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7 Ways to Use Google Analytics to Grow Your Blog Traffic

I’ve waxed poetic about Google Analytics before, about how to install it and what you should be tracking every month for your blog. But you need to do more than track and observe.

You need to ACT on that info and use it to guide your blogging strategy for the month ahead. 🦄

Aww yiss. Google Analytics isn’t only for tracking how many people come to your site and that’s it. There is a lot of powerful info in there that you can use to grow your blog faster!

In this post, I’m going to break down 7 ways to grow your blog using a plain ol’ free Google Analytics account!

Google Analytics Blog Strategy

First up, when you log in to Analytics, you see what I like to call your SUBS. It’s actually USBS when read left to right but I think SUBS sounds better. It stands for your Sessions, Users, Bounce Rate and Session Duration.

Those are the 4 key things you should be looking at every time you log in, FO REAL. In a general sense, they tell if you if you’re trending upward or downward. I like to set my view at the previous 30 days to get a good overall picture.

In this screenshot, you can see my traffic went downhill this month, compared to last (by 15.7%). I know that’s because I hardly spent any time writing new posts or promoting existing ones, whoops.

Google Analytics Blog Strategy

Beyond that, I review the following things at the end of every month as part of my monthly business review (that also includes things like tax payments and profit/loss statements – oh yay).

Reviewing these 7 things influences the actions I’ll take for the upcoming month to grow my blog. Sometimes it might be posting more on social media, or other times it’s about seeing who’s linking to me and striking up a conversation.

Here’s what to look for, boo.

1. User Location

Under the Audience -> Geo -> Location area, you can find out the geographical breakdown of everyone who has visited your site. Again, I like to set this to the past 30 days.

Google Analytics Blog Strategy

There’s a list underneath of how many people came from which countries. This is helpful to know if you’re targeting certain areas or if you plan on running ads.

If you run a local business, meaning one that you help customers face-to-face in your city, this is really important. I mean, it’s not very helpful if you want to attract people in Vancouver, Canada but 98% of your traffic is coming from Vancouver, Washington, right?

Knowing where your audience lives can influence the keywords you’re using on your site and even your ad strategy.

Even if you’re an online business that can serve anyone anywhere in the world, you still want to know where your top countries are. Maybe you target French-speaking clients. Then, you’d want to make sure French-speaking people are coming to your site (there’s a separate Language tab for this, too).

Running a Google AdWords or Facebook campaign can be a lot more cost-effective when you can target the locations your ideal audience is in. Analytics tells you that with no guesswork involved. Easy, right?

CONTINUE READING

How to Write SEO Page Titles and Descriptions for Your Blog

SEO page titles and descriptions are really important for your blog.

Raise your hand if you know what an SEO page title or description is. 🙋🏽

Mmkay, for all y’all advanced placement students, hold on just a sec.

They help Google figure out what your site is about and show your site to people searching for things like, “Pants for big butts,” or, “What shade of foundation am I?” (You can tell how my week is going so far.)

SEO meta data (another name for dis shiz) helps bloggers:

  • Get more traffic from Google
  • Get higher rankings in Google, as part of your overall onpage strategy

But they’re more than just a nerdy internet thing. They can actually help you surprise and delight your readers, too!

Read this post to find out how! 🤓

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

 

What Are SEO Page Titles and Descriptions?

For those who don’t know, an SEO page title is the text that appears in 2 cool places:

  1. In a Google search result

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

  1. At the top of your browser window

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

And yeah, this is the sort of wild stuff I do on a Saturday night: write about SEO. #NerdAlert

An SEO page description is the other texty part that shows up in a Google search result.

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

Page titles and descriptions can either be on PAGES on your website, or on blog POSTS. Obviously, ya wanna have SEO-optimized titles and descriptions for both of those types of content.

SEO page titles and descriptions are also known as “SEO meta data.”

 

Why Are They Important?

For starters, page titles and descriptions help Google figure out what your site is about. Google still scans your whole site’s content to figure that out, too.

But having the keywords you want to optimize for listed right in your titles and descriptions makes Google’s job a LOT easier. Which means, more people will find you via organic search easier!

