Why are you blogging? This sounds like a silly question, but you can narrow it down to one reason: A blog audience. Yes, you write a blog because you want people to read what you write! If you didn’t want people to read your writing, you would have written a journal instead. 😉
Knowing who your blog audience is directly affects your blog’s success. It is important to get to know these people. So, how do you do that? There are many ways to approach this and each has its own merits, but the most effective way is, by far, Google Analytics.
Statistics Can Give You Insight
I made an assumption when I started my lifestyle blog, One Day to Tomorrow. I assumed that my readers would be between the ages of 25 to 35 and primarily female. Therefore, I wrote for women in this age range. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that more than half my readers were male!
Google Analytics offers a lot of value for bloggers. Of course it only works if you know what to do with the data it collects. I’m going to go over some of the most important audience-centric data in Google Analytics to give you insight into your blog audience. This will help you plan content to give your readers a better experience.
The Data and Your Blog’s Audience
Jackieison.com is only a month old, and I haven’t performed much marketing, so my numbers are still really low, comparatively speaking. I only started tracking data via Google Analytics last week, so my data is fairly limited.
After heavily marketing my last post and receiving over 200 pageviews, I now have enough data to demonstrate the statistics Google Analytics can provide and how you can use them to your advantage.
Once you have started using Google Analytics, you should wait at least 24 hours after your post goes live to receive your preliminary numbers. Don’t be discouraged by low numbers. We ALL have to start somewhere!
Who Is Your Blog Audience?
After logging into your Analytics account, look at the sidebar on your left. You should see menu options similar to the image above. Click on the one labeled “Audience,” then click on “Overview” below it. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see the following screen, or something similar to it.
This screen is where you will get to know your blog audience. Currently, you are seeing the data for “Language.” As you can see, of the 82 sessions, 74 of my readers spoke US English, 5 spoke UK English, 1 spoke “c,” (a generic language that analytics couldn’t identify) 1 spoke Australian English, and 1 spoke Russian.
What can you learn from the language your audience speaks? For one, if you have frequently have visitors from that speak a language other than your own, you should cater to them. A great example would be a blog in the US about anime. Anime is a Japanese animation art, so it is likely people from Japan may visit their blog.
To accommodate these visitors, you can download plugins that will translate your pages. This will make it easier for non-English speaking visitors to read your blog. This is just an example of ways you can use the data in Google Analytics to improve your blog for your blog audience.
Next, you can view the data for the country from which the visitor viewed your blog. If you click on the word “Country” below “Language” on this screen, you be able to view the location data. The country of origin may be worth considering if you blog about something of cultural significance. It will help you to understand the needs of your blog audience, similar to their language.
If you blog about local events or want to target readers in a specific area, the city section will help you do exactly that. Above are my current statistics.
Just a word of caution; don’t take these as concrete statistics. Many of these may be a general area as opposed to an actual location. For example, I live in Kentucky, but when I login to any account, my alert emails always say that someone from Atlanta tried to login. The first few times, I went into protection mode and changed my passwords. Now, I know that it’s actually ME, not some clever hacker.
I admit that I travel to Atlanta from time-to-time, but I don’t live there. I also don’t live in Ashville, NC, another location that pops up on some of my accounts after I drove through once. Seriously, this data can be flawed.
Browser, Operating System, and Service Provider
The system your blog audience uses can determine how your website shows up on their device. It is important to design your blog to be friendly for a wide variety of media and browsers for maximum accessibility. This will improve your engagement scores and conversion rates.
Operating System, Service Provider, and Screen Resolution
Understanding these three will also help improve your audience’s experience. For instance, if you have many readers trying to read your blog on a high resolutions screen, include high quality images. If you have a lot of mobile readers, you may opt for smaller images that consume less data.
Return to the sidebar and select the “Demographics” menu button under “Audience.” Now, select the “Age” option from the drop-down menu.
I anticipated my audience to be primarily millennials and confirmed it using this data. As you can see above, 27.5% of my blog audience is under the age of 25. Another 33.5% are between the ages of 25 and 34. The numbers drop off with age significantly. Since the generations 45 and older are less reliant on tech, this makes sense.
If your audience is older, you should opt to provide more detailed information and make your website easier to use. Seniors would appreciate larger buttons and text, for example. Another example is that you would include fewer tech instructions for for and audience under 30.
For my blog, I didn’t target a specific gender when I created my content. That decision shows in my statistics. As you can see above, my audience is divided pretty equally. What this tells me is that I should use gender neutral themes and content.
This is easy because of my blogging topic. You can’t get much more gender neutral than blogging. On the other hand, if you blog about blogging as a single mom, you would probably lean toward a more feminine appearance. Do what works for you to draw in your target audience.
Planning Your Content
The information from Google Analytics can help you to create better content for your blog audience. Once you begin to roll out content created for your readers, you should see an increase in your engagement and conversion rates.
If you see the opposite, don’t be alarmed. Simply change tactics and create another game plan. Part of starting a blog is understanding what works for you and your audience.
If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment below. To receive blog updates, exclusive content, and links to downloads as they become available, please sign up for my email list below or in the side bar.
Until next time!