I remember that when I first loaded my Google Analytics code into my blog I was checking it every day. The problem is that data from individual days don’t really mean much, especially if your blog is new and not getting much traffic. This observation is not completely true because national holidays, well promoted posts and a Tweet from someone that has a lot of avid followers could influence your data greatly on one day.
As time progresses spike and dip days are actually something you can assume will happen periodically. Why do I think this? I let the data come in and I examine it. Before you can draw any major conclusions you need enough data from enough posts. If you have 5 posts and 3 months of data, there is not enough text to draw conclusions about what direction your blog is going. The opposite also is true; if you have 20 posts and 1 month of data drawing conclusions may be premature. This conclusion is premature because the data from the posts hasn’t existed long enough on search engine databases for people to search for it.
My first piece of advice is to add Google Analytics to your website as soon as possible. I made this mistake with my blog, I added Google Analytics a month after I started my site. That is a month of lost data. My second piece of advice is that if your site is new, do not check your Google Analytics for three months after you install it, and if it is an active site wait a month. OK, that might be a little bit hard. Limit yourself to checking it once a week if not once every two weeks. Why do I say this? Because you don’t have enough data to really use the tools that Google provides and you will just be wasting time that you can use on other things.
When did I start getting enough information to start drawing some useful conclusions about my Etsy site and blog? With my Etsy site I was lucky, I installed the Google Analytics code and then forgot about it for about a year and half. I only remembered that I had a Google Analytics number for my Etsy site when I was setting up one for my blog.
The blog is a slightly different story. As stated before I had the site up and running for about a month with roughly 8 posts on it before I put the code in. And, what did I do right away? I started checking it every day multiple times a day. Was this a complete waste of time? Yes, because I didn’t have enough data to draw any conclusions. Google Analytics only aggregates data from the date that you put in the code because it starts working once it is loaded.
In addition, my blog was new and young and only got around 4 visitors a day. It wasn’t until I had data from about 3 months, and more like 4, that I really started to notice some interesting trends (by this point I had over 25 posts also). First, I started to collect some great data on entrance keywords, which have influenced the creation of future posts. Second, I found out which of my posts were my steady marathon posts that got many views a day from organic search results.
The key thing to remember that your ability to use Google Analytics effectively is greatly affected by the amount of data you have. This data comes in two forms, the first is the number of posts that you have and the second is the period of time for which you have collected data. It may take months before you can collect enough data, depending on how often you post new content, but if used properly Google Analytics can be a powerful tool that will help your business grow.
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