Want to increase your blog's traffic? This tip will show you how to use your Google Analytics source medium data to get more pageviews to your website.
As a blogger, it's important to know where your traffic is coming from. Does your traffic come from Pinterest? Or are you getting a lot from organic search? What about other social platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?
If you're like me, you look at your traffic sources for your site as a whole. I know that about 60% of the traffic to Cub Scout Ideas comes from organic search, about 25% comes from social, and the rest is direct, referral, and a few other sources.
But have you ever looked at where your traffic is coming from on a page-by-page basis? You can get some great actionable ideas by doing so.
How to Find Traffic Sources for an Individual Post
For this, we want to look at our landing pages. Some of you may think of a landing page as a sales or lead generation page, but in Google Analytics terms, it's simply the first page that your visitor “lands” on when they go to your site.
We want to go to Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages.
Next, click on Secondary Dimension. Start typing “Source” in the search box. When you see “Source / Medium,” click on it.
Here are my top 13. This doesn't mean that I only get traffic to my patch placement post from search–it means that search traffic to that particular post is responsible for more sessions than any other post/source combination.
Because I get over 60% of my traffic from search, Pinterest is only responsible for one of the top 13 post/source combinations.
This is helpful, but we really need to see all of the traffic sources for an individual page together.
You could click on “Landing Page” to sort that column, but there's two problems. First, you get some strange landing pages. I'm not sure exactly what those are or why they show up, but because most of them only have one session, we aren't going worry about them.
Second, there isn't a way to sort by Landing Page then by number of sessions (unless you export the data to a spreadsheet), so you get something that looks like this.
That makes it difficult to evaluate. So, we are going to filter our rows by the page we want to evaluate.
Here's how you do that.
Leave the secondary dimension as Source / Medium. In the search box, put the last part of your URL, then click the magnifying glass.
Note: You can copy the text from the landing page field, but be careful. If you click on it accidentally, it'll show you results just for that page/source combination. This isn't going to help you.
Look at Different Date Ranges
It's always good to look at a variety of date ranges when doing this type of analysis. Google Analytics defaults to the last week, but you can change it.
Here are some of the date ranges I review, but I don't always look at all of them every time.
- This year's traffic (from January 1st through the current date)
- The last 12 months (for example, from 5/29/18 to 5/29/19)
- All the traffic from the post publish date until now
I published my post about making robots out of toothbrushes in June of 2017, so this chart shows all of my traffic to that post from the time it was published until today.
Do you see those spikes? I wanted to figure out what caused them, so I hovered over each spike to figure out the date then looked at the traffic source for that particular date.
The traffic for the first spike came from an email. I haven't included this post in another email since then, so it would be smart of me to do that.
The traffic for the second and third spikes came from Facebook, so I need to post about this on the platform again. Facebook Insights would show me the exact post, so I could either use the same verbiage or try something new.
What to Do With This Information
So, it's nice to know this, but what can you do with the information?
Compare your individual post results to your site results as a whole. As I mentioned, my traffic from search is about 60%, and my traffic from Pinterest is about 15%.
I'm going to compare individual post results to my site's average to help me figure out what to do.
My post about making a solar oven from a pizza box is only getting about 20% of its traffic from search, and it's getting over 40% of its traffic from Pinterest.
I need to work on my SEO for that post to see if I can increase my search traffic. I can use Google Search Console to determine if I need to work on my click through ratio or if I need to try to rank higher.
This flag ceremony post gets over 80% of its traffic from search and only 5% from Pinterest. I need to make some different pins to see if I can increase my Pinterest traffic.
By comparing the individual posts to my site as a whole, I can identify actions to take to increase traffic.
How to Decide Which Posts to Review
Bloggers don't have time to go in and look at each individual blog post, so how do we decide which posts to evaluate? I'll give the answer that everyone loves to hear–it depends. 🙂
Analyzing your blog's numbers is both art and science. Deciding which posts to evaluate is where art comes in because you'll need to decide for your own blog.
Here are some ideas:
- Check your long posts if you have ads on your site. Typically, longer posts have more ads and will make you more money.
- Check affiliate posts that you know are converting well.
- Check the posts that you're thinking about updating.
- Check posts where you're surprised by what you see when you scan the results.
- Check your top 10 posts.
- Check posts with low traffic.
A word of caution. If you enjoy looking at the data like I do, it's easy to go down the rabbit hole and spend hours and hours looking at it. That's fine if you have the time. But having all the data in the world doesn't help you unless you take action on it.
Use the data to make an action plan, then execute!
How do you use source/medium in Google Analytics? Leave a comment, and let me know!