Are you a new blogger?
Didn’t install Google Analytics on your blog yet?
Then probably you are missing out the most powerful tool.
If you want to know the answers to questions like;
- How many people visit your website
- What marketing tactics drive the most traffic to your website
- Which pages on your website are the most popular
- What blog content do your visitors like the most
- What websites send traffic to your website
Then Google Analytics is for you.
There are much more additional questions that Google Analytics can answer and you will understand all in this guide to using Google Analytics.
Let’s dig into the details without much ado.
What is Google Analytics?
For any blogger, knowing about the audience and what they want is an important success factor. This you can know through your traffic stats and this is exactly what Google Analytics does.
And you know, it is absolutely FREE.
Even though there are plenty of software and plugins, Google Analytics is a must have for every blog.
It gives information about site visits, page views, bounce rate, average time on site, pages per visit and percentage of new visits, tracks referral traffic including search engine, direct visits, website referrals and marketing campaigns.
Why Do You Need Google Analytics?
If you don’t have Google Analytics installed on your website, then probably you are missing out a lot of money.
Because the information it gives to increase your traffic is boundless.
Here are the benefits you will get by installing Google Analytics.
- You can track ROI for your online marketing.
- You can integrate Google Products like your Adwords account & Search Console.
- Google Analytics tracks all of its data like advertising, social or PR campaign on any website through a unique tracking code once you install on every page of your website.
- You can see how many users clicked on a specific link.
- You can see how the user found you and also shows you the breakdown of each traffic source.
- You can see which time of the day is best for your website.
- You can see how long users stay on your website, which page is causing the users to leave most often, what pages they are visiting the most.
- You can get complete details about your visitors like the language they speak, which browser did they use, what is their screen resolution etc.
- There is something called Intelligence Events which are alerts that you can set up within Google Analytics. So that it emails you when a specific event occurs.
- You can know who is on your website right now then it’s “Real-Time data” gives you access to that data instantly.
And its benefits are countless. In short, Google Analytics helps you make decisions based on data. What are you waiting for? Here is the step-by-step guide to start with the Google Analytics and increase your traffic.
Step by Step Tutorial For Using Google Analytics
#1. Set up Google Analytics
Firstly, sign up for Google Analytics account. If you already have Google account then you can use the same to use all the services provided by Google. If you don’t have one then create one NOW. Click on the
Click on the signup button and get started.
Once you click the Signup button, you need to fill out information for your website.
You can have up to 100 Google Analytics accounts, 50 website properties, 25 views under one Google account. Scroll down to the bottom and click “Get Tracking ID.” This will create the basic shell of the account.
Now, let’s get tracking ID.
#2. Get Your Unique Tracking Code
Google Analytics won’t work until it is linked to your web pages. When you finish setting up a new account, Google will ask you to “Get Tracking ID.” You will get a popup of the Google Analytics terms and conditions.
Once you accept it, you will get your Google Analytics code.
Now, this tracking code must be added to every page on your website. The installation will depend on what type of website you have. If you have a WordPress on your own domain, you can use the Google Analytics plugin to install your code easily no matter what theme or framework you are using.
If you have a Shopify eCommerce store, then go to your “Online Store” settings and paste your tracking code in a specific location.
If you have a website built with HTML files then add the tracking code before the </head> tag on each of your pages.
Once you are done with installing your tracking code on your website, you need to configure some settings in your website's profile on Google Analytics.
#3. Set up Google Analytics Goals
You need to set up Google Analytics goal so that you can track important activities on your site.
Click on the Admin link at the top of your Google Analytics and then click on “Goals” under your website's View column.
First, you should have a clear idea what you want to track on your site.
- URL Destination: Tracks a goal when people visit a specific URL.
- Visit Duration: Tick off a goal every time someone spends a certain amount of time on your site.
- Pages/Visit: Set a threshold for a number of page views that will set off a goal during a visit.
They have many pre-designed templates now, so you can select any of them as per your needs and start doing your goals tracking.
Goals will tell Google Analytics when something important has happened on your website.
For example, If you have a website where you sell products, create a thank you or confirmation page for visitors to land upon once they have completed a purchase. Then set up this page as a destination goal called Shopping Cart.
How to do this?
Click on “Goals” from the Admin panel, then click on the “New Goal” button.
Give some name to your goal and select “Destination” under “Type”, then click the button “Next Step”.
It will take you to “Goal Details”. If your thank-you page is always http://yourdomainname.com/thank-you/, then enter /thank-you/ as the web page URL and leave the drop-down set to “Equals To”.
Now, let’s find out whether your new goal is working or not. For this, submit your opt-in form, contact form or make a purchase in your shopping cart.
In the above screenshot, you could see two optional items in “Goal Details”. One is “Value Optional” and the other one is “Funnel Optional”. If you know a specific value for each goal completion, then you can add that as a value. The example of such goal completion could be the average order through your shopping cart.
Say $10. If you are not sure then leave it blank.
