Google Analytics-certified advertising and media professional, Julie of 3MomsIn1, introduced the basics of website analytics, important terms to know and pros and cons of a few analytics programs in her guest post, Using Web Analytics to Understand your Audience, Part I. Julie takes her teachings one step further with some advice on using Google Analytics and why to care about data trends over time versus day-to-day numbers.

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What other reports does Google Analytics offer?

Map Overlay

One of my favorite reports is the Map Overlay. You can find this report by clicking into the Visitors reporting, then Map Overlay. You will see a color-coded map showing your highest concentration of visits by geography. 90% of 3MomsIn1 traffic is based in the U.S., so I click on the U.S. to get a breakdown by state.

Google-Analytics-Map-Overlay

I find that nearly half of my traffic is from the Southeastern U.S. This makes sense, given I am an Atlanta blogger and southerner at heart. Being able to prove it with analytics provides a competitive edge when discussing potential sponsorship with southern brands or southeast tourist locations (DisneyWorld!!! Call me.)

Mobile Report

The Mobile report is also interesting. You can also find this report under the Visitors reporting. It provides metrics on the portion of your audience who visited via a mobile device. Considering making an iPhone or iPad app? Or maybe you want to promote some of your favorite apps? It is helpful to know how much of your audience accesses via mobile and on which devices.

What one additional tip is most important for a blogger to understand?

Focus on trends.

While it may be fun to look at your data day after day, the most useful intelligence comes over time. Look at several months of data. Look for pattern changes. (Example: Do you consistently have traffic spikes on the same days of the week? Do these correspond with when you post?) Even when comparing Google Analytics, GetClicky, and Stat Counter on 3MomsIn1, the traffic trend lines looked similar. Day to day, the numbers between these systems could fluctuate dramatically. But when a month passed, a graph looked like this:

data-Trends

A few days were off here and there, but for the most part, all three systems reported similar pageview trends.

Bloggers, do not be afraid of data! A knowledgeable blogger makes for a very good blogger.

Have you dug into your analytics? Do you watch for trends in your data?

 

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