Google Analytics 101 for New Bloggers ( Easy Beginner’s Guide )
As a blogger, your work does not finish by just writing blogs. You need to look at a lot of other things as well. Most importantly, the visitors coming is a key metric which you should be monitoring very closely as a blogger. Not only this primary metric but secondary metrics like demographics, sources, exit rates also are metrics that a blogger should keep looking at.
As they say, if you cannot measure it, you can improve it. Google Analytics tool from Google is a great tool to check all this and a lot of other metrics. It is a cohesive tool that gives detailed information about a lot of these metrics. Not to forget, all this for free.
To become an expert, it will take a series of blog posts. Let’s study some basics on this blog post. Not all heads under a tab can be discussed to avoid this becoming boring, we will surely discuss some key ones.
The number of visits is the total amount of time unique visitors have visited your website. Pageviews are the total amount of pages these visitors have visited. Average Pageviews naturally is the number of pages visited by each visitor. Higher this number can be a good indication of the richness of content on your website. However, this needs to be viewed along with Time on-site which confirms whether users just visited various pages or spent some time reading them as well.
Bounce rate: is an important indicator, it tells the percentage of visitors who just exited your website after visiting a single page.
Some other sub-items under this section include:
Geo: This gives the details about geographical parameters.
Behavior: One of the key information this gives is about New Vs Returning users. Both of them are important if you have a good percentage of return visitors which means people are liking your content. If you have a good percentage of new visitors that means you are marketing it better.
Mobile, Technology: It gives an idea about which devices, versions, or browser was used to access your website. Good input to customize your website or blog according to this.
In the overview section, you can get a landscape view about the channels from where you are getting visitors (traffic). The average time, bounce rate, new Vs returning users, pages/session will also be shown channel-wise. Channels could be Organic search, Paid Search (Google ads), Direct, Referral, etc.
Organic Search: It is the traffic you get from search engines such as google, bing, and yahoo. Whenever a user clicks on your link in search engine results. It will be regarded as Organic Traffic.
Paid Search: There’s no much difference between Organic and Paid Search. Paid search means paying google to show your site in search engine results. Whereas, you don’t have to pay Google in organic traffic. It determines on how good enough is your article in SEO and Quality aspects.
Direct: Direct means whoever enters your URL in the search box and directly browse your blog. It will be registered as direct traffic.
Referral: It’s the traffic you get from another source when your article is being attributed and linked without having to search your site on google. For Instance, a user stumbles on another article. While reading, he sees your article was being linked amidst for reference. If he visits your article and it will be recognized as referral traffic.
This helps one to analyze, which sources or channels are giving the most visitors and which needs to be focussed upon. Analyzing secondary metrics channel-wise also gives points to analyze like visitors from which traffic sources are more loyal than others.
Under the acquisition, there are separate tabs for each channel like Google Ads, Organic Search (Google Search), Social, Referral. Within each tab, there are sub-heads that are related to each tab.
This section demonstrates in greater detail what your visitors are actually doing when coming to your website or blog. What pages do they visit, what is the journey on your website, what actions do they take on your website.
The overview tab gives a summary of the average time on page, unique page views, bounce rate, exit rate, etc. Most of this we have already discussed in the earlier sections.
Behavior Flow: This gives the path visitors generally take on your website. The path they take from the first page they visit, the last one they visit during their journey on your blog.
Site content: You might always want to know which are your most performing pages while which ones need a lot of work. This is the page that helps you do this. It provides information like Unique Pageviews, Time on Page, Bounce Rate page wise. This is a good input to work and improve your specific pages.
Site Speed: Site speed helps to understand how quickly people are able to see and interact with your content. It primarily measures the following aspects of latency:
- Page Load time: Gives an average loading time for a sample of pages on your website.
- Execution time is available in user timings. It measures timings like how quickly images load, response time to button clicks
There are some more heads which you will see like conversions etc. Conversions are slightly complex topics, we are not covering it in this 101 post. We will have a separate detailed post for it.
In totality, if you are not using Google Analytics, you are missing out on something very useful for your website. Its time you configure google analytics for your website and start leveraging its full potential.
Along with google analytics, you may need to learn more about other best tools for blogging.
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