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

Market yo shit: How to share your blog to get more traffic

Hi Hi!

Happy Wednesday, friends! How's it going? 

I recieved a lot of positive feedback on the blogging tips post, and the measuring your analytics post I did in the past few weeks.

Which makes me SO HAPPY because those posts, I am SO INTO.

Value added and super juicy.

Real quick though, lets get the outfit over with!



 You and I have talked about starting the blog, and about the importance of numbers, but it's even more important to know how to MARKET your blog. I feel like when I talk to people it's the same sentiment. They're looking to get more people to their blog. 

I mean, I hear you.

100%.

If you do amazing, bomb-ass posts that you take hours and hours to do, but don't market your shit, no one's going to read it.

Sad, I know. 

For me, hearing the word marketing sort of makes me feel, icky.

Just a bit though!

Just, unnatural. But it's the way of the world and people WANT to find what you're putting out.

Marketing is the sharing.

It's the engagement and it's the back and forth between you and people that want to connect with your brand. That's critical, honestly. 

As an example, I was doing Hundred for about 5 months before I shared it with anyone. Which, was a good thing because it sucked, LOL. It also allowed me to get content there, and find my voice.

But I didn't get ANY readers, until I started to market my content. Then, it grew from there, and continues to grow with each and every time I create content, and MARKET it.

So all I do is listen to podcasts, read, speak with and learn from other smart people. So in that, I wanted to just break down the best way to market your brand or business, to grow it to be the thing that you want it to.


Get your content right:

First things first.

Create the content that you love, and honor what it is you want to put out in the world. Do it! I won't tell ya to do otherwise, but I will say that the best content to create is the content that your customer wants to read. 

If you're a food blogger, people may be thrown off if you show a post that's about the beauty products you've been using. It's weird, but people are creatures of habit and like when they go to a blog expecfting something, to find it.

Not saying you don't need to stay in one lane (I mean I'm all over the fucking board) but you're content needs to be right. 

Whatever your blog and it's vibe is make sure to ask yourself:

Am I providing value to my audience?

What is the topic that I cover that this post falls under?

What is the action that your reader can take next?

I think each of these pieces of information is equally as relevant and important. Each post, needs to provide value, it needs to align to your  brand, message or belief and the reader needs to be able to 'continue the conversation' or take an action against it. Shopping, as a popular one is one action. Or it can be to follow you on other socials as you travel this weekend. To read more on that topic in a book you suggest. To check out x website. Or for those that have products whether physical or digital it's to buy that product.

On the value piece I think it gets a little bit tricky. Because a lot of times, people rate or find value in different places than others. What I may find value in, others may not.

But this is where you cultivate your voice, your differentiator, and follow that.

On the topics piece, this can be tricky to categorize everything if you are a 'Lifestyle' blogger but there are creative ways to do so. Still working on that one, LOL.

I would however think about which topics you're most excited about, and write those down. Break it down to what areas fall in that, and try to always go back to those original topics. 

Smart content is also well-strategized content. 

If it’s a post on your own site, keep them moving through to related blog posts or a sales page for your latest product or service.


Create a process (and stick to it!):

Creating a process for blogging and sharing content is really important.

Your audience needs to know when to check in with you to see what's new. Consistency is really key. 

I post on Mondays and Wednesdays and the podcasts go up on Tuesdays. I want people to know when to check in!

But more importantly to that, I have a process (although very basic) for marketing my blog when I've shared a post or a new podcast is out.

For the blog it's:

Reading this, it seems more time consuming than it is honestly. It's a good half hour or so to do all of the above, but when I am in the zone I whip right through it. I do it right after I post at 6 AM PST.


Know your readers: 

How about calling them fans eh? Yes your mom and friend from High School who read your shit, are FANS. I just sort of feel weird calling everyone readers or viewers, maybe just calling you friend also works!  

Of course, all of the tips above aren’t going to do you any good if you don’t know your readers well, or if you don't engage with them.There are so many opportunities to tap into your readers and get to know what they want, what they don't want and what they like to see/read from you. 

