How do I know if people are reading my blog posts? – Consider Google Analytics

I practice what I preach and so recently I conducted a survey to find out what questions my audience had with a view to creating new blog ideas.  You asked how you can know whether people are reading your blogs?  So, here’s your answer, and of course, it’s in the form of a blog post.

So, are your blogs being read or are you publishing material into the big blue yonder? To get the answer to this question you need to be tracking your web traffic with Google Analytics. Tracking your website visitors is an important part of your marketing efforts. Otherwise, how do you know if anything you do has an impact on your traffic?

Of course, if your sales go up, there is a fair chance that you’re doing something right – something you have written has made an impact. How much more useful would it be to know what that was so that you can do it again (or do similar)?  You could do even better if you improved your conversion from traffic to leads to sales? Tracking your website visitors can give you a first insight into this.

The best tool, in my opinion, is Google Analytics. It’s free to install. All you need to do is sign in with your Google account and follow the setup process. If you use WordPress, download the Google Analytics Dashboard plugin and enter the tracking ID you’re given in your Google Analytics account. There’s even a helpful “how to” video in the plugin settings, so you might want to start there. It’ll guide you step-by-step through the setup process.

How Google Analytics works

Google Analytics cannot look into the past (before it was installed), so it will start monitoring and recording your web traffic from the time it’s been installed. The sooner you install it into your website, the sooner it can start gathering data for you.

If you use the WordPress plugin, you can see all kinds of information about your traffic in a separate section of your WordPress dashboard.

You can look at the number of users who visited your website. That’s unique users, so if someone visits multiple times, they’ll just count once. But there’s also sessions (visits of users), page views (how many pages were visited), pages (which pages were visited and how often), bounce rate (how many people only stayed for a few seconds), location (where were the visitors from), and much more. You can even see how many people are visiting your website right at this moment!

It is a brilliant tool to analyse pretty much anything you want to know about your web traffic. Unfortunately, you cannot combine different sets of data (such as location and pages viewed) in the plugin view. If you look at Google Analytics in your browser you have a much wider choice of options and combinations to look at.

How this helps you

So, to find out whether people are reading your blog posts, simply look at the Pages view. It shows you how many people have looked at which page, with the most visited page showing first. You can then see which of your blog posts are the most popular and what type of content you might want to create more of.

What else can you do?

Finding out whether people like what they see (which was part of the original question I was asked), is a little bit more complicated to figure out. Most people, if they don’t like something, will simply go away and never come back. So, one thing you can do is invite feedback in your blog comments and see what people say about your blog posts there. Or when you share your blog posts on social media (which I strongly recommend you do) ask them to comment after they’ve read the article so you can get feedback that way. If you get lots of engagement, likes and shares, chances are pretty good that people like what they see.

Over to you

So, let’s test this theory. Please leave a comment as to what you think about this article. What did you like, what didn’t you like?

If you’d like to find out more about my business blogging training and coaching, please pop over to my blogging training page. 

Categories: Blog and Blogging.
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