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A Must Take Class for Every Blogger - "Analytics Tricks". Find it at Craftypod.
Submitted by Pam on Tue, 03/12/2013 - 04:02
Welcome to a completely unplanned post! March was to have been pretty much set aside for eggs and Easter craft. However, at the end of February, I took Diane's new class on Craftypod - "Analytics Tricks" and by the time I completed the second class in the series "Understanding Your Top Content", I felt so empowered and excited by all that I was learning that I rearranged my post schedule to create room to share my enthusiasm!
Each class I took was broken down into several interactive lessons, each with an easy to follow video presentation of tricks and tools to use in zeroing in on specific information, and a worksheet designed to help formulate an action plan (the interactive part). (Diane's in the process of changing the class structure now, but you can still get in on the content section through March 26th.)
It is this worksheet that I refer to whenever I use the term "homework".
AND doing my "homework" is the very thing that has made me feel so empowered!!
Google Analytics is not really new to me - Diane introduced me some time ago. However, until I took the class - this is pretty much what I looked at to determine how my blog is doing. The graph, number of visitors, average duration, bounce rate…..
Come to find out - although the graph showing the number of visitors is useful for my ego, in reality the numbers shown in the graph and in the section below the graph mean nothing in this context. They must be analyzed in a much different context to determine their real meaning and value.
And believe me - they do have meaning and value!
It is easy to spot big spikes in traffic, but to determine the actual post or traffic source responsible - that is more of a challenge. More often than not I ended up with nothing more informative than "a pretty good idea"!! That has all changed!!
I accidentally stumbled across this tool a few months ago and was so freaked out that I backed out of there as fast as possible!
And while at first glance this tool does look confusing, it just so happens that this particular tool can be manipulated to produce very clear and very useful information about how readers travel through my blog. (Or don't travel through my blog - often the case)!
Just knowing where readers are arriving and leaving can be very useful in finding ways to invite them to stay longer.
While doing my "homework", I have discovered that I enjoy high SEO traffic on several posts that are literally what I have come to call "door stops" because visitors land and they leave!
Just like a new fallen snow reveals visitors you would otherwise never know were there, "Analytics Tricks" reveals traffic patterns you may not have been aware of previously.
I do enjoy a fair amount of traffic, especially from a select few posts that have high SEO placement. However, again while doing my "homework", I have learned that these posts are not - what Diane calls -"sticky". Visitors click on and are gone in sixty seconds! Or less!
Finding out that I have unstick-y "door stops" is not at all bad news! Through the class experience I learned there are ways to use these posts to improve my chances of actually holding reader's interest longer - long enough to possibly turn them into regular visitors and direct them to content I really want them to read!
I whine to Diane frequently that the posts consistently showing the highest numbers of visitors are not the posts for which I want to be known. The posts I love, that speak to my heart and reflect my deepest interests often seem to be - well - buried under a foot of snow!!! How come?
Well, as it turns out, there are answers to that question; and the answers point to concrete things I can do to increase the chances that my "hidden" posts are more visible.
I have learned how to isolate content problems and fix them! How to easily find those lovely bloggers who have sent me traffic so I can thank them. And I have learned how to follow visitors' interactions with my blog content.
New bloggers, you will definitely want to take this course right away so that you can begin applying the knowledge gained during the course now - at the beginning of your adventure! Believe me, much better than fixing it four or five years into your bloggy life!
And if you are planning to eventually monetize your blog, this class is essential for understanding your readers, their reactions to your content, and what you can do to give your content more value and visibility.
Bloggers that have been around for a while will most likely feel as empowered as I feel once they understand what all those facts and figures and graphs really mean; how to manipulate them to get the information needed; what content works and what does not; and where in the blogisphere all that traffic comes from!
I have nothing more to say except - take this class the very next time it is offered. Do the homework. Apply what you learn to your own blog. It will make a difference.