This post will teach you a little bit about Google Analytics, even if you’re a beginner.
Google Analytics is one of the top tools out there for analyzing traffic on your website. With a little bit of setup, it will give you an astonishing amount of information about who is visiting your site, what they’re looking for, and how they’re getting there.
How To Setup Google Analytics
First, you will need to setup an account with Google (if you don’t already have one).
This will provide you with a unique identifier (or username) to add to your site. This ensures that other people will not be able to access your site information. The only people with access to your information will be yourself (and those that you give special permission to).
- Login to Google Analytics.
- From the Overview page, select the account that has the profile for the tracking code you’re looking for, as the code is profile-specific.
- Select the profile from the accounts Overview page.
- From that profile’s Actions column, click Edit.
- At the top right of the ‘Main Website Profile Information’ box, click “Check Status.”
- Your tracking code can be copied and pasted from the text box in the “Instructions for adding tracking” section.
When adding your tracking code to your web pages, make sure to paste it into the body section of your HTML code, immediately preceding the </body> tag.
Luckily, my WordPress theme has a special box for tracking codes, so it was really easy.
The first screen is the Overview page.
To specify the dates of the data you want to analyze, adjust the calendar on the right.
*Note: The data is only collected from the date Analytics was first installed on your site and any information from before that time will be unavailable.*
On the left-hand navigation bar, you will see several options, including Intelligence, Visitors, Traffic Sources, Content, and Goals.
Under the “Intelligence” label, you can set up customized alerts regarding your data that can be directly emailed. I have my “report” sent to my email every Monday morning.
Under the “Visitors” label, you can gain insight on what browsers your visitors are using to get to your site, what kind of internet connection they are using, and their geographical location. This is just a small fraction of the amount of information in this tab!
Under the “Traffic Sources” label, there is a link that will direct you to “Traffic Sources Overview,” which highlights Direct Traffic, Referring Site Traffic, and Search Engine Traffic.
*The percentage shown reflects the percentage of visitors coming in through those traffic sources and there will also be a pie graph that illustrates that.*
Beneath the “Traffic Sources” drop down menu, you will notice an option that says “Keywords”.
This page will tell you the type of search keywords are leading visitors to your blog.
Under “Content” you can analyze the specific pages on your blog, including page views, unique visitors, and bounce rate.
If your blog has a high bounce rate, it indicates that visitors are immediately leaving, either because they don’t like what they are seeing or it didn’t provide them with the information they were searching for.
Under “Top Content” you can determine which pages are receiving the most views (the most interaction).
Although this post has only scratched the surface of what Google Analytics can really do, this information is valuable to determine the effectiveness of your blog, along with helping you to make it more effective in the future.
As always, let me know if you have questions.