Blog Visitors: Do You Know Yours?

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Some people find it annoying but I love to walk into a shop and have a sales person ask me if they can help me with anything. For one thing, it saves me time. But it also shows that the shop owner is concerned about their visitors. Who are they? What are they looking for? What can they do to keep that customer coming back? Your blog is your “shop.” How well do you know your blog visitors?

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Of course, it’s impossible for you to personally greet everyone who visits your blog but you can get a pretty good snapshot if you use Google Analytics to monitor your traffic. It’s free and easy-to-use and it actually provides more in-depth information than most of the premium analytics tools on the market.

What can you learn from Google Analytics?

Why your visitors come to your blog: Google Analytics lets you see the page your visitors land on when they first hit your blog and the keywords they used to find it. It also shows you the number of visitors to hit each page so you can see exactly how many people are visiting and what they’re looking for.

If you have a lot of comment activity on your blog you might think your post about organic baby food was the most popular post ever because of the number of comments underneath. But if you have Google Analytics you’ll might be surprised to see that a post about disposable diapers got twice the traffic even though it had only a few comments.

What else your visitors are looking for: You can also view all the keywords that people use when they land on your blog, ranked accordingly. If you have a auto repair blog where you talk about hot rods, you probably already know you get a lot of traffic looking for “Shelby GT” and you write for that traffic. But maybe you also get a lot of visitors looking for information about kit cars and you don’t realize it because you’re not checking your analytics. You could open up your blog to a whole new audience.

Where your visitors are coming from: With Google Analytics you can see where your visitors are coming from, which is really pretty interesting. You can see how many are coming from Twitter or Facebook or any of the other social networks, plus you can see how many come from each of the different search engines and how many come directly to your blog from a bookmark.

But what’s really interesting is that you can also see the other links they’re following, like links you’ve left in comments or links from other bloggers. I like to follow these links back to the source and find out why they linked to me.

For example, on one recent post I saw a huge jump in traffic that came from a forum. When I followed the link back I saw that someone had shared my blog post in the forum and they were all discussing it. Right away I went back to my blog and wrote another post that addressed some of the questions they were discussing and linked to it from the original post. Now a lot of those forum members are subscribers.

Install Google Analytics on your blog today and start learning more about your visitors and what they’re looking for.

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