Confession: Google Analytics is just confusing. Is anyone with me? I mean I’m just now getting a handle on it but I still sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed.
Evenso, when first starting a blog, one of the best things you can do is to also set up an account on Google Analytics. To begin with, it’s free and secondly, it is considered the most reliable resource for blog statistics on the web. Thus, since Google Analytics will only keep track of your statistics when asked, it is imperative to start your Google Analytics account as soon as possible.
Next comes learning how to use it. I admit it–it looks intimidating. But once you dig a little deeper it can actually be a great source for understanding your blog and your readers. Begin by looking at the Google Analytics Sidebar Menu. From this menu you can navigate to find nearly everything imaginable about your blog including some of my favorite finds as specified below.
18 Google Analytics Tips that Make Sense
1. Want to know who is currently viewing your site?
I find these statistics especially helpful when trying make updates on my site. By knowing how many people are on my webpage at the time I am able to avoid annoying as many people as possible when updating. It also tells what people are currently viewing as well as what device they are viewing it from and even what town those individuals are located in. Powerful stuff indeed.
2. Want to know how many page views or unique visitors you’ve had in the last month?
This is the page that often comes up first when you open Google Analytics. This page will tell you nearly all your most important statistics that are often asked most by advertisers and the like (total number of visits, total number of unique visits, pageviews, bounce rate, average visit duration, etc.). It will automatically come up for the statistics of the previous 30 days. However, you can customize your date range by changing the dates in the toggle menu found in the top right corner of the screen. This same toggle menu applies to each statistic available.
3. Want to know where people are viewing your webpage from geographically?
Are you gearing your content towards your primary intended market? Is there something you could do to aid the market of your other readers linguistically speaking? Or, are there certain products that may make more sense for your readers from a geographical perspective? If so, these statistics may be worth a look.
4. Want to know the involvement of new readers vs. returning readers?
Audience>Behavior>New vs Returning
Is your content keeping readers coming back or are you loosing them after one visit? What could you do to write what you love and write what your readers love at the same time? These statistics can help guide that process.
5. Want to know what type of browser your readers are viewing your blog from?
Audience>Technology>Browser & OS
This is helpful especially when you are considering revamping your blog design. You will want to make sure whatever design you choose is compatible with your most popular browsers.
6. Want to know what percentage of your readers are viewing your site from a desktop, mobile, or tablet device?
You might be surprised how many are viewing your site on a mobile device. These statistics alone may cause you to want to make your site more mobile friendly. I certainly know it has me!
7. Want to know where people are going on your site after their first page visit?
This is a great resource for understanding your bounce rate. Why are people leaving? Are they leaving because they click on an ad? Because there are no relevant links for them to continue following? What can you do to increase a specific page’s stickiness? These statistics help with that.
8. Want to know where your traffic is coming from?
From here you can learn whether most of your traffic comes from social networks, organic searches, direct traffic, referral traffic, or from email links.
9. Want to know which websites refer readers to you most?
I find this especially helpful when deciding which linky parties are the most effective for my time.
10. Want to know which keyword searches are bringing you the most traffic?
Use these keywords as you promote your posts on Google Plus, Twitter, and the like to help your posts to continue to rise in these long tail keyword search results.
11. Want to know which social networks provide you the most traffic?
These statistics can serve as a great motivator for you to build up a reputation on another social network or help you determine where your time is best spent with what you have already started.
12. Want to know which posts were shared the most via social media?
These are your posts most likely to go viral. Continue to promote them!
13. Want to know your ad impressions or monthly Google Adsense income?
For some reason I find this much easier to read than the statistics provided on the Adsense homepage. 😉
14. Want to know which posts are bringing you the most Adsense income?
This is very helpful when considering the addition of post-specific advertising. If you are looking to increase your income, consider adding an affiliate or CPC ad on these click-worthy pages.
15. Want to know what your most popular posts are based on a specific date range?
Behavior>Site Content>All Pages
These statistics are great for end of the year top 10 posts or even end of the month roundup posts.
16. Want to know which posts were most popular in the last month based on a specific year, tag, or category?
Behavior>Site Content>Content Drilldown
From these statistics I have learned which months have received the most engagement, what topics my readers find most intriguing, and more.
17. Want to know which pages readers often reach your blog by first? Or last?
Behavior>Site Content>Landing Pages
Behavior>Site Content>Exit Pages
These pages are the ones you want to update first when reviving old content. These are the pages you will also want to add inbound links to for the most engagement retention on your blog.
18. Want to know which posts you need to update or modify to increase your site speed?
Behavior>Site Speed>Speed Suggestions
From these statistics I know I need to do some code and image modification on some of my very popular posts so that my readers will be less likely to bounce as a result of viewing them and so they enjoy their experience more while they are here.
What are your Google Analytics tips?
I make no claims to be an expert on this subject, knowing full well the tips I’ve shared above just scratch the surface of all that’s involved. Thus, please share away and together we can learn from each other so as to grow in the areas in which God is using us for His glory.
Take it to the next level with these resources:
- The Marketer’s Guide to Google Analytics on the Buffer Blog
- How I Use Google Analytics ‘Compare’ Feature to Motivate Me to Grow My Blog on ProBlogger
- iBlog, the Book
- My Blogging Brilliance Pinterest board.
This post is the 11th of 12 in the 144 Plan to Blogging Brilliance. To learn more about the 144 Plan or catch up on a missed post, check out the complete 144 Plan Training Log.
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32