What I’ve learned from my blog statistics
14th July 2016
Okay, before you start rolling your eyes and thinking “not another bloody blog post bragging about stats” I want you to know that this isn’t a normal post about blog statistics.
Bare with me on this one!
Throughout my time as a blogger I’ve gone through phases where I have been obsessed with blog statistics. I’ve set monthly goals, documented the important numbers, and got genuinely upset when my stats have declined from one month to another.
Fortunately, I’ve moved on from this phase, and last week I check my Google Analytics for the first time in about 6 months.
I was pleasantly surprised, and what I saw really bought a smile to my face. But not for the reasons you might suspect.
My page views had dropped significantly. I’ve been getting about 1/5 of the views I was getting last summer. The number of users and sessions had also decreased. To some this might be a disaster.
But while the number of views my website gets has decreased, the things I actually care about have improved.
Allow me to explain…
Bounce rate has decreased
Having a lower bounce rate means that more people are staying on my site and having a good browse around, rather than leaving the minute they arrive. This tells me two things…
- People like my content enough to continue reading.
- My layout doesn’t put people off my blog!
And both of these things make me happy.
I mean, you could have hundreds of thousands of visitors, but what does it matter is they aren’t staying on your site and reading your blog?
Average session duration has increase
I was shocked when I saw my average session duration as it was really high. That tells me that people are sticking around for longer, and it doesn’t surprise me when I look the amount of comments I get, not to mention the length of these comments. I’ve had comments that are almost longer than the blog post itself! Honestly, it makes my heart so full.
Since the beginning of 2016 I have focused more on writing posts that spark conversations (I even wrote a post about it) and this change in my approach to blogging has definitely paid off. The personal posts I write about my thoughts and feelings are not just the posts that generate the most engagement with visitors, but they’re also my favourite posts to write.
The majority of my visitors are returning visitors
And you know what that means…
…my blog must be relatively interesting because people come back!
Previously, when I was in that statistics obsessed phase, I thought that having more new visitors was better than having more returning visitors. But I’ve since learned this is not the case. Well, not in my eyes anyway.
I know from personal experience that it takes something special for me to continuously re-visit a blog. I always think that if I can relate to the blogger behind the blog, and see that they are a genuine person, I’m more likely to return.
So, to know that readers choose to return to my blog time and time again just makes me feel so incredibly grateful.
Do you check your blog statistics? If so, what particular statistics do you focus on?