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A look inside the Google Analytics data from 20 parenting blogs. Averages, trends, observations and more.
There is always a lot of talk about numbers in the blogosphere. But with Visitors? Page views? only your own stats to Impressions? Bounce look at, it is hard to know rate? Referrers? how you are doing. HELP!!! So, I asked parenting bloggers to volunteer to let me look under the hood of their blogs (i.e. into their Google Analytics). From the volunteers, I chose 20 blogs that range from big to small, single author to multi-author, frequent to infrequent posts, and cover a wide variety of topics and techniques. This document summarizes the key findings from my analysis.Looking Under the Hood of Parenting Blogs ge s , ges, ranques Avera , techni trends d more. an Looking Under the Hood of Parenting Blogs -- © PhD in Parenting Blog 2012 -- www.phdinparenting.com
THE 20 BLOGS Baby Rabies Making it up http://babyrabies.com http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup/ Big City Belly The Minimalist Mom http://bigcitybelly.com http://www.theminimalistmom.com Brain Foggles A Mother in Israel http://brainfoggles.com http://www.amotherinisrael.com/ Coffee with Julie PhD in Parenting http://coffeewithjulie.ca http://phdinparenting.com Cora’s Story Rookie Moms http://www.corasstory.org http://www.rookiemoms.com Dagmar Bleasdale So much shouting, so much laughter http://www.dagmarbleasdale.com http://somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com/ Eco Child’s Play Strocel http://ecochildsplay.com http://www.strocel.com Feels Like Home Blog Support for Special Needs http://www.feelslikehomeblog.com http://supportforspecialneeds.com/ Lil Kid Things Tales of a Ranting Ginger http://www.lilkidthings.com http://www.talesofarantingginger.com/ A Little Bit of Momsense Untrained Housewife http://bitofmomsense.com http://www.untrainedhousewife.com Looking Under the Hood of Parenting Blogs -- © PhD in Parenting Blog 2012 -- www.phdinparenting.com
Key Stats for the Blogs What is n parenti ormal for a The study looked at the Google Analytics for the blogs for May 2011 ng blogger blog? A lot of to April 2012, as well as their social media presence on key platforms. stats ar s wonder e within i normal the ran f their This table provides an overview of some of the key metrics examined fo r a p a ge of this dat re a shows nting blog. As for the blogs, noting the median and average number, as well as the range o ,t f norma here is a wide l. low and high among the twenty blogs examined. Low Median Average High Average Visits/Month 1,668 8,466 19,515 91,490 Average Page Views/Month 2,805 12,951 30,784 155,137 Facebook Page “Likes”* 132 1,445 2,630 13,118 Twitter Followers 698 5,045 12,018 75,609 Months of Existence 15 49 52 107 Average Posts/Month** 9 17 25 75 Average Visit Duration 0:14 1:35 1:39 3:53 Pages / Visit 1.06 1.64 1.65 2.49 % New Visitors 36% 66% 68% 99%* Two of the blogs in the study did not have facebook pages and were excluded from this item.** Since the blog was created Looking Under the Hood of Parenting Blogs -- © PhD in Parenting Blog 2012 -- www.phdinparenting.com
Holiday-themed contest and post series goes viral. Close to 50% of traffic from Facebook. Weekly Traffic May 2011 to April 2012 Weekly traffic for most of the blogs remained somewhat consistent, growing Home-related how- slowly over the course of the year. Blogs to post. Close to 75% of traffic from among the top 10 (in terms of traffic) were StumbleUpon. more likely to have a viral event than blogs in the bottom 10. Facebook, StumbleUpon and Pinterest were the most likely sources of big jumps. Pinterest became key sustained Direct traffic around source of traffic. 20x usual number. No clear explanation. Advocacy-related post. More than50% from Facebook. Looking Under the Hood of Parenting Blogs -- © PhD in Parenting Blog 2012 -- www.phdinparenting.com
Where does the TRAFFIC come from?Traffic sources are put into four categories: How · Direct: People who came to the blog directly, Direct 20 referen -to or i.e. by typing in the URL or using a bookmark. get mo ce blogs re se · Search: People who arrived via a search engine. traffic. arch Search 35 · Campaign: Specific ad campaign codes the blogger has set up to track and traffic from their RSS feed if integrated with Feedburner. Campaign 4 · Referrers: Clicks from social media sites and from other websites, including other blogs. Referrers 41The blogs tended to be either search-heavy orreferrer-heavy, with social media presence, GooglePage Rank/SEO, and blog type being keydeterminants. