You don’t have to be a Google Analytics wizard in order to put your web traffic data to good use. In fact, by looking at three fairly basic areas of Analytics, you’ll be able to create better content that resonates with more viewers.
Just ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. What are the most popular pages or articles on my site?
Google changes things pretty often, so specific terms and placement within the Analytics dashboard may change, but currently you’d find the answer to this question by clicking “Behavior” in the left-hand sidebar, then clicking “Site Content,” then clicking “All Pages.”
From there you can see what sections of your website are performing the best in terms of attracting viewers within a certain date-range (which you can customize at the top of the dashboard).
Once you’ve determined what your most popular pages and articles were over the last month, or six months, or year — see if there’s a through-line, some theme, tone, or other characteristic that links them. Some of this will be based on assumptions and gut instinct, of course, but try to figure out WHY your fans felt connected to that content; then create MORE of it.
2. How are people finding my site?
If you poke around in the “Acquisition” section of Analytics, you’ll see what percentage of your total traffic is coming from folks searching Google, people linking from Facebook or Twitter, referred from other sites, etc.
If the “organic search” percentage (that portion of your web traffic that found you based on searching) seems low, you might want to consider how search-friendly your articles, headlines, web copy, and pages are. What search terms do you imagine would lead someone to your website? Do those same keywords and phrases appear on your website? If not, adjust! If so, maybe it’s just a matter of creating additional related content with peoples’ search behaviors in mind.
If your site isn’t being discovered via search, then you’re essentially preaching to the converted (existing fans, followers, email subscribers, etc.).
3. Who is looking at my site?
Google Analytics can provide a number of demographic stats on your web viewership, but one basic datapoint that’s worth checking is “location” under the “Geo” category.
Maybe the majority of your web visitors are in the US or UK, but 25% of the traffic comes from France. It might be a smart move to create a few pieces of content with that French audience in mind. Maybe half your traffic is coming from Japan. If so, you should consider having portions of your site translated into Japanese so that audience would be even more likely to share your content, link to your site, etc.
These are just three basic areas of insight that Analytics can offer. Start there, adjust your web content accordingly, and you’ll boost your traffic within months.
[Keyboard image from Shutterstock.]