Read (and engage with) your blog comments:

Which post really reasonated with your audience? What do they love to read about and see from you? Was there something you did when markeitng that post that may have driven more traffic than normal? There could also be something there too!

I LOVE to read the blog comments to really make sure that I am writing what you want to read. 

Ask for feedback:

If you're feeling like you don't know what your readers want from you, just ask them. Do a poll or share an instagram like Damsel in Dior, and ask how they want to engage with you. Is it on snapchat, is it once a week through a thorough blog post? People like to share feedback if you're going to take it into consideration and be respectful of their opinion. 

Interact with other bloggers:

Most of marketing for me, is interacting with my readers and importantly other bloggers. This is done via Facebook groups, or communities like The Style Collective. 

I do a lot of commenting, reading and engagement with other blogs, because it's important to me to support others, stay interested and give credit where credit is due.

By sharing my posts in blog communities, I get lots of traffic and readers to the site. 

You can also consider business cards, as a way to market yourself. I got mine from MOO and wrote a post about them here. They are good when I attend events and conferences.

Which brings me to the point of getting to know people you interact with online, IRL. 

Attend an event or meetup:

I think these are so underrated and I want to meet people IRL much more this year and into next. Although I may seem cool with all these spelling errors and random knowledge, I am way cooler in person :) Plus it allows me to feed off and contribute to others energy. I always try to meet local LA bloggers, and am starting to host more events like the one at Soulcycle or the one this Friday in Manhattan Beach.

You can join the SoulCycle Almost 30 Podcast Launch by clicking here.


Have brands you work with market for you:

Whenver I work with a brand, I include in the terms that they are to share my link, photo, pin or instagram on their socials as well.

This is HUGE and it's a really great way to get traffic and to bring their readers, to your site. This often happens naturally, if a brand likes the photos you've taken, but I like to be sure! As an example, I've seen a 192% lift in my posts, if a brand shares what I've done for them on socials.

It's a win-win! They get content, you get traffic.


SEO

As far as SEO, people need to find you on Google Search.

Having an SEO strategy in place is really important for marketing you and getting traffic to your site. Having an SEO plan gets organic growth and page views (vs. paid or bots - which I don't know how you can actually do that with page views...). 

It's really important and it seems really techy, so just a few high-level tips:

Being Boss on SEO Strategies

Style Collective SEO 101

There are so many resources for creating an SEO strategy, and I would suggest a few articles here to get started. Frankly I am not a complete expert on this, but manage to have Hundred listed as #1 on Google Search.  


Most importantly, having a marketing strategy is the best way for you to get your content out there. It's how you connect with your audience, brands find you, and get you paid for what you do! Finding the right plan to distribute your content is a critical part of your process! 

Okay PHEW.

What do you think? How do you market your blog, or business or service? I feel like so many people are moving towards more creative, living on their own but also need to know how to share their business with others so I am hopeful this is helpful!

Let me know :) 

Loving you,

Krista

 

 

Not into numbers, but why METRICS are key for bloggers (which ones and why!)

Oh my.

A post about NUMBERS and key metrics for bloggers. It all seems so serious to me. 

I am not a numbers person.

Just not into it.

Math? I'm good. Counting calories? Nah. Checking my bank account regulary? Would rather not.

(Anyone with me?)

So, I never thought I'd be doing this. 

I just cringe at the thought of putting a numeric value on my CRAFT!

(Dramatic sigh).

I also never thought I'd be buying toilet paper on a Saturday night but HEY! Sometimes you can't predict life.

As a blogger, or website owner, or whatever you want to call it, understanding your metrics is REALLY important.

Let me tell you a story real quick.

7 months into blogging I was doing my thing focusing on quality content, trying to stay true to myself and basically using Hundred as an outlet.

My blog is basically a place where I create what I want to see in the world. 

I had RewardStyle and this point, and Google AdSense (of which I don't use anymore, you can read about that here) and hadn't had a sponsorship deal yet.

Then randomly, a brand I LOVED reached out to me. I'm pumped, I'm like yeah totally let me rep you! Then, they asked for my #'s.