There are a LOT of factors that go into ranking high in Google and fully optimizing your SEO. There are about 200 ranking factors, actually.

Optimizing your SEO meta data is just one small part of a robust SEO strategy, but it takes just a few minutes per page and is a good habit to get into as you write posts. Don’tcha want more traffic for just a few extra minutes?!

Image from searchengineland.com

Some SEO strategies are harder than others, like link building, creating longform 2,500+ word count posts full of value, or searching the web for broken links to replace with your own.

Literally nothing is easier or faster than writing page titles and descriptions for your blog.

Woo! All aboard the Lazy Blogger Express over here. 🚂

 

How to Write SEO Meta Data

To write effective titles and descriptions, you need to know what keywords you want to optimize your blog for.

Related: How to Do SEO Keyword Research

And, make sure you change it up for different pages. If one of your target keywords is, “blog seo,” you don’t need to have that in EVERY single page title or description.

Make sure the keyword you’re optimizing the page title and description for is relevant to the page’s content.

Once you have a keyword in mind, write out that page title and description!

For SEO page titles, they need to be under 60 characters to fit on Google.

If they’re over 60 characters, it trails off like this:

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

For SEO descriptions, they need to be under 160 characters… and ideally more than 120.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing your meta data:

CONTINUE READING

Sales Funnel Fun: How to Use Visual Automations in ConvertKit

If you didn’t already know, I love love LOVE email software wizards ConvertKit.

They make sending high-converting emails and building your email list super easy. And now, they’ve introduced a new feature called Visual Automations to make life even easier. awwww yissss

ConvertKit Visual Automations

In this post, I’m going to walk you through creating a simple, automated sales funnel using the new feature so you can start selling more on autopilot.

What is Visual Automations?

“Visual Automations” is a fancy way of saying automated email marketing.

It’s a way of creating a sales funnel so that when a subscriber meets a certain criteria, you can send out emails targeted to them automatically. Magic, huh?

Not sure what a sales funnel is? It’s the path you want a prospect to take to go from unknown to becoming a paying customer.

For bloggers, this often looks like attracting people via a free content upgrade. They enter their email address, you automatically send them the item they signed up for, and then they enter your funnel.

convertkit visual automations
Image courtesy of easyecommercewins.com

Using a tool like Visual Automations, you can create follow-up emails to send them a few days later to suggest a complementary product that they might be interested in.

In other words, ka-ching baby.

Cool, right?

How to Use Visual Automations in ConvertKit

Alrighty, so to follow this tutorial, you obviously need to be using ConvertKit. And no, I’m not writing this post just to get you to sign up via my affiliate link. I’m writing it because I frickin love a) marketing, and b) ConvertKit. And yeah, if you do want to try it out and sign up via my link… well, that would be swell, too.

So, click on Automations on the top menu. Then click on “New Automation.”

ConvertKit Visual Automations

Click on Create an Automation, and choose how you want to start off your sales funnel.

ConvertKit Visual Automations

You can choose to begin the automation when someone signs up for a particular form in your account, or when a subscriber enters a tag.

If you’re not familiar with tags, you can create as many as you want to categorize your subscribers. If you sell products, you can use a tag to identify your existing customers from people who haven’t bought from you.

You can also use them to label people by the topics they are interested in.

You can add people to a tag by having them click a link in any of your ConvertKit emails. In a recent one of mine, I asked people if they wanted to be notified when my new course launches. If they clicked it, they were added to my course pre-launch tag, so I know who to contact when it’s ready.

ConvertKit Visual Automations

Your subscribers don’t see anything other than a normal link, but here’s what it looks like when you’re writing your email in ConvertKit:

ConvertKit Visual Automations

It’s super easy!

So for this automation example, I’m going to make one for people who wanted to learn about my course. Set your automation to start when a tag is added to a subscriber, and then pick the appropriate tag.

CONTINUE READING

How to Double Your Email Subscribers with a Welcome Mat (Leadpages Tutorial!)

Wanna grow your subscribers like crazy?

Want to get people to subscribe to your list before they even see your blog?

The answer is a MAGICAL welcome mat!

By that I mean… well, this. See how one of my biz-crushes Allison has this super cool landing page right when you visit her homepage?

grow-your-blog-welcome-mat

What if I told you it’s super simple to set that up so it’s automatically the first page your visitors see?

