We work hard on our Blogs and Websites – Right? So it is only natural that we want to know how we are going. How many people come to our site? How long do they stay? Do they read more than one page? Are we improving, extending our reach? This is why I have written Google Analytics for Beginners.
All of these very natural questions are answered through Google Analytics.
Google Analytics for Beginners
If you do not have Google Analytic enabled for your site here is how to do it.
How to get Google Analytics for your website
Go to Google Analytics
On the Top right-hand corner click on ‘Access Google Analytics’
Set up an account
The page is set on Website
Fill out the page as requested
Click on Get tracking ID
Copy the code
If you are not confident on where to place the code then you may want to use a plugin to do it for you. I find the plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast to be wonderful for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and it has a place all ready for you to place the Google Analytics code.
For those who have this plugin or are installing it.
In the left of your plugin page – you will see SEO – hover the mouse over it and click on General> Then click on Webmaster Tools. There you will see the place to put your code. You just need the letters and numbers in the code, remove any thing else.
Go back to where you got the code and click on Verify. When your site is verified you can log into Google Analytics.
Basic Analytic Interests for Beginners
It may take a couple of days for Google to gather data from your site.
Once you have some data available.
Log in > Click on ‘All Web Site Data.’
This is the Audience Overview Page – by default the calendar is set from today and back one month, so it is between 28-31 days of statistics.
You will see a graph that shows the interaction on your site. It will go up and down and up again (hopefully).
Under the graph, you will see these headings –
What these headings mean
Sessions – that is how many times people have gone to your pages – Aim: to have this number increase over time.
Users – this is how many individual users have gone to your pages – Aim: to have this number increase over time.
Pageviews – an average of how many pages the users have gone to – Aim: to have this number increase over time.
Average Session Duration: This is an average of how long the users stayed on your site – Aim: to have this number increase over time.
Bounce Rate: This is a measure of how engaged people are. If they go to a page and leave from the same page, it registers as a Bounce. Aim: to have this number decrease. If it is too high, then it gives the impression to Google that people are not that interested in you content. Google wants good content to satisfy searchers; that is what search engines do. So we work at keeping the bounce rate down and aim to have our pages rate higher with searches.
There is a pie chart on the right showing you the percentages of new visitors and returning visitors. It is nice to have both new and returning visitors.
In the far left column click on GEO then on Location – now you will see a nice map of where people come from that visit your site. (Recently sites have been having a problem when a large amount of traffic from Russia, that is not real traffic, they don’t actually go to your site. If you find this then get some help. There are many sites offering advice to remedy this. Some people think it is fine, and do nothing, as it makes their traffic look more, but if it is a large amount it damages your averages and waters down your Statistics) I used to take action to stop them but they find another way to come back. These days they seem a bit smarter and don’t target you every day. Just once in a while, that is not so bad.
Back in the left column, go down the page and click on Acquisition and then down and click on All Traffic, down a little further and click on Source/Medium.
Now the fun starts, you can see where all your traffic came from e.g. Pinterest, or you may see some of the Blog parties that you posted on – see how many looked at your post. How many came from Facebook, did they stay and look around?
The next adventure – go nearly to the bottom of the left column and click on Behavior then click on Behavior Flow and a chart will come up showing you which pages were visited. You can see your most popular pages, that is very important information for you to know. It may help you know which pages to promote. It lets you know that this is the type of content your audience is interested in, and you can give them more content that is similar. You can see what pages they may have gone to next or did they just leave?
There are many other things to explore but those are the basic ones that inform you how your site is going.
When I check my analytics I may look at the general overview, then I always look at the day before in isolation. Yesterday I may have gone to blog parties or posted a new post or added pins to Pinterest. I want to know how those things influenced my readers.
I can go to the calendar, top right, and click on the end little arrow to drop down the calendar. Then I select yesterday’s date, it will go blue, then click on apply. Now you can go through all the above watching how yesterday looked. How many from that blog party actually looked at my post? Did much traffic come from the pins that were repinned, or were they just repinned? It is all there for you to learn and to tweak your methods to improve your reach to new readers.
Don’t be discouraged if your statistics go up and then down, keep working and write good content and they will go up again. Everyone goes through this.
Keep a record to chart your progress
At the end of each calendar month keep a record of your monthly statistics, this helps you to make goals. Divide the total session by the number of days in the month to find the daily average of visits to your site. When I started I set a goal of 100 visits a day, it seemed so impossible to reach that. Well, I have reached that and more, my new goal is 1000 per day. That also seems impossible right now.
Join our Blog Party that gives blogs a boost in all the above statistics. The Blog Party is on Fridays, it is called The Blogger’s Pit Stop. If the party is not on the top just scroll down a little and you will find it to click on. Don’t miss out on this, leave your name below and I will send you an email when the party is live. You’re sure to find an interesting post to boost your lifestyle or enhance your learning. I can’t wait to see you there.
I hope you have enjoyed this post – Google Analytics for Beginners
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