Folks now it’s high time to look for ‘Why and how to use Google Analytics : A fast track course for first time bloggers’.
Why First time bloggers should use Google Analytics ?
You have already published your first blog, get it indexed by Google and other search engines. But you have no clue about how many people are coming to your site, where they’re coming from, and what they look at while they’re on your blogging website. All your questions have a single answer Google analytics.
That’s right Google Analytics can potentially answer all your questions. It could make a huge difference to the success or failure of your blog. Cool thing is that this high quality piece of software is absolutely free. So I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t use Google Analytics.
How to set up Google Analytics ?
Next part is to set up Google Analytics for your blogging site. Follow below steps to achieve the same.
Step 1 : Visit Google Analytics sign up.
Again Google Analytics is available for free. All you need is a Google or Gmail account to sign up. Just log in with your existing Google or gmail account.
Step 2: Once you sign-in with your Gmail account, you will be prompted to a screen where you will signup for Google Analytics with your Gmail account.
Step 3: On the next screen, you will be given a choice to choose between a website or mobile app. Make sure you select website.
After that, you need to enter account name (It will be the Google Analytics profile name for this website), Website name, website’s URL, country, and the time zone.
Once you have entered this information, click on the Get Tracking ID button. You will be presented with Google Analytics terms and service which you must agree to, so click on ‘I Agree’ button.
Step 4: You will be presented with your Google Analytics tracking code. You can copy this tracking code because you will need to enter it in your blogging site.
Step 5 : Now it’s time to install your Google Analytics tracking code on your site.
For your wordpress website, the easiest way is to install the most popular Google Analytics plugin MonsterInsights on your site. After you install the plugin, go to the plugin settings and look for the place to add your Tracking ID.
A great way to make sure your Google Analytics tracking code has been installed correctly is to open up the Real-Time Overview report in one browser tab and then click through a bunch of pages on your site in another tab. If the install was done correctly, you should be able to see the pages you’re visiting pop up in the report.
Once all the data is coming in, you’re good to go. You’ve finished setting up Google Analytics and can start understanding your audience and their behaviour using the same.
How to effectively use Google Analytics ?
Let’s start from the Google Analytics dashboard.The main navigation is on the left-hand side of the screen, where you’ll see eight different options: Dashboards, Shortcuts, Intelligence Events, Real-Time, Audience, Acquisition, Behavior and Conversions.
We are going to focus on the most useful options for bloggers : Audience, Acquisition and Behavior.
This section of the dashboard provides information about the people visiting your blog — geographical data such as location and language, technical data such as device type, and also some basic behavioral data.
Following are some important questions that the Audience section of Google Analytics can answer for you.
Question 1 : Where in the world are my blog site visitors coming from?
To find out navigate to : Audience > Geo > Location.
Question 2 : How are people accessing your blog?
To find how your blog’s traffic is split across desktop, mobile and tablet users, navigate to: Audience > Mobile > Overview
Question 3 : How many readers are coming back for more?
The easiest way to find out how many readers are coming back to your blog is to check out the main Audience > Overview page, where you’ll see a pie chart showing new versus returning visitors.
For a more in-depth look at how each type of reader is using your site, navigate to: Audience > Behavior > New vs Returning.
Question 4 : How much time readers are spending on my blogging website?
Another broad measure of success that bloggers are interested in is engagement. Again this can be difficult to quantify.
But Google Analytics has a metric you can directly correlate to how engaging your content is to your readers — session duration. You can get a high-level view of session duration by navigating to : Audience > Behavior > Engagement.
Visitors can arrive at your blog in numerous ways. They could find you via a Google search, by clicking a post shared on social media, by following a link from another site, or even by typing your blog URL directly into their browser.
The Acquisition portion of Google Analytics tells you how visitors came to your blog. And the best part about this section is that you’ll uncover more and more about your blog’s performance.
Following are some questions that can be answered by acquisition section.
Question 1 : What’s my best source of traffic?
To get an overview of the various traffic sources and how they contribute to the traffic your blog receives, you can navigate to: Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
Question 2 : What’s my best performing blog content for each source?
For the success of your blog you need to know which posts are performing well compared to others. So you can adjust your future content and promotion strategies accordingly.
And what’s interesting is that content will perform differently depending on the traffic source.
For instance, a new post that goes viral on social media will obviously perform well on the Social metric but will receive no traffic from Organic Search until it has been indexed and starts to climb in the search rankings.
The Acquisition section of the dashboard holds data that can help you understand what content on your blog is performing best for each of the various traffic sources.
Audience and Acquisition section give valuable insights about who is visiting your site and how they came to be there. The Behavior section tells you how they interact with your content once they’ve arrived.
By analyzing the behavior of your readers, you’ll be able to identify your best content that is getting the best response and any poor content that may need to be rewritten or redesigned.
Following are some questions that can be answered by Behavior section.
Question 1 : What blog content do readers love the most?
You have already seen overall reader engagement via the session duration metric.
But rather than looking at your blog as a whole, it’s most beneficial to learn how long readers are sticking around on a post-by-post basis. By figuring out which topics have above-average session durations, you can work out which ones your readers are enjoying most.
In order to do page-level analysis, navigate to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages and sort by Average Time on Page (by clicking on that column header so that a down arrow appears.)
Once you have all of your data pulled and sorted. You’ll easily be able to see what your best-performing posts are from a pure engagement standpoint.
Question 2 : What blog content is making your readers bounce?
It’s inevitable that your readers will leave your blog for one reason or another; we just have to accept that.
But you want to be sure they are leaving for normal reasons, and not because your content is boring or because your design makes it difficult to discover the next post to read.
In Google Analytics, the last page a person visits before leaving your blog is called the exit page.
To see a report about this, navigate to : Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages. From here you’ll see a table of top exit pages — start by filtering the “% Exit” column for a better view.
One Bonus Tip :
Google Analytics works best with Google Search Console. It allows you to see how your website is doing in search results. If you are looking for faster ways to index your website on Google and other search engines check out this guide.
Thanks for reading this blog.
In case you have any questions or comments please add the same in the comment section below.
Happy Blogging !!!!!!!!!!!!