Aaaand that it’s also super easy to change it or remove it at any time with NO coding needed?

AND that this one little change could boost your opt-in rate by up to 535%?!

(Did I just blow your mind?)

It’s possible thanks to Leadpages. 🙌🏼

Today I’m going to show you step-by-step how to combine your WordPress blog with Leadpages to make an email list building MACHINE, mmk!

Grow Your Email List with a Welcome Mat Using Leadpages

Okay, and maybe everyone else knew this, but I’ve been a Leadpages customer for 6 months now and literally just found this feature yesterday. YAH.

So I want to share it with you.

But First, What is Leadpages?

If you don’t already know about Leadpages, it’s a landing page creation tool that makes it dead easy and quick to setup targeted, fun landing pages. You don’t need to know how to code or anything: it’s all drag and drop AND they have beautiful templates to pick from.

It’s how I created my free content strategy course page!

grow-blog-email-list-welcome-mat

Lots o’ pro bloggers use it. And for good reason: it’s affordable and saves SO MUCH time. I thought it might be overkill when I signed up months ago, but I can’t picture life without it.

So yeah in a nutshell, it makes pretty landing pages effortlessly.

AND, with this exclusive link, you can snag a 14 day free trial to check out Leadpages for yourself.

Mmk, Now What’s a Welcome Mat?

The example from Allison I featured at the beginning of this post is what’s called a “welcome mat”.

It basically means a call to action that you’re putting on your site as the first thing people see. They can either sign up and convert, or choose a “No Thanks” option and continue viewing the rest of your site.

CONTINUE READING

How to Start an Online Clothing Business for $0 with Printful and Etsy

I did something crazy about a month ago. I started an online clothing business.

And it’s actually going really well.

Am I a designer? No.

Am I an Etsy pro? Nope.

Do I even know what DPI is, or what the difference is between CMYK and RGB? Not really.

But if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past year as a serious blogger, it’s that sometimes you just gotta try new stuff and do it. Jump in with both feet. Don’t overplan. Just follow your heart and see where it goes.

Easier said than done, especially when following your heart could cost thousands of dollars in upfront costs.

Not so bueno.

But, I really wanted to do this. So I found a way of getting started that was totally FREE, and in this post, I’ll show you how to do the same thing.

Create an Online Clothing Business Free

I create t-shirts, iPhone cases, leggings, skirts and other small items, and I don’t have to pay a single cent for inventory or expenses until someone buys one of my products. aka guaranteed profit! Isn’t that amazeballs?!

For example, here are a few examples of my humble creations. 😬

[etsy-shop shop_name=”NerdyOrganized” section_id=”21350310″]

Wanna win an item of your choice from my shop? Just enter the contest at the end of this post! 👇🏼

 

It’s really easy to start your own biz this way. So let’s jump right in and get started…

Create Your Free Etsy Store

For this post, I’m going to assume you want to sell your stuff on Etsy! It’s a great choice. Etsy is a solid network of handmade sellers, and a trusted shopping destination for millions of people around the world. You can’t go wrong.

So, if you don’t already have an Etsy account, sign up for free here.

When you’re all signed up, click on the You tab to go into your settings. From there, you can choose to open a new shop.

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Once you’ve created your shop, you’ll be taken to the Shop Manager area. It’s pretty straightforward, but you’ll want to go into Settings on the left-hand menu to ensure everything is set up.

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Here you can set things like your tagline, top image banner and logo. Here’s what my shop looks like with all those things added:

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Go through all the Settings fields and make sure everything is filled in. Don’t worry about making it perfect right now. You can always change it later.

Remember: DONE is always better than perfect. ✌🏽

 

Create Your First T-Shirt

Mmk, switching gears to product creation now. Woo! This is where the magic happens, people.

Already have a good idea for a t-shirt, mug, or other product? Great! If not, just think of a silly saying and follow along with this tutorial. You can always redo these steps when you have a “real” product idea later on.

Not sure if your idea is good or not? Let the market decide! Remember, this is all free so you’re not out any money by testing your ideas.

To create your first product, you’ll need to sign up for Printful.

