So, you have your shiny new blog, with some excellent posts, and you add some posts every day, and you make sure you post links to your blog. And now what? you installed a statspackage, such as Google Analytics but what does it tell you?

Google Analytics Stats

Google Analytics Stats

To clear up some of your questions, I created the following list of important data in your stats:

    1. Number of Visitors – This number gives you an overview of the number of visitors your website got over a specific period of time.
    2. Unique Visitors – Number of new visitors that visited your site. Most of the time, visitors are labeled as ‘new’ untill after their third visit, but this depends on the stats-package you are using.
    3. Returning Visitors –Visitors that visited your site more then 3 times.
    4. Traffic Sources – This is a very important one. This stat will tell you where your visitors come from. Here, you can see which sites are sending you traffic. Analyse each and every source you find here. If you notice that a comment that you posted on a specific site is sending you heaps of traffic, you should post there more often. Best thing is to use this stat together with the bouncerate. I you see that a specific site is sending you alot of traffic, but with a high bouncerate, you can check out what it is that is making them bounce, and try to adjust that. For instance: If I notice alot of traffic coming in via a comment on a post about Google Reader, and the traffic that is coming in bounces off almost immediately, I know that they didn’t find what they were looking for. This means I can do three things:  1. Write an article (or a few) about Google Reader.  2. Give them other things to draw their attention, and keep them on my website (most read or latest articles, freebies,…) or 3. don’t give a damn, and continue as I was doing before 🙂 No need to say that option 3 is not necessarily the best option 🙂
    5. Avg Time On Site – Quite an important stat again, together with the bouncerate (the two are of course very much connected). The average time on site tells you alot about how interesting your visitors think your website is. An average of 30 seconds is the least to be good, an average of 2 minutes or even more should be your goal. If you see an average of less then 30 seconds, you better start working on your site. Try a different layout, another way of writing catchy titles and first paragraphs, graphics,…
    6. Bounce Rate – This statistic shows you how many visitors leave your site with the backbutton without clicking one single link or anything. If this number is high, you really need to work on this. You should try to get your bouncerate below 60% to be on the good side. Below 50% is really great. Visitors from social sites can give you very high bouncerates, which might skew your real numbers, but it does show the importance of high quality links. To improve your bouncerates, you can do the same as with the Avg time on site. Better titles, images, colors, texts,…
    7. Pages Visited – Tells you which pages your visitors visited. Some stats packages will also tell you from which pages your visitors left your website. These stats can tell you which pages of your site are most or least popular, and will tell you which path to follow.

  1. Keywords – The keywords that were used in the search engine that brought the visitors to your site. Put this number next to your bouncerate, and you can learn alot again. For instance, one of the keywords you are working on on your diet website is of course “diet”. But, you see alot of searches coming in with the keywords Atkins Diet, but they have a high bouncerate. This means that these visitors do not find what they are looking for on your website. So you can try writing some articles on the Atkins Diet, and get some extra loyal readers in.

I hope this short and simple explanation about reading your stats will already help you a long way in improving your website and your earnings. There is no need to look into your stats every 3 minutes, but do look into them regularly, and try to implement changes to your website according to what you see in your stats. It will bring you extra traffic and earnings in the end.

This article is based on an article from www.positie1.nl

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