I launched Crude Creativity three months ago as a creative outlet, a learning exercise and a way to connect with other parents and bloggers. My plan from the get-go was to take a relaxed approach to blogging. I am a working mom to a rambunctious 1-year-old, so this blog is not always at the top of my priority list.
As a very analytical person who is easing my way into blogging, I’m finding it difficult to avoid drowning in blog statistics. There is so much data available to bloggers. While data is extremely useful for improving my blog, it is not always great for my sanity. Naturally, I’m tempted to harp on the standard measures of blogging success – pageviews, social media followers, and subscribers.
Instead of obsessing over views, I’ve decided to focus my attention on areas that will improve my content, engagement levels, and blogging etiquette. I wanted to share which blog statistics I’ve got my eye on in case I can help other bloggers to cut themselves some slack and make positive adjustments.
1. Bounce rate
How I find it: Google Analytics
What it tells me: What percentage of the people who visit Crude Creativity read one post and then leave.
Why I care: I’m learning that it’s (alarmingly) easy to get people to read your blog. Much to my shock and amazement, over 5,000 people have read my post on Unconventional Items to Pack in Your Hospital Bag. Although that sounds like a win, my bounce rate is super high. Only about 1 in 20 of those readers stuck around to check out another post or two. The rest “bounced”, never to be seen or heard from again.
What I’m doing about it: I’ve started to incorporate more links to other posts into my new content (see what I just did above :D). I’ve also added references to related posts to the bottom of each page.
2. Country of origin
How I find it: WordPress Stats
What it tells me: Where in the world my readers are located.
Why I care: BECAUSE IT’S SO FREAKING COOL! I recently hit the 100 country mark. I’m ashamed to admit that there are three countries on the list that I had never even heard of until they popped up in my stats. To the lady from the Solomon Islands, if you’re reading this: mi hapi tumas fo mitim iu.
What I’m doing about it: I’d love to say I’ve started to modify my content to accommodate the 19% of my readers who reside outside of the US, but I’d be lying. Really, I’ve created my own blogging edition of the license plate game and tried to collect readers from as many countries as possible (if you’re a 19%er, sorry for yet another US-specific reference).
How I find it: Email Notifications (I’ve set my comments to require approval)
What it tells me: How engaged my readers are. It’s no small thing for someone to go to the effort of filling out a form and leaving a comment.
Why I care: Because I want to hear from you! As I mentioned at the start of this post, part of the reason I started a blog was to connect with others. Comments provide the best insight into how people are actually reacting to what I put out there.
What I’m doing about it: I’ve learned that by ending each post with an invitation to comment, readers are more likely to throw in their two cents. At this point I only have a handful of comments so please take a moment to comment and share your thoughts (again, see what I did there)!
4. Google Search Terms
How I find it: Search Console within Google Webmaster Tools
What it tells me: What the handful of viewers I get from Google were actually looking for when they found me.
Why I care: Google has only recently started sending traffic my way. It’s valuable to understand which search terms are leading Googlers to my page. It’s also helpful to see when my posts pop up in Google searches but nobody is actually clicking on them.
What I’m doing about it: So far, all I’ve done is giggle as I read some of the more obscure and disturbing search terms that led to impressions of Crude Creativity. I will likely do a separate post on some of the alarming searches that led people here. It didn’t occur to me initially that a side-effect of having the term “Crude” in my domain name is a handful of readers that must be very disappointed when they land on a blog about crafting and parenting. Eventually, I plan to use this data to improve my search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword use.
5. Pinterest Analytics
How I find it: Pinterest for Business Page Analytics
What it tells me: Which of my pins are being “pinned” and which are driving click-through traffic.
Why I care: I’m slowly recovering from my bad case of Pinterest anxiety, and starting to see how valuable Pinterest is to new bloggers looking to share their posts and network with like-minded Pinners. Currently, Pinterest drives over 90% of my pageviews.
What I’m doing about it: Lately I’ve been using Pinterest like a focus group to test blog post titles. I’ll save two similar pins with different text. Often, I’m surprised when one pin outperforms the other. When this happens, I will update my post to reflect the more engaging title.
The One Stat I Won’t Touch – Google Real Time Reports
PSA to all bloggers – STEP AWAY FROM THE REAL-TIME REPORT. This report shows your current readers like ants on a map. It allows you to watch as they drift from page to page and eventually disappear.
You may be wondering what useful information you can obtain from such a report, and the answer, in my opinion, is absolutely none. Somehow, it’s still super addicting to creepily stalk your readers from behind a laptop screen.
Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I waited around for a particularly active moment to capture that screenshot. As I’m typing this there is one active user – Oh shoot! Nevermind! They just dropped! Where did they go? Why didn’t they stick around? Did they hate my blog? They probably hated my blog.
What Are Your Favorite Blog Statistics?
Which blog statistics have helped you to improve the look and feel of your blog? And which ones did you stay away from in your early days of blogging? I’m also in the market for like-minded blogger friends. Feel free to contact me directly or join my Pinterest group board.
If you’re interested in using Reddit to promote your blog, check out my disastrous attempt to post on Reddit and why I think Reddit is the Social Media Soup Nazi.