Today is a follow-up from my post in August about how to use Google Analytics. In that post, I reviewed some of the basic features of how to use Google Analytics data to understand your readers and grow your blog. If you’ve installed Google Analytics on your blog but aren’t sure how to use it, check out that post!
Today I wanted to get a bit fancier and talk about making a custom report in Google Analytics. And by ‘fancy’ I mean that it is super easy to do but you will feel like a badass for setting it up yourself!
Why it’s important to know your popular posting days
One of the most useful custom reports I’ve made is how to tell your most popular posting days. You can actually create a report that will rank your days from most popular to least popular. So how is this useful?
#1- If you post using a weekly schedule, you can see which types of posts do well and which ones don’t (ie What I Ate Wednesday, Friday Favs, etc.)
#2- If you make a change or join a link-up, you can watch your trends to see if your readership grows or declines on that day of the week.
#3- This can give you insight as to how to efficiently plan your blog posting schedule and when it is OK to take a day off from blogging.
So let’s get started…
1. Select “Customization” at the top of your Google Analytics screen
2. Add a title to your report
3. Under Metric Group, select “Session”
4. Under Dimension, select “Day of Week”
5. Hit Save
Reading the Report
Your reports will look like this:
Google Analytics lists your days of the week like this:
- 0 = Sunday
- 1 = Monday
- 2 = Tuesday
- 3 = Wednesday
- 4 = Thursday
- 5 = Friday
- 6 = Saturday
How to Use this Data to Grow Your Blog
When you set up your report, pay attention to your top 3 most popular days. Keep in mind that you will be getting the most traffic during this time, and use this to your benefit. If there is a post that you think your readers will especially enjoy or benefit from then try to post it on one of these days. Your posts will probably be more likely to be shared and/or posted on pinterest as well.
I think it’s important when looking at your least popular days to think about why they are your least popular and if there is anything you can do to change that.
My least popular day is Friday with Saturday being a close second. It took me a while to figure out that my readers really do not read as much on Fridays, no matter what is posted. I think it’s because everyone is winding down at work and getting ready for the weekend. I used to put what I thought would be very popular posts on Fridays trying to increase readership, but really that did nothing for my pageviews. And then I essentially wasted a great post. So now I save my more time-consuming posts for other days.
I still like to check in on Fridays, but my posts tend to be more light-hearted and not quite as time-consuming to write.
Saturday and Sunday also came in as my least popular days. I don’t post on these days and over 50% of my hits on the weekend come from Pinterest. I don’t see myself ever posting on Saturdays. There was a time when I posted on Sundays and my readership did not change.
Watching my trends go unchanged even after testing out a few different posting strategies makes me comfortable with not posting on the weekends. I like have 2 days off to recharge, and I think my content is better when I have that break from posting. But Google Analytics really helped me feel comfortable with that!
That’s it for today. Hope you had a good weekend and enjoy your Monday!
Do you use Google Analytics? If so, I’d love to hear your tips!!