Badass Blogger Series: Google Analytics (WTF and WHY?!)

Hi my friends!

How's the week? Got all your cyber Monday shopping in I hope :) 

OK, SO.

GET READY FOR A LONG, HEARTY POST MY FRIENDS! WOOOO. 

Because recently I've been sort of insane about Hundred Blog.

I am ready to take it to the next level. I'm getting the website redesigned next year, setting up more processes in place so that it's more professional. So that it's more like a BUSINESS.

I'm losing sleep. 

But that's how I do. I am all or nothing about things, and when I find something to do, I do it.

Making it a business. It's blogging 2.0. Evolving beyond the passion project.

If you're like me, you've' been blogging for over a year now, and ready to take it more seriously. You have the blog, but wonder what else? What other things do bigger bloggers do that sets them apart. Or if you're starting a blog, you're wondering what it involves. 

To backup. I first became obsessed with GA, when I found out when pitching brands that I had my Google Analytics set up incorrectly.

Pretty par for the course when it comes to me. LOL. 

The data was pulling a bunch of zeros. I had what I thought was my Google Analytics fed to Fohr Card (which is one of the platforms I use to connect with brands).

So it looked liked no one had ever visited my site. Let me tell ya, that looks REAL good when you're pulling up NO data to brands. 

Also, I know I said Google Analytics your eyes glazed over and you're now bored. BUT. FOR REAL. Stay with me!

I needed help. I needed to figure out WTF is this Google Analytics and what can I get from it? 

I enlisted the help of Cinthia Pachecho, an analytics wiz genius of Digimorph to help me. I'm like GIRL, my numbers are whack I don't know what I am doing and I need to start getting smart about my data.

Because, like I've said before, in a previous post on numbers, here. The numbers, they don't lie.

TRULY.

You don't need to be obsessed with the data, but you need to listen to what it says. It's the voice of your reader and with it, you can see who they are, where they live, their age, and what they like to read on your site.

Critical info, right?

Google Analytics is key for anyone in the online world for having lots of information at your disposal so that you can make the best decisions about your business, your online presence and to see how your branding is being received.

I NEVER thought I'd be on the side of numbers. Honestly.

I'm so like, "but if it feels good, I'm gonna do it" and "the energy" blah blah. Typical, L.A. GIRL. 

But, businesses go off of NUMBERS, and yours will grow if you invest in understanding yours. 

I know it is a LOT of info, and a lot of it is unnecessary for most of us babes, so let’s walk through some of the basic elements of Google Analytics in ways that will impact your blog or business online.



3 Reasons you need to care about GA:

Brands will ask you for these numbers: Brands I've worked with have asked me for all the data in GA, and for screen shots even to make sure that I'm being honest about what I say. So also remember that, some want to see it to make sure it aligns. Be honest about your data, but be prepared when they ask! If you want to charge for the work you do, you need to show them why (with your data and proving your content is badass!)

This is how you grow your business: Knowing where you're at, and the places you can improve is critical for improving your blog/website and generating more traffic. 

Necessary data for your media kit: Data about your audience, and page views is necessary for your media kit when sending to brands. 


Narrow down the numbers

What is most important to you and your business? There is a LOT of information that you can pull from Google Analytics, so it’s important to know first and foremost what it is that you’re hoping to learn about your website so that you know where to look.

So think about what's important to you. 

Is it growing a community? Then pay attention to return visitors. If you're trying to sell something, maybe it's a high conversion rate. Think about your goals. Mine is to grow a community, and convert on my clicks for affiliate links, as an example. 

OVERVIEW VISITORS/SESSIONS

This can be some peoples default metric for the health of a website. But, what’s more important is who is coming to your website and how they’re engaging with it. Yes, you want people on your site. But you really want them to engage with you. You want them to click through, hang out and read your content, buy, and subscribe. You want people to do things on your website, not just show up.

BOUNCE RATE

I have been all about this one. 

This one because I realized, that my bounce rate was higher than I wanted to. Why is that? I think my homepage design doesn't entice visitors to stay, to dig deeper or click around. I need to really think about what actions my audience is taking so that they want to do more than just read one post. They want to stay!  

Here, the lower number the better. 


Who is your audience? 

This helps you understand who is coming to your site!

AUDIENCE DEMOGRAPHICS

This is cool because it tells you the age, gender and location of the people coming to your site. This is helpful for your media kit. This helps me to understand what my customer is and what would they be most interested in. 


Where are these people coming from? 

The Acquisition section gives you information on how people are getting to your website.

ORGANIC SEARCH

These numbers come from people who have found you by searching in a search engine (like Google). It could be people who know what your business is called by searched in Google rather than going to your website (like someone may type in Hundred). You need to pay attention to if people are finding you through popular links on search engines or if they are going directly to your site. 

REFERRAL

This is when people clicked on a link to get to your site from somewhere else. These are links from people who might have mentioned + linked to your website from their blogs. Thank these babes!

You can use this information to find a potential collaboration or guest post opportunities! These are your tribe.

SOCIAL

These are specifically referrals from social media and will help you understand where to put your focus in your social media strategy. 


How do people interact with your blog/site?

SITE CONTENT

This shows you what's most popular so that you know what your audience is loving most. Give the people what they want, right?!

BEHAVIOR FLOW

This shows how people got to your website, where they go next, and where they leave your website. This can give you great information about where your audience might be losing interest and if they’re following path you set for them.


Now what? Getting you sorted with your own Google Analytics! Links to help:

Feeling a little overwhelmed?

I know. So a few links and ways to help you get started getting set up. 

How to set up Google Analytics on Squarespace

How to set up Google Analytics on Wordpress

Have Cinthia set up your Google Analytics and walk you through the details

Normally she charges $50 for this, but for Hundred Blog readers, I begged her to offer a discount because she was so good! Tell her you saw this here and she'll get you sorted for $39.

Having a call with her was key. I needed to do this to ask all the questions in the world, and make sure what I was doing was right. Because honestly, I messed it up the first time! HA! 

She helped me see that there were websites like 'NIUME' that were getting me a lot of traffic, and that a lot of readers came from Disqus commenting. I also got a good amount from StumbleUpon. If you don't add your pages to StumbleUpon you should!

I found out my audience demographic which really helped me so brands understand my reader base. 

It was a game changer and I feel more confident than ever in what direction my site is going to go. 

If you're looking for something more advanced, she can do that too, she has courses that are really helpful for those who are looking to take it to the next level. You can check out her courses she's starting soon here.

Lets also be real though.

Google Analytics is not something I pay attention to on a daily basis. I can barely shower everyday.

I am going to check in monthly on my progress to stay up to date with anything I need to do on my site and for my angel readers, like you. 


I'm using it as a basis for making Hundred better, and providing more content that's valuable for you, and for me and so we can grow and be better together.

Make sense? Let me know your thoughts here. Do you use this already and am I behind or what?

Okay, now get ya GA all sorted and let me know how it GOES!

Questions too, ask me!

xoxo

Krista