How to Read Your Squarespace Analytics to Improve Your Blog Posts
I'm a huge fan of Squarespace if you haven't noticed. There are a plethora of Squarespace templates to choose from and it’s a great platform for DIYers.
When it comes to improving your content and connecting with your audience, having an understanding of your analytics panel is a NECESSITY. Learning how to take those numbers and use them to guide what topics that you should and probably shouldn’t write about will keep you and your visitors happy.
Creating the right type of content is a surefire way to make sure that people keep coming back to you instead of your competition.
In this post, we’ll dive into the topic of Squarespace analytics vs Google analytics, what metrics you should pay attention to the most, and how to use them to influence your editorial calendar AKA what you write about.
Squarespace Analytics vs. Google Analytics
Your Squarespace analytics and your Google analytics are not only arranged differently on their homepages, but one is definitely more powerful than the other.
Google Analytics is top notch when it comes to tracking your website growth and goals. We'll talk about goal setting with Google in a bit.
With that being said, if you haven’t installed Google analytics onto your website, you should do that now. Like right now.
When it comes to reporting the amount of people that visit your website and what pages they’re landing on, both Google and Squarespace are pretty much the same. Where Google shines is your ability to:
Make customized “dashboards” that show you the numbers that mean the most to you the moment you log in.
The ability to compare your numbers between different time periods: you can compare one day to another, one week to another, etc. These time periods don’t have to be consecutive either which really comes in handy when say for example you want to compare the first-day traffic of a webinar you did in January 2017 to the first-day traffic of the one you did in March 2017.
You can set goals! You can set up goals for when a visitor completes an action (signs up for your newsletter, buys a specific product you want to track, etc). I currently have one for my email newsletter sign up. I want to hit a certain number of sign-ups each month, so I set a goal up in my analytics to help me keep track.
You can track visitor behavior. This is probably my favorite feature of Google Analytics. Squarespace has something similar to this (we'll talk about it later on in the post). You can see how users navigate through your website from the moment they land to the moment they leave. I pay attention to this along with my bounce rate to see what posts visitors seem to be bouncing from. Then I can make a decision on what to do with that post (expand it, re-write, etc)
An in-depth look at Google analytics and how to set up customized dashboards is coming on the blog soon, so stay tuned for that!
With that being said, let’s get down to business:
Once you log into your Squarespace account and head to the Analytics panel, you’ll see multiple reports that you can pull up. Today, I’m going to discuss 6 panels: Traffic Overview, Traffic Sources, Popular Content, Site Search Queries, Search Engine Queries and Activity Log.
Understanding your Squarespace Analytics Panel:
The traffic overview panel is going to give you a snapshot of how your site is doing overall in relation to the most common metrics.
This panel shows you how many unique visitors you have, how many overall visits and how many page views. You can customized the time periods here to see how well you've been doing for the past week, month, year, etc.
What’s the most interesting to me here is being able to see the Visits by the hour.
Why does this matter? This tells me what time of day the bulk of my visitors are on my website. This helps me plan when to release content so visitors will have something new to read when they visit.
This also helps me to gauge how many visitors from out of the country I have. Since my account is probably tied to my time zone (Central US), if there are lot of hits to my site around 2am-4am, those are probably from visitors out of the country.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT If you have a lot of visitors from overseas, then releasing content or being visible during daylight hours for them can increase your exposure.
Another chart to keep your eye on is the Visits by Device Type. Since you’re using Squarespace, all of their templates are already optimized for mobile, so nothing to worry about here.
However, this doesn’t mean that the way that you design your site can cause your site to be hard to read on mobile.
Always make sure you check the mobile side of your website when you’re designing. Oh, and watch those pop ups! Google will penalize you for intrusive mobile pop-ups, so I’d disable them for mobile if possible.
The Traffic Sources panel is pretty self-explanatory, and it’s my second most favorite report.
I make sure to keep my eye on this report so I can stay on top of the returns of my marketing strategies.
