I'm Kayla. A millennial obsessed with makeup, planner decorating, and board games. Working towards a more organized, simplified life one post at a time. #catlady



How to Use Google Analytics to Grow Your Blog

So you've set up Google Analytics on your blog. Now what? Beyond just the basic visitor stats and return visitor information, Google Analytics is packed with a lot of information to help you understand where your readers are coming from, what they do when they get to your blog, and how to better engage them. Here are a few ways that I use Google Analytics to beef up my blogging game.

Referral Traffic

There is a handy little tab called Acquisition in the sidebar of the Google Analytics dashboard that I spend way too much time looking at. Once you click on Overview, you'll see all the different categories of ways people get to your site (referral, direct, etc.). We're interested in referrals, so once you click that, you'll get a list vaguely like the one above. Now this shows you the top places people are coming from to your blog. The first couple make sense as the majority of my followers come from Bloglovin', but it's important to look for names of sites or other blogs. See at the bottom. When you find something like this, click on it. You'll be taken to a new page that will (hopefully, but not always) show you exactly where people are coming to your blog. There's even a little icon you can click that will open up the exact page in your web browser.

This particular referral traffic is coming from a blogroll my blog is on from a fellow blogger. Yet I would have never known that she was sending me traffic unless she told me specifically (which doesn't actually happen that often in my experience).

Using this tab and poking around for a bit is a really great way to find out who is talking about your blog. Maybe you were featured in someone's favorite blogs post. You never know who is talking about you (good or bad), but this tool is a great way to start finding out. You'll be able to engage with your community more by thanking them for posting about you, engaging with their content, and really showing that you have an understanding about what's going on in your blogging world.

Behavior Flow

Another really interesting, yet sometimes confusing feature in Google Analytics is the Behavior Flow chart. Now, I'm still figuring the ins and outs of this myself, but it's cool to look at in order to see just how people engage with your content. What I take out of this page is the amount of people that continue on past just the initial blog post. Each session beyond the first one is someone looking at another page from that first page. Let's have an example...

The large block in the top left is my homepage. Most often when people come to my blog they see the homepage first, then let's follow it to the 1st interaction that's highlighted. 9 people who started on the homepage went to check out a post about my current drugstore favorites. A few dropped off there, meaning they stopped reading my blog. More interestingly enough is that a few went back to my homepage in the 2nd interaction.

Although this section can be a bit confusing, I find it interesting to explore where exactly people are going when they look at my blog. That way I can see exactly how people interact with my content as a whole because most often I find myself thinking about my content on a post by post basis. This page offers a lot more information than that (like all pages in Google Analytics), but I rarely go beyond just surface information.

Site Content

Another interesting page in the Behavior Tab is Site Content. Within that tab is All Pages, which can help show you which blog posts are your most popular. Depending on what time frame you want to look at, you'll have to change your date range in the top right hand corner of your dashboard. I'm looking at information from the start of the year (date range Jan.1 - March 23). The first page that shows up as "/" is my homepage, which obviously gets the most views. The second page listed is a post I did on how to take better blog photos. The third one is about creating new content without new products

It'll become pretty clear after reading a few of the names of the top posts what your community responds best to. This can help you target posts to better suit what your readers want without having to guess what they'll be interested in. You can even go back to the start of your blog and see what was popular out of all your posts by changing the dates you're looking at in the top right corner.

Google Analytics has way more information than the three sections I walked you through in this post, but I find these areas the most interesting from what I'm looking to gain from poking around in the analytics. Everyone is always so focused on views, but drilling deeper into what your community is interested in can help you better target your content, figure out who is talking about you on other parts of the internet, and ultimately help make you more informed to produce a better experience for anyone coming to your blog.

If you're interested in hearing more about different aspects of Google Analytics or have any specific questions definitely ask! It can be a confusing world, but one that has a lot of information to make your blogging life easier.

How do you use Google Analytics? What else would you like to know about it?

xoxo Kayla


  1. This was so helpful thanks. I've had it installed for a while but I just didn't really understand it completely. This will totally come in handy!

    Jackie | fashionxfairytale | bloglovin' |

  2. Really great post! Google analytics can be a minefield or really helpful, you just need helpful tips like this to navigate it properly! xx

    One Little Vice - UK Beauty Blog


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