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?

 

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