Google Analytics Data - Best Practices for Review

All new LexBlog blogs come standard with Google Analytics setup to track blog statistics. Understanding which data are meaningful for a blog is important as blog-specific metrics vary from those of a traditional website. Following are four primary areas of information that will help you understand your blog readership a little better.

Metric #1: Visits
Find “Visits” under Audience > Overview

In 2015 blogs on our network yielded traffic (by visits) ranging from a few hundred to several thousand. The occasional site received visits in the tens of thousands but this is rare.

Understanding if the number of visits is “good” for your site depends on who you are trying to reach. Some blogs target a few potential extremely high value clients, like an energy law firm trying to secure the business of Exxon Mobile or BP targeting their in house counsel with content and engagement. So, while their numbers might be in the low hundreds, they still consider the blog a success due to their small niche target audience.

Others try to reach as many people as possible because their goals and practice area requires it, for example, a family law firm trying to reach every married couple or couple with children within a certain geographic area.

Number of visits will only tell you one thing: how many people visited your site. It will not give you an eye into who those people were, though other specific areas under “visits” such as Geo > Location may help you gauge whether you are targeting people who fit in the demographic parameters you seek.

Metric #2: Social Engagement
Find “Social Engagement” under Acquisition > Social > Overview

Social engagement refers to social network-specific referrals (people sharing and accessing your content via social networks like LinkedIn). This information provides insight into conversations happening about your content.

As search engines evolve to try and put the “best” and most engaging content in front of search engine users, social engagement becomes of increased importance. Social engagement also shows opportunities for your presence in other networks to make possible connections and expand potential client relationships.

If you see low social engagement, it might be time for you and team to increase your social activity - sharing post content on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, etc.

Metric #3: Referrals
Find “Referrals” under Acquisition > All Referrals

Web referrals to your content are also valuable as they are endorsements from outsiders to what you have written on your blog. These referrals will sometimes duplicate some of the social share information (for example, referrals from “t.co” are from Twitter).

Referrals are good for further expansion of your network and connections. For example, if a leader in one of your client’s industries links to one of your posts (i.e. shares it with his/her followers) through his/her blog, you might be able to reach out to that industry leader to say “thanks”, subscribe to his/her blog, and begin a relationship with them through their blog and other online presence.

Google and other search engines use referrals as they evaluate the “value” for each piece of online content. The more referrals you have from influencers to your content, the more “value” Google will see in the content, and the higher your content will rank in search.

Metric #4: Search Terms
Find Search Terms under Acquisition > Keywords > Organic

Understanding what terms have landed visitors on your site can be a good way to check if visitors are landing on the site because of expected search terms or search terms less relevant to your area of practice.

If you see traffic coming from search users who found your blog through a less relevant term to your practice, it’s an opportunity to evaluate where that term was placed and change your strategy for future posts. For example, if you wrote a post about Trusts and Estates but used the high profile case(s) of a celebrity like Michael Jackson and you used the title “Michael Jackson’s Trust Issue”, it’s possible search users looking for biographical information about Michael Jackson found your blog instead of your potential clients seeking will and trust information.

One note, in some cases, “(not provided)” is the highest ranked search item in blog analytics reports. This is due to a Google update that was (as Google states) intended to “protect” any user logged into Google by not sharing their search information directly in analytics reports.

Running Reports
For the above metrics as well as any other data in Google Analytics, you can run reports and even set up one-time or recurring email reports to be sent to you (or any email recipient). At the top of the data page you wish to send as a report, click the “email” button and follow the prompts to set up the report with parameters needed.

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