Recently Avinash Kaushik shared with his Facebook friends that his blog reached the following millstone: “# of comments on my blog = 8,000 today! Context: 221 posts. 471k words in posts. 742k words in comments.”
That is an average of 36 comments per post and 92 words per comment. Congratulations Avinash!
For Analytics oriented bloggers such as Avinash, I am sure as much as they love and appreciate all their blog readers they will always value the engaged readers who make the effort to drop a line or two seeking clarification, encouraging them to write more or giving them feedback.
This segment of blog readers is by all means the fuel that keeps bloggers alive and encourages them to continue to write and share what they have in mind. Therefore, studying and analyzing the behavior and the user experience of this segment is very important for optimizing the blog to achieve your blog objectives.
In this post I will walk you through few basic steps that will help make this segment of engaged readers available in your Google Analytics report.
- You have Google Analytics installed in your blog
- You are using WordPress as a platform for your blog (of course you can apply the same method to other blogging platforms)
Our approach is a three-step process: add custom code, create a Goal in Google Analytics which tracks the number of comment submissions and then create an advanced segment for those who converted.
Step 1) Add custom code to the comments’ form code:
Since in WordPress there is no unique confirmation page – thank you page – that visitors see once they have submitted their comment, we will need to fire a virtual page every time the “Submit” button is clicked.
- Add the following code to the onclick event of the “submit comment” button:
Below you will see how the code will look after the JavaScrip insertion, this depends on the version of the Google Analytics tracking code you are using:
Step 2) Create a Goal:
Every time the virtual page that we created in step 1 is fired, it will trigger a conversion and the hit will be available in the Goals report.
- Log in to your Google Analytics account and then click “Edit” beside your profile. You will need to configure goals for each profile you want the Goal to show up in.
- Click on: +Add Goal
- Enter the following Goal Information:
- Goal Name: Blog Comment Submission
- Active Goal: On
- Goal Type: URL Destination
- Match Type: Head Match or Exact Match (in this case both will work)
- Goal URL: /comment-submission.php
Step 3) Wait a Few Days and Analyze your Goal Performance
Your Goals will not work backwards, so you will need to wait for Goal data to appear in your reports. Now you have the number of comment submissions.
Is creating a goal is enough for our deep analysis? Not really! It will be nice if we can analyze traffic only from this specific segment of our blog visitors. Advanced Segments is the answer!
Step 4) Create an advanced segment
Now let us create an advanced segment that only shows the visits of those who submitted comments.
- Sign in to your Google Analytics account
- Advanced Segments > Create a new advanced segment
- Select the “Goal Completion” Metric for the Goal that you created in step 2
By applying this segment, now you will have more insight about the blog commenter’s user experience, their traffic sources, geographical locations, time on site, browsers, screen resolutions, etc.
Apply the same concept to your email subscribers, contact-us requests, social media followers or any other segment of your blog readers you are interested in learning more about.