I'm like um, 36, 25, 34?

(JK those are the measurements from Baby Got Back).

I actually had no idea. So at that moment, I knew I had to (even though I didn't want to) force myself to take a look at all my numbers.

The metrics and data behind Hundred Blog.

Its one of those things like weighing yourself.

You don't want to do it, but it's the truth. The numbers most of the time, don't lie. They can also help you to start planning for the future. Just like the physical scale, you need to understand your baseline to plan to lose weight and track accordingly.

You don't need to be obsessed but if you want to grow you have to understand where you're starting from. 


Using metrics you can get clear on what’s working and what’s not working.

Look at your most popular content on your website. See which posts do well, and which don't to get a better understanding what your readers are into. 

Some of my most popular posts are the below: 

This tells me that you guys are into the beauty posts, and travel. Also relationship inspiration and a bit about healthy eating. Importantly, my most recent post always does the best, which means that people are staying up to date with each post! 

Here, the key part is looking at the kinds of content that gets good traction and make informed decisions around that!


The key things to look at:

Look at your top pages visited and use that to shape future content. Doing follow-up to those! This is something that I am working on. Figuring out how to incorporate old post data in my current content. 

Find out what people are searching for on your site. 

Look for what’s relevant to your readers, and go there! 

Check your comments to see which seem to resonate the most with people and drove the most true engagement. The amount of comments or feedback is a good indicator of what drives people to your site. On disqus (what I have) you can use their analytics tool to see which months, days and posts drove the most engagement!

The most important part, and to bringing it back to my theory. 

Numbers are one tool but they aren’t always the full story.

They aren’t the background into why you are creating it and why you are sharing it.

This should be your passion, your voice and you need to feel compelled to share something with all the lovely babes that you connect with.


Lastly, another tip is to give your readers that next step:

Ask people to share.

What’s the next thing you want them to do? Share with friends? Shop your post?

The Skinny Confidential, is SO GOOD AT THAT.

She always keeps you going to other parts of her brand or social. Read this, tweet here, enter to win this on X platform. Serious GOALS.

Giving the call to action can sometimes be that important point.

But you still need to make the most impact with what it is you are creating.

Oh, BTW and I've got this outfit and some fall transition FAVORITES for you to shop while you're thinking of ways to repurpose your amazing content :) 


Shop the BEST embroidered tops:


Shop high-waisted denim:


Growth is something you need to track, and for sponsors, they need to know your numbers to undrestand your reach.

Of course you'll tell them you'll provide value in other ways, because your value is in your unique ability to represent their brand but essentially they'll want to know:

  • Your social reach (all of your socials totalled) 
  • Your page views monthly
  • Your unique website visitors
  • Your RSS subscribers (some do this)
  • Your conversion rate (some do this!)

Having these figures helps them to undrestand and lay the groundwork for what they can expect from your relationship in terms of exposure. 

The most important thing is if you continue to do what you love, and you’re passionate about that, it will pay off.

Data shouldn’t matter to you with your creative outlet.

I check my numbers monthly, I have an afternoon or night where I go through my Google Analytics, check and review my popular posts, tally my shares, and look at trends on Hundred Blog. I want to be sure that I'm always trending up, or if I'm not understand why that may be. 

There have been bigger months than others, and I also am beginning to take a look at time as it relates to the popularity of my posts. When do my people read Hundred? Then go into the 'WHY' which is around content. 

Basically, though, if you're trusting your gut, and it feels right, your intuition and trusting your gut is bigger than numbers! Truly. 

That's what I always say.

INC. magazine also had this amazing feature of Gary Vaynerchuk talking about less data, and more intuition. It's SO GOOD. 

Read about that here

I really think that the best bloggers, business owners and creatives are best at following their intuition, over anything. So that should trump data anyday. 

So, about you! Which metrics do you guys look at? Do you have a process for analyzing your blog's data? What should I be doing? I'd love tips and ideas here!

I hope the week is going well, BTW. I'm prepping for a bachelorette in Denver this weekend and lots of things for Almost 30 Podcast - SO cited.

Loving you!
Krista