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Google Analytics Is A Blogger’s Best Friend

Submitted by on January 10, 2011 – 9:50 amNo Comment

I’m friends with many bike (and other) bloggers so I thought I’d pass on some tips about traffic analysis for my blogging peeps.  If you”re not a blogger  this post might put you in a coma.  You have been warned.

Successful blogs, those that people visit and read, are usually the result of  providing relevant and engaging information, and nice photos help too.   Getting people to visit your site and making your site search engine friendly can be a daunting effort. How can you measure the results of that daunting effort?  I was hoping you’d ask that, the answer is  Google Analytics.

Analytics is a free service (you only need a Google account) that enables  bloggers/webmasters to examine far more information than any human would ever want.  You set up an account, put a bit of code in your blog and you’re good.

I cannot begin to cover or explain all the various tools and data in this post so I’ll just briefly highlight some of the more interesting and useful features.

The Dashboard

The Dashboard is your menu of tools which include Intelligence which allows you to set up  daily, weekly or monthly alerts (based on your criteria).  The Visitors menu will give insight into how many visitors were returning vs new, what country of origin, what browser they used, etc.  The map overlay feature is pretty cool, you hover your mouse over each country and a small window appears with the number of visitors from that region.  Here’s a shout out to the two folks who read us from the Czech Republic, ahoj!

Google Analytics Map Overlay

Google Analytics Map Overlay

The Traffic Sources menu is where you learn where visitors are being referred from.  I have often seen incoming traffic from blogs and sites that linked to us that I might not have otherwise known about.  This is also where you learn what search engines are bringing folks to your site.  The example below illustrates the traffic source details:

You can drill down in any category to get more precise details, below is a visual example of search engine traffic. Can you guess which one is Google?

Search Engine referrals

Naturally I want to see why we get so few visitors from Yahoo, Bing, etc., so I go to those search engines and query terms that I know our site has good search engine relevance for.  And as I expected, Biking in Dallas does have good search relevance at Yahoo and Bing and the others.  Therefore the evidence suggests no one uses those search engines, at least not compared to those who use Google.

The Content menu allows you to determine which page are the most read, what are your most popular “landing pages” and “exit pages”.

Not seeing many visitors from Bing or Yahoo?  That could possibly mean no one uses them.


Sometimes a blogger might mistakenly think the lack of comments suggests a lack of readership.  While that could be true in some cases, often it is not.  Far more people read a blog than those who leave comments.  Google Analytics is an exceptional resource for determining how well read your blog is and also evaluating your blogging efforts and search engine relevance.  It’s free, easy and kinda fun, if you’re geeky like me.

Side note for the privacy minded – Analytics does not provide personal data such as visitor browsing history, name, purchasing habits, first child’s age, or bust measurements, etc.


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Chris started riding a bike again when he noticed the Preston Ridge Trail being constructed across the street from his house. Since then he co-founded Biking in Dallas, has gone through countless Craigslist bike projects (some better than others) and can be found pedaling around town on a Electra Ticino with a camera in tow.

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