If you have a shopping cart with specific pages that a user will visit throughout the process of purchasing a product, you can add them under Funnel.
If you want to view your sales funnel in the standard Funnel Visualisation form then you can see that too.
So far, you have done with filling out the form.
Click the “Verify this Goal” link before saving your goal. If any users have completed the goal in the past seven days, you will get confirmation that your goal is set up correctly.
The other benefit you will get by setting up a “Destination goal” is, that you can measure ROI using your Google Analytics. You can see which traffic sources and social networks send the most users to your website who complete a goal.
#4. Learn About Audience
Google Analytics provides the “Audience report” to find the location of your visitor.
Look under the “Audience” menu of “Standard Reports” on your Analytics dashboard.
You will also know what technology they are using to access your site.
For example, go to “Audience”, then click on “Mobile”.
Under that, you have “Overview” to see how much of your traffic is accessing your site from a mobile or tablet device. If you look under “Devices”, it will also tell you what type of device they are using.
If you want to know at what time to publish your post, then Google Analytics helps you with that too. Just look under the “Geo” and then click on “Location”.
There you will see which country/region has a majority of your users. Based on that information, you can determine the time you want to publish.
#5. Know Which Posts Your Readers Like the Most
Let’s say you are getting a good number of users visiting your website. What matters is how many people really do read your stuff? What kind of posts they really like to read?
For this, go to “Behaviour”, then click on “Site Content”. In that, you can see “All Pages” This “All Pages” report tells you which posts and pages are the most visited on your site. It also gives you the average time on page, bounce rate, and exit percentages in the “Standard Report”.
Now you may be wondering how to interpret each of these metrics. Let me give a detailed information about it.
- Pageviews/Unique Pageviews: This tells how many times a unique individual loaded the page. Pageviews indicate how many times the page was loaded. If someone loads a page up twice, it counts as two Pageviews but just one Unique Pageview.
- Bounce Rate: It is the percentage of readers who only visited one page in their session.
- Time on Page: This is nothing but an average measure of how long a reader stays on the page. You can use this to see which pages capture a reader’s interest longer than another. If average time on a page is just a few seconds, it means that particular post is not interesting.
If you want to know the effectiveness of your articles, then observe the metric “Average time on page”. The more time they spend on your pages, the more likely they are engaged with your content.
#6. Check Your Site Loading Speed
If you are a blogger, then site speed is the one you should consider more. If you make your readers wait for a long time, then you will lose the potential audience.
However, you can always test this with site speed tools but nothing beats real world data.
Navigate to “Behaviour”, click on “site speed”. Under that, you will see “Page Timings”. Here you can see how much time it’s taking for your pages to load.
You can use suggestions from “Speed Suggestions” to make your site faster.
#7. Get Custom Reports
Google Analytics allows you to create custom reports. It lets you filter results based on a number of factors and then views any of the metrics included in Analytics. You can also add content drill down to further segment your reports.
Under “Customization” menu at the top, you can find this Custom Reports.
Here are the types of Google Analytics reports you can see.
- Audience reports: It gives information about visitors like age and gender, general interests, location, the language they speak, how often they visit your website, the technology they use to view your website.
- Acquisition reports: It tells how your visitors came to your site: You can check by navigating to “All Traffic” and then click on “Specific sources”. There you will find traffic from social networks under “Social”.
- Behaviour reports: It tells about your content like what are the top pages on your website, top entry pages on your website, top exit pages on your website, learn how fast your website loads, gives suggestions on how to make your website faster. You can check all these under “Site Content” and “Site Speed” in “All Pages” section.
You can check how many conversions your website has received by navigating to “Goals” and click on “Overview. If you would like to know the path that visitors took to complete the conversion then go to “Goals” and click on “Reverse Goal Path.
#8. Tracking Search Queries on Your Blog
You can see what people are searching on your site.
This will give you ideas about writing next blog posts which is ultimately going to serve your blog readers in a much better way.
How to track on-site search queries?
Step 1: Go to admin setting by clicking the bottom left corner button.
Step 2: Click on view setting under view tab.
Step 3: Scroll to the bottom and see Site Search Tracking option.
Step 4: Click on it to make it ON and add query parameters s,q in the box.
How to find that these are search query parameters of your blog?
For this, you'll have to search something on your blog.
Let's search something on my blog.
You can see that my search parameter is ?s=
So I added this in my setting box.
Make sure click on SAVE BUTTON after doing these settings.
How to track these keywords?
To track these keywords, you will have to go to your dashboard and click on Behaviour > Site Search > Overview.
Once people start searching something on your blog, you'll start seeing the data here.
The points I mentioned all are absolutely for beginners. Once you start getting more involved you will get gold mine out of the data in Google Analytics.
Conclusion about using Google Analytics
Yes, I know there are a TON of website tracking tools out there but nothing comes close to Google analytics. The best part is that it’s a free tool that can be used to track your traffic sources, audience behaviour, exit rates and so many other things.
Did you find this post on using Google Analytics useful?
Do you have any more questions?
Share your thoughts in the comments.