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Printful is a print-on-demand dropshipper, which means they print your designs onto merchandise and ship it from their location to your customers. It’s worldwide, and the products look like they’re coming from you, not Printful. Basically… it’s awesome.

Once you sign up, you’ll be taken to your Dashboard. It’s your order portal.

Creating a product on Printful isn’t like an actual thing you create on there. You create your artwork files in a design program, like Adobe Photoshop, and then upload those files to Printful to store until you’re ready to print them.

I use Photoshop, but you could also use Illustrator, or a free option like Canva.

For this example, we’ll make a simple text-based t-shirt, but you can get as crazy and colourful as you like. If you can draw, go wild! I… can’t draw.

I’m going to make a shirt that says, “I Work So My Dog Can Have Nice Things”.

(It’s true. 🙄)

Printful has a template for everything on their site so you always know how to size it. The t-shirt print area is 10 in x 12 in, so all you need to do is open up a new Photoshop file at 150 DPI sized 10×12. Also make sure you’re using RGB colour.

If you’re using Canva, open up a new file that’s 1500px x 1800px (or larger).

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Then add your text to the file. Make sure your background is transparent. This can be done in Canva as well, but I’m using Photoshop in the screenshots below.

Create Online Clothing Business Free

CONTINUE READING

5 Easy Blog SEO Tips to Skyrocket Your Traffic

Blog SEO is a big deal.

It goes beyond just optimizing your posts for a single keyword, although that’s important too. I’ve been studying SEO for over three years now and have a pretty foolproof system for growing organic search traffic easily and quickly for my blog and websites.

5 Easy Blog SEO Tips: Grow Your Blog Traffic

Google is always changing their algorithms, so you need to be aware of what’s new in the world of SEO. But, these tips are universal, despite any new mega-update from the Google overlords.

Read on to discover my 5 best blog SEO tips you can do today!

 

#1 Verify Your Blog with Google Search Console

Google Search Console used to be called Webmaster Tools. It’s basically the place where Google verifies your site’s identity, keeps track of changes to your site (i.e. new blog posts), and controls how your site appears in search results.

It’s free and super easy to setup! Once you verify your site, it will stay that way.

I recommend logging into Search Console and checking your stats every month, just to make sure your website is indexing properly and all systems are go.

To verify your site, login to Search Console with a Google account (either a @gmail.com email, or your G Suite account email).

Easy Blog SEO Tips

Enter your website URL in the white box. ☝🏼

On the next screen, you’ll see different verification options. The easiest one is to verify with Google Analytics, which you can find on the Alternate Methods tab. If your Google Analytics account is setup with the same @gmail.com email address, it will verify your website right away.

Or, you can download an HTML file and upload it to your site to get verified. You can upload the file via FTP, or through your web hosting company’s CPanel/File Manager area. (Psst, this is where you would login to manage your hosting account – like on Bluehost or Siteground!)

There are lots of tools within Search Console, but the most important area to monitor for your SEO is the Crawl tab.

Easy Blog SEO Tips

Click on Crawl Stats to monitor how often Google comes to crawl your site. This is the number of times Google’s algorithm is scanning your content, looking for new changes, and adding those changes to Google.

aka… how your blog shows up in search results! Super important.

Easy Blog SEO Tips

More crawls per day = good!

Another key area to check in monthly is the Sitemaps tab under Crawl. Here, you can manually submit a new sitemap to Google. Many WordPress plugins do this automatically, but it’s a good idea to do it manually once in awhile too.

You can see how many pages of your site are indexed here. To add a new sitemap, click on Add/Test Sitemap at the top.

Easy Blog SEO Tips

Then, type in “sitemap.xml” into the box and press Submit.

Easy Blog SEO Tips

If you want to learn more about Search Console and all it can do for you, I recommend reading this article from Moz.

 

#2 Use SEO Keywords in the Right Places

It’s not enough to stuff your SEO keyword everywhere you can find a spot anymore. Google is cracking down on “spammy” keyword stuffing practices and shady over-optimization.

What does that mean?

CONTINUE READING

How to Do SEO Keyword Research for Your Blog

I’m passionate about SEO for blogging. You could say obsessed. And for good reason: mastering SEO is the ultimate free way to market your business.

