How to use Google Analytics to Measure Engagement on Your blog

blog engagementAre visitors to your blog really engaged in your content?

Is your ‘bounce’ rate an accurate reflection of how engaging your blog is?

In this article we outline some statistics you should consider monitoring to understand how engaging your blog is.

1.  Number of Returning Visitors

If people really like the content of your blog they may subscribe to get your content via RSS (they use an application to read content from a variety of blogs) or they may subscribe via e-mail.  However, it’s likely that this is only a very small percentage of your blog traffic.

What about other visitors to your blog that just like coming back on a regular basis to get your content.  Your visitor traffic comes from a variety of sources and one source is just people remembering your blog and coming back.

In the audience section of Google analytics under ‘Frequency and Recency’ you can see how many people come to your website once, twice etc over a period.  In the example below 71% of people only visit the site once. This is something that is worth monitoring on a monthly basis to see if this figure gets better as you continue to develop the content.

 

Google analytics audience engagement

This shows over a monthly period the percentage of visitors only visited the website once, twice etc

 

2.  Audience Engagement rate

In Google analytics there is a section to show engagement.  In this it shows how long visitors stayed on your site.

Beware:  When somebody only visits one page Google puts them in the 0 to 10 second category irrespective of how long they spend on your page.  The reason is that Google measures engagement when a visitor moves between pages!

With a blog a lot of people will only view one page so the 0 to 10 second section will generally be high.

 

Google-analytics-engagement

3.  Average Pages / Time on Site and Bounce Rate

These are 3 useful statistics to monitor:

Average Pages per visit:  How many pages do your visitors go to.  As mentioned above, a blog may have a low number.  There are ways to try to encourage your visitors to visit other pages, for example, providing related posts at the end of a post.

Time on site:  You want to monitor how much time visitors are spending on your site.  If the average number of pages is low but time on site is high and it’s a blog then this may be because they are reading your post and then leaving!

Bounce:  A bounce is when someone comes to your site and leaves without engaging with other pages.

4.  Percentage of eMail Conversions

If you try to build eMail subscribers a good way of measuring engagement is your email subscription rate.  If visitors are really engaged and like your blog they will subscribe.

The best way of measuring this rate is sending visitors to a thank you page after they subscribe and set up a goal within google analytics to measure how many people achieved this goal.  Read this article for more information on how to set this up.

5. Measure engagement by Channel

If you look at traffic -> all sources you can see the average pages per visit and time per visit broken down by channel.  This shows you what is working/not working.

On our stats it shows that the lowest bounce rate and most number of pages visited is Google Plus visitors followed by visitors from links to our site on Social Media Examiner. Both of these are working for us so worth spending more time on them.

Summary

There are many ways to measure engagement on Google Analytics, select the most appropriate for your business and track on a weekly basis!  What analytics do you use to measure engagement?

 

 

photo credit: © 2006-2013 Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc

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  • teacherwhisperer

    I use Blogger for my blog but the analytics only go to audience – then are no subdivisions under audience. How do I access these

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Sorry but blogger is something I don’t have expertise in !

      • teacherwhisperer

        Thks for the rsponse. I just thought that as it is a Google product the analytics page would be the same and that I was missing something!

  • EaglesPulse

    Hey Ian,

    I own a website with a few writers on it and I was wondering if there is a way I can monitor each authors traffic in analytics.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi, yes, they can give you read only access to your analytics and then you can view that within your Google analytics account! Ian

  • Busari Taoreed

    THANKS FOR SHARING THIS……….Busari Taoreed. http://www.saritsystech.com

  • http://mhskp786.blogspot.com/ Muhammad Hussain

    I Think You Described It With Details As I Wanted,I Was Looking For Posts Related To Analytics

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Muhammad.

  • markdhansen

    Nice summary Ian! We’ve automated the calculations for engaged audience Megalytic, so you can just plug in your site and get charts showing the trend in your engaged audience over time. See: http://blog.megalytic.com/measuring-engagement

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Mark, very useful. Ian

  • http://www.theglobalsweetsenses.blogspot.com Daniel Kissinger

    got it

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  • discovery

    I was hoping to find a “Time Reading Blog Post” statistic for our blog. Since the vast majority of people read the one post (page) then leave they get counted as 0-10 seconds by google. Any way around this?

    BTW, Your logic in this statement in your article is incorrect because if readers leave after reading the one post, then it is impossible for one to have a “high time on site”:

    “Time on site: You want to monitor how much time visitors are spending on your site. If the average number of pages is low but time on site is high and it’s a blog then this may be because they are reading your post and then leaving!”

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Yes you’re right, number of pages need to be more than one. You can only get around the issue of the bounce by altering what is considered a bounce.

  • Portman

    really good post it and good topic, this is competition
    world there are lot of competition between one company to other companies. To
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  • Dong Manh

    I’m wondering about this:
    Beware: When somebody only visits one page Google puts them in the 0 to 10 second category irrespective of how long they spend on your page. The reason is that Google measures engagement when a visitor moves between pages!

    As you mention if they only visit one page (for eg: 1 minute) it will also be counted as 0-10s. What if they stay only on that one page, longer than 10 second. How do we know if that will counted as 1-10s or 11s-30s or else.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      If they spend a minute on one page and then leave that is in the 0 to 10 second category.