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%Top Referrers Facebook 23 Facebook Rules Among referrers, Facebook is the most 1 “lik consistent source of traffic for these blogs. Faceboe” of a o is worth k page Twitter 12 13X as about A Stumble Can Make Traffic Soar blog vismany StumbleUpon doesn’t provide consistent traffic, but if a post is popular on StumbleUpon 8 StumbleUpon it can mean a huge surge in one tw its as it traffic. followe ter r. Pinterest 3 Pinterest is Growing Pins are the latest and probably fastest growing source of traffic. LinkWithin 1 Other Blogs Other blogs are a significant traffic source under “other referrers.”Other Referrers 52 Legend: · Orange Bar = Range Across All Blogs · Number in Circle = Average 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Looking Under the Hood of Parenting Blogs -- © PhD in Parenting Blog 2012 -- www.phdinparenting.com
What Type of Posts Interest Readers?There are some definite patterns in the most popular posts across the blogs examined. I looked at thetop 50 posts across the blogs in the study (they came from 9 of the 20 blogs) and noticed that sometypes of posts were more popular than others. This list shows the breakdown by number of posts inthat category among the top 50. Ideas posts usually included lists of ideas for milestones, 15 Ideas/Advice occasions, holidays, life events or handling parenting problems. Often use numbers: e.g. “Top 10” or “25 Ways To.” Step-by-step instructions and pictures for home 14 DIY Instructions decorating, items for babies and children, cooking and baking, gifts, etc. Posts providing opinions, usually backed up by 13 Research/Opinion research or critical thought, or summarizing research on an issue relating to parenting. Shopping guides or comparative reviews 4 Review/Shopping Guide of multiple products in the same category were sometimes popular. Posts that are intended to make parents laugh 2 Humour/Inspiration or inspire their approach to parenting. 2 Contest Fun contests, with a great prize can reviewys bring a lot of traffic. uct e prodways rarel Singl ive-a and g a lot of traffic. bring Looking Under the Hood of Parenting Blogs -- © PhD in Parenting Blog 2012 -- www.phdinparenting.com
The perce blogs thaAll of the blogs that get a lot of search traffic have at tende ntage of t had theleast a few posts that are obviously in demand by from d to get search tra highestonline searchers and that bring continuous traffic to Posts the arch much m ffic also writt i otheir blogs. en w ves on there value giving ay in th ir blog and g e past . iving. keptWhat do the most “findable” blogs do right?Help people answer their questionsPeople go to Google with their questions. If you write about things that many people ask themselves,it is likely to bring traffic your way. The DIY and ideas posts that are so popular often get most of theirtraffic from search engines. People like to search for “How to…” or “What is…”. Matching the title ofyour post with their question can help improve search results.Use descriptive adjectivesConvince people to click on your post by adding descriptive adjectives that make it appealing or thatthey may be searching for. “Best” or “healthy” or “easy” are clickable words.Use listsPeople like lists. Instead of writing a rambling post with thoughts on your trip to Florida, write aboutthe Top 5 Things To Do With Kids in Florida. Instead of a long-winded rant about how much you hateshopping at a particular store, write 10 Things I Hate About ____.Write about something uniqueFind a topic you can write about that not many others have before. Unless your blog already has agreat search ranking, it is unlikely to end up in the top page of searches for a popular topic. But if youwrite about something not many have, it may work. If you had trouble finding something online, thatmay be a great topic to write about because others may be looking too. Looking Under the Hood of Parenting Blogs -- © PhD in Parenting Blog 2012 -- www.phdinparenting.com
What Does All This Mean?All these blogs are differentand what works for onewon’t necessarily work foranother. But if your goal is toincrease traffic, you shouldprobably consider:· Writing ideas, DIY or opinion/research posts on interesting and sought- after topics.· Using titles and content with keywords that people would search for to increase the findability of your posts on search engines (basic SEO).· Creating a facebook page and building the community you have there by engaging with your readers.· Making it easy for your readers to share your posts on a variety of social networks, including StumbleUpon and Pinterest.· Ensure you’re having fun and let your voice and passion shine through. Looking Under the Hood of Parenting Blogs -- © PhD in Parenting Blog 2012 -- www.phdinparenting.com