Do you check your blog or websites numbers on a regular basis?
If you don’t, you will want to after reading how to use Google Analytics and how it pays to know what you are looking at.
I am a Google Analytics veteran – although that’s a pretty boring title to give myself. I guess it would be better said as Google Analytics and I are a pair. We have been a pair since 2009 and we aren’t parting anytime soon.
Being my trusted partner, I rely on them for every segment of my business. And you will see why…
Google analytics supplies all of the information that is critical to the success of any blog, website, e-commerce store, you name it. From how many visitors you get to the path they take browsing your website, this information is the lifeline of your business.
In other words, by finding out how to use Google Analytics, you will be able to discover what works and do more of it.
So here is my synopsis of how to use Google Analytics and how to interpret what you see…
How to Use Google Analytics -
The first number that should catch your eye in Google Analytics is the number of unique visitors. This is a number you want to see always increasing. Basically, the higher it gets, translates into more people reading your blog!
With an e-commerce website, I also want to know average/time on site, but with a blog, it is not as big of a concern. And this is simply because pages/visit gives bloggers more to go on with knowing that the average reader is reading about x number of pages through your blog before leaving.
The bounce rate of your blog is helpful for new blogs – it shows you what percentage of readers are “bouncing away” after visiting just one page, or spending less than 5 seconds on it. Don’t put too much weigh on this percentage, but lower is always better here!
Another really exciting piece of information to see is the traffic sources – look at the section called all traffic sources. This is a list of all the places your visitors come from. So, let’s say you see that a forum you have visited a lot lately has been sending quite a few referrals over to you. This is a really valuable thing to know because now you know when you talk on that forum, readers listen. Hint, Hint: Hang out there more!
You’ve heard the saying Content is king – well it is on Google Analytics as well.
Under the site content area, there is a section called pages. Pages shows you a list of your top pages, according to pageviews. Pageviews shows you how many times a reader viewed the page. Check on this often, as you may be surprised at what gets viewed the most. You may think a post is great and will attract lots of readers, but the only way to know for sure is to check this number. This is also helpful in keeping track of how your marketing and promotion efforts are faring.
Not to mention, you can also see the time spent on that particular page and then how long it was viewed.
Another helpful tool to look at is the landing pages section under Content. What this section tells you is the top pages of your website that visitors are landing on when they first arrive at your site. The idea with this data is to look at the top pages and make sure that there is a clear path for visitors to go within your website.
For example, let’s say visitor A lands on “A Trip Through Spain” and reads it in its entirety. And the end of the post, there is nothing else for him to do, so he clicks out of your website and goes onto another. Now imagine visitor A lands on your post and reads it as before, but this time there is another blog post hyperlink a the end with something else he or she may like.
What does he do? He clicks on it and reads that one too!
One final thing to point out about how to use Google Analytics – back up to Audience, there is a section called visitors flow. If you click on that it will bring up a flow chart with some really interesting data on it. This shows you the path your visitors are taking through your website. Where are they starting and where are they dropping off? By recognizing this, you can tweak posts or pages and perhaps give visitors another path to take.
Remember, you want to keep the visitors you get – and keep them coming back for more!
Feeling more comfortable with how to use Google Analytics?
Going through this data in your Google Analytics account will get you going in the right direction for tracking and analyzing your blog. And it does not have to be a daily thing – every couple days or when you want to check your numbers on a well-written blog post should be all that it takes to give you this critical information for marketing your blog.