Yes, there’s paid search (AdWords), Facebook advertising, networking, lead generation and all that stuff too… but those strategies are made even better with a solid SEO foundation for your blog.

It can be a tough thing to learn if you’re just starting out. I used to think it was just for the pros, or something techy marketing wizard types did to “growth hack” or disrupt or whatever other marketing buzzword is hot right now.

Until I became a techy marketing wizard type. 🌟

Okay, before we get to my awesome lesson (including awkward video walkthrough) showing you how to do SEO keyword research for your blog, I’m gonna tell you my SEO story. Buckle up.

how to do blog seo keyword research

About five years ago, I got a job in an ad agency. It was all very exciting for 25 year old me. They had leather couches, rum hidden in cabinets and worked with huge national brands that I was a fan of. What’s not to love, right?

Well, the truth about the downside of agency life would come crushing down on me years later, but at that moment, things were great. I was the fresh meat, the eager young intern-type ready to learn about the industry and take it by the horns.

I am marketer, hear me roar! Or something.

Why Bloggers Need SEO

I got the job because I wrote well (and hopefully still do in the present tense). But, I had no idea about SEO. I’d heard of it, but again, filed it away in my brain into a folder called Wizard Land: Do Not Attempt.

I had to learn SEO for my new job, and I was nervous. My boss at the time took me under his wing and promised me it was really easy, I’d learn it in no time. The first week of my new job, I eagerly read everything I could find on the internet about how to do SEO keyword research, write for SEO, get higher rankings, get Google to like me, etc.

The articles I found were good, but I was left with a feeling of, “So now what? What do I do with all this information?”

Well, my boss showed me in like an hour how powerful SEO can be. How it can help businesses, how to write for it without sounding like a total tool, and why keywords are only one small part of SEO.

“Whoa, what? There’s more to SEO than keywords?!” you might be asking.

YEAH. There is. It’s a big topic with lots of shady shit in it and some really stellar strategies too.

I wanted to cover just keyword research today because it’s the easiest place to start if you’re new to SEO, and it’s especially important for bloggers.

I’ll show you exactly how to do SEO keyword research below…

CONTINUE READING

How to Use Google Analytics: The Complete Guide for Bloggers

If you’re new to living online (welcome to digital life, y’all), Google Analytics might be a bit overwhelming at first.

I promise it’s actually really easy! Once you get the hang of how to find reports for your blog traffic, and how to interpret what they mean, you’ll be golden.

Google Analytics can tell you a LOT about your blog and the audience reading your blog. It’s a super useful tool! I’m a big data nerd, but only when that data can actually make a difference and accomplish something, and that’s exactly what Google Analytics does.

Today I’m gonna walk you through EVERYTHING you need to know about how to use Google Analytics!

Let’s get started.

How to Use Google Analytics: For Bloggers

Step 1: How to Set Up Google Analytics

OK, this is the first step. If you have already enabled Google Analytics on your blog, skip ahead to Step 2.

Do you have a Google Analytics account yet? If not, all you need is a Google account (so a @gmail.com address). If you don’t already have this, click here to setup one now (it’s free of course!).

If you’re on WordPress, here’s how to set up Google Analytics easily on your blog. I’m sure it’s easy for other platforms too, but WordPress is what I know so I’ve included instructions for that below. Please note these instructions are for self-hosted WordPress blogs (wordpress.org!).

Login to WordPress! Then on the left side navigation, go to Plugins –> Add New.

In the “Search plugins…” box on the top right, type in “google analytics” and hit enter. You’ll see a bunch of results like this:

How to Use Google Analytics: Set Up

This is an easy way to install Google Analytics – using a plugin. There is a manual way you can go in and add the code too, but I like using a plugin because most of them also show you your stats right in your WordPress Dashboard (so, visible right when you login). It’s super convenient to have all your “blog stuff” in one place, right?

Anyway, obviously there’s quite a few to pick from. The one I personally use is Google Analytics by MonsterInsights.

Click on Install Now for that plugin (my button says Active because I already have it!). Once it’s done installing, that button will change to “Activate” so make sure to press that too, until it says Active, like my screen above.

CONTINUE READING