Here's you can see how many referrals you’re getting from Social Platforms, Email, Search, and Direct. Social and Email are self-explanatory; Search comes from who’s finding you on search engines and landing on your site, and Direct are people that are typing in your link.
This panel is my best friend when it comes to monitoring my marketing efforts. For example, If I'm trying something new on Pinterest, I take a look at my Pinterest analytics along with my website’s I can see if my new strategy is working.
Same goes for any other platform. This report allows you to check which platforms are lacking and re-evaluate if you want to tweak your strategy here or change course completely.
Don’t ignore this panel! If you’re interested in putting money towards ads or investing more time in social media, this panel can help you decide which platform you do better on, so you can put more money and time there.
Ahh, Popular Content. My number one favorite panel.
This panel is the most telling for me: it shows which pages on my website are receiving the most hits on the day to day.
Take a look at your top 3 and your bottom 3 performing posts and see what they have in common.
When I do my website audit at the end of every month, I use this report to tell me which of my blog posts received the most hits. If the top 3 posts are of the same category, I use this information to shape my content calendar for the next month and do some rearranging if I need too.
If your bottom 3 are in the same category, it may be time for you to take an objective look at those posts and see why you think they’re underperforming. Think of ways that you can upgrade it if possible.
This strategy also works if you’re selling products as well. See which ones people aren’t visiting as much as the others and see how you can make some changes to the product itself, or to how you promote it.
SITE SEARCH QUERIES
This panel is to shop owners what popular content is to bloggers.
This panel will tell you what keywords are visitors are searching for the most on your website.
This most important take away from this panel for shop owners is this: these are the exact keywords that your visitors are using when looking for products.
Meaning, these are the keywords that you should be matching when creating your descriptions, categories, headers, etc. Paying attention and using the words that your visitors use to search for products increases your website's user-friendliness but also can positively affect your SEO.
Use these keywords in your descriptions, product URLs, product names, etc.
Fun fact about me: I can be nosy as hell. You should see me on Twitter when I think I see some drama going on. I will sit there and go through a bunch of tweets until I find out exactly what happened and how it started. I am NOSY.
That’s why the Activity panel is another favorite panel. It lays out by time, date, and IP address when people are on your site and what pages they’re visiting. This is similar to the behavior reports in Google analytics.
This report allows me to see how people move through my website, what pages they’re spending the most time on, what pages they don’t spend little to now time on, and what page they were on when they leave.
This is important and interesting for many reasons. Here are the top two:
One: If a bunch of visitors are landing on the same blog post and are spending about 5-10 minutes there, I can safely conclude that they found something interesting enough to continue to read that post. I caught their attention and hopefully, they took something away from that.
Two: if there’s a post that a bunch of visitors are landing on and spending less than 2-3 minutes on before leaving my website altogether, something may be up here. It could be that they’re returning visitors and have already read it, or they clicked the wrong link, or that post didn’t capture their attention. I monitor situations like this and see if any decisions need to be made to those posts: should I rewrite it? Restructure it?
In addition to that, this panel can especially be helpful if you’ve added any new pages that are important to your business. For example, if you’ve created a page for your latest course, service, webinar, workshop, etc and it’s getting a lot of hits (and hopefully conversions) that’s always great to know.
On the flip side, if you’re getting a lot of hits to these types of pages, but low conversions, then you have some investigating to do: do you need to re-write the copy? Is it clear what you're selling/promoting? Things like that.
Overall, having an understanding of key metrics in your analytics can help you make the best decisions for your audience when it comes to what type of content and what topics to blog about next.
Don’t be that guy that checks their traffic to their website multiple times a day. Those numbers will fluctuate and they aren’t the only thing that you should be measuring your business and your success against.
Your conversions, your community, and providing your readers/customers with a brand experience that will keep them coming back is more important than numbers.
DO THIS NOW: Go into your popular content report, and choose the top 3 blog posts with the most number of page views. Take the overall topic of each of those posts and think of ways that you can expand those posts even further (for example: turn into a email course, add a checklist, create a workbook, etc) or related topics that you can write separate posts about.