I am utterly obsessed with Google Analytics and have been for years, but it’s only more recently that I started comparing my blog stats month on month rather than just having a casual peek every damn day to see how I was doing.
I decided to change tact after finding out that my other half Liam records the stats for his podcast every month. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before that this would be a good way to learn what works for my blog and social media channels on a more long term basis.
My stats go back to February of this year, and so I figured it’d be a good time to see what lessons can be learned from how my blog has developed since then. Here’s a few of the things I’ve discovered.
You won’t always grow, and that’s OK
As bloggers, we want our blogs to continue to grow and grow – but that won’t always be the case. My traffic bounces up and down dependent on so many factors.
Primarily, I’ve noticed that my traffic will drop if I:
- Don’t post as many blog posts in a month
- Schedule less social media promotion
Pretty self explanatory though, right? No surprises there. However, to me that doesn’t mean I need to necessarily start posting a lot more regularly on the blog. Instead, I prefer to stick to the old adage that it’s all about quality over quantity. Good posts can still get more traffic than lots of crappy ones.
Equally, it doesn’t mean I suddenly need to start spamming my social media channels with more self-promo to get more traffic. That’s a surefire way of losing followers, if you ask me. Instead, I take away from this that I need to stay on top of my Buffer scheduling so days don’t go by with no blog posts shared. Sometimes I forget about it and end up posting nothing!
June is a horrendous month for traffic
Maybe this is just me, but June saw a significant drop in traffic. It may well be that I posted less in June, but I think it’s more likely to be a seasonal thing. Perhaps less people are online in June cos y’know, summer. Y’all are out getting your Pimms on and who can blame you?
Out of all of the nine months of tracking, June had the least number of sessions and users. On the bright side, I did get my biggest increase in Instagram followers but I can’t even pretend to have a grip on how the flip that happened. More in Instagram later.
Bounce rate is all over the shop
For a blog, your bounce rate is generally expected to be pretty high – think between the 60-80% mark. This is because bounce rate determines the percentage of users who only visit a single page on your site and then leave. Funnily enough, that’s what most of your readers will do because they’ve come to read the one post and then will go elsewhere.
For this reason, bounce rate can fluctuate month on month and you shouldn’t feel downtrodden if your bounce rate gets “worse” from one month to the next. It’s just the nature of the beast.
My bounce rate dropped consistently for a couple of months, then picked up again last month. It’s likely to continue a similar pattern forever and ever and that’s a-OK with me.
You can read my post on ways to improve your bounce rate if it’s sitting around the 80-90% mark.
People still use Bloglovin
This might not come as a surprise to anyone else, but I wasn’t really expecting to grow on Bloglovin at all as it’s not a platform I really use or engage with. Despite this, I do get small increases in followers each month, with an average of 5-10 new followers a month. In August, I got 17 new followers on Bloglovin and I don’t even know why.
My traffic levels from Bloglovin aren’t particularly high so I’m not fussed one way or another about growing it too much so it’s just a nice added bonus that people are still finding me on there!
Instagram can do one
Last month, my Instagram followers started going into the negative – I was losing followers. Before then, it tended to yo-yo from day to day but by the end of the month I would have always gained followers. Since October, they’ve been dropping daily.
I’m not sure why – I don’t post as often as I used to but that was because I was getting so fed up of having a boost of 10-20 new followers when I posted something to the next day having lost almost all of them. Now, whenever I do post, the number of followers goes down once again. *SERIOUS FACEPALM*.
I still enjoy using Instagram so I’m not going to stop, but I think I’ll die before I even reach 1k let alone the elusive 10k.
Do you monitor your blog stats, and have you discovered anything you weren’t expecting?