Find your data
Depending what you want to track, knowing how to find certain information that isn’t easily available on your blog can be hard. I personally use Google Analytics, which requires you to add a certain code to your blog before you can see any data. The data will only start tracking from when you add the code to your blog, so you might as well do it as soon as possible if you know you want to track your stats in the future. For social stats, Twitter Analytics is a great tool and Facebook and Instagram also have their own analytics sections to use. Find what works for you (it might take a couple of months of trial and error!) and stick to it.
Work out what you want to track
Not everybody is going to care about the same things, but I would imagine most of us who track our stats care about our followers, pageviews and most popular posts at the very least. If you want to go nuts and track ALL THE THINGS then that’s great, but make sure everything you track has a purpose. Similarly, are you going to start with just your blog stats or are you going to track all your social stats as well? I currently track my blog stats as well as my Twitter stats, but once my Facebook and Instagram start to grow I hope to track those too.
Write your stats down
This is obvious but so important. If you don’t write them down, you’re not going to be able to track properly. You could use a spreadsheet if you’re tracking a lot of information, but I personally use my bullet journal. Google Analytics gives you an instant comparison to the previous period unless you turn the feature off, but it’s nice to be able to record this and use the information to help in the future.
Do something with the data
So, for the past few months you’ve been gaining 50 followers a month on Twitter, but this month you gained 200? First off – that’s great, good for you! But chances are you haven’t done this by accident. Maybe you’ve really upped your Twitter game, or one of your tweets was really popular. Make a note of that, and try and do the same next month. The secret to tracking your stats is using the information to help you out in some way, so think about what you’re trying to achieve before you start tracking. If you want to improve your bounce rate for example, then try adding a “you might also like” widget, or add links to older content in your new posts to keep people navigating their way round your site, and make note of the difference before you had those in place.
Do the same again next month
Most people I know track their stats on a monthly basis. It’s good practice to get into a habit of doing it regularly, and I find monthly to be the best time scale for monitoring visible growth and improving my methods for the following month.
Did I miss anything? Let me know how you track your stats, and how much you bother tracking. I’m curious!