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If you hang around the blogosphere you’ll soon find plenty of people telling you not to worry about your stats, don’t even look at your pageviews and to just focus on content. Ah… the wonderful statistics debate. So I thought I’d weigh in with my reasoning as to why you need Google Analytics on your site now. It’s pretty important.
If you’re blogging purely for your own benefit then this probably doesn’t apply to you – if you’re wanting to monetize your blog and if you want your blog to turn into your business then listen up!! This is for you.
Let’s talk about businesses. No matter what type of business you are opening, whether it’s a café, a clothing store or a blog, you need a unit of measurement to know if what you’re doing is right for your customers.
I’m going to focus a little more on the analogy of opening a café.
Opening a café has been your dream – you’ve always wanted to run your own business, be your own boss and you love coffee. This is perfect. You’re not afraid of a little hard work and you know it’s going to take some time before your business is profitable. You’re prepared. You’ve found the perfect shop front, you’ve had it fitted and made it look pretty, you have your coffee machine, a few sweets and treats and you’re ready to go.
The big day has arrived and your café is officially open for business. You are amazed at how many people have turned up to support you – your friends and family have been spruiking your business to others and the results are great. You’re run off your feet and at the end of the day you think you’ve had a pretty good run. But how do you actually know that?
Over the following few weeks you change up the menu, have different cakes for selection and offer different ‘deals’ each day. You think things are going okay, some days are busier than others…. Then your business starts to slow down. It doesn’t feel like you’re run off your feet anymore.
As the owner of a business, how are you going to tell if you’re doing things right? How can you tell what works for your customers and what doesn’t? You need to look at your statistics!!
You need to know how many customers you have each day and what they spent on average. Now that your customers are slowing down do you have less customers that are spending more or do you have less customers and less revenue all round? On the days you offered deals, how do you know which ones were popular? You look at how many apple pie and coffee deals you sold and realise you sold more than twice as many as you did of the chocolate cake and coffee deals. You now know your customers prefer the apple pie deal.
Statics are important. As a café owner you have two aspects to focus on – this is your business and you have to love it. Sell things you love to make, create an environment you love. You’re not going to start selling meat pies if you don’t want them sold at your café – even if your customers want them. And that’s the second part you need to be mindful of – you need to know what you do sell, what is it your customers love the most. Without this information how can you expect to provide for your customers and create a successful business.
The same principle can be applied to your blog. Yes, content is king – much like the coffee and cake in a café. Without it, you don’t have much of a business. But how do you know what content preforms well and when, how do you know what area’s of promotion work best for you and how do you know if you’re growing your business?
Google Analytics is your key as a blogger. There is a massive BUT to this though – you need to make sure you aren’t just creating content because it performs well. This is the delicate balance as a blogger and what will give you the drive to continue writing for months and years to come.
Pick your topics and stick with them – use Google Analytics to help you determine which of these topics works best and when.
For example – I know that posts about blogging attract a lot of traffic, however, I do not want my blog to focus on blogging posts. I have decided that I will be only posting them once a week and have been able to determine that Pinterest is the best social media platform to promote my posts on. I now have saved myself time from tirelessly promoting these posts on other platforms that drive no traffic, I have maintained what I want my blog to focus on, and I know how much of my traffic is because of this topic.
Without Google Analytics I would be flying blind.
With all this being said, I do agree that there are some people who can become caught up in their site stats, checking their page views hourly and loosing focus in providing quality however I truly believe that Google Analytics provides you with far more benefits for your business when installed early, than if you were to fly blind for months first.
Tell me your thoughts – did you install Google Analytics on your site early? Are you glad you did? Or do you wish you waited and why? I’d love to hear how it has all worked for you.