTips pic.twitter.com/oRnZgs6YLF
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