If you are reading this post, we will assume:
- You have a blog or website, but don’t know what Google Analytics is, or,
- You have heard about it, but never bothered installing it on your website, or,
- You have installed it, but have never cared to understand how it works, or,
- You have tried getting the hang of it, but failed, or,
- You are overwhelmed with the search engine optimisation of your site, but don’t know how to monitor it.
Well, here’s the ultimate reason to get serious about the aspect – you are keeping an eye on the traffic of your website. And, if it’s a business you are promoting then believe us, you sure want to know how the Analytics works.
Let’s get started by answering the three basic questions of a rookie:
#1: Why do we need it?
Hello, beginner. First things first, you need Google Analytics because you own a blog, or a website, or maybe both. And, if you are worried about your site’s visibility on search engines, you would definitely want to know about:
- The number of visitors on your website.
- Their respective locations.
- The websites and marketing tricks, which drive traffic to your site.
- The need of a mobile-friendly design.
- The most popular posts on your site.
- The rate of customer conversion.
- The ways to improve your site’s speed.
And, when you master this freemium web analytics service you will be able to ascertain who your audience is, how your site is performing, and how to invite more traffic to it.
#2: Where do we begin?
- Create an account:
Yes, you need an Analytics account to begin with. A basic Google account will do. Otherwise, visit http://www.google.com/analytics and create a login account with a username and password.
Google allows users to track multiple sites with one Analytics account. However, you must keep this account forever and not let anyone have access to it other than yourself.
- Organise the account:
Sign into your Analytics Account. You will immediately be asked to select the website or mobile app you want to track. Carefully fill up the form and choose the settings for data sharing. No, there isn’t any hard and fast rule to set up your account. It’s all about your preferences.
- Click ‘Get Tracking ID’:
You can install the tracking code for your website once you are done setting up the account. A popup will appear asking you to agree to the terms and conditions of the service. Once you comply with it, you will be able to access your tracking code.
Please note that the tracking code must be incorporated in every page of your site. The installation, however, will vary depending on the platform you are using.
#3: How do we read it?
You will be able to read your Google Analytics report only when you start getting data from your website. When you explore the dashboard of Google Analytics, you will notice that the reports will include information about visitors, sources of traffic, map overlay and content. As a rookie, you must understand the following signals and metrics in your Analytics report:
- Number of visits:
This is the prime reason why Analytics was devised in the first place. It is, therefore, unavoidable. At its base, this report will let you know how your site is performing. If we go by the thoughts of SEO, the number of visits to a website determines how authoritative its presence is on search engines.
- Number of pages visited:
Of course, there are other aspects that help in optimising a site is the truest sense. You have to get an insight into visitor behaviour and the ways that help in customer conversion. And, to understand this, studying the report for the average number of pages visited, is a good way to begin.
Look for a flow in the pattern of visits. If people come into your website for information and move about smoothly, it is a sign of a healthy website. However, if there’s a visit to a particular page and a subsequent abandoning of the site, it may indicate an issue.
- Time on site:
This helps you determine the duration of a person’s stay on your website, and hence, is an indicator of its performance, as well. Even the search engine algorithms use this as a signal of quality. Of course, the purpose of the site will determine the average time on site spent by a visitor largely.
If you are struggling with the visibility of your website, know that keywords are the most important information provided by Google Analytics.
However, you should also keep in mind that the preferences of the search engine keep changing from time to time. But, there’s no avoiding it. In fact, keywords are the most direct way to positively boost the SEO of your site.
- Bounce rate:
If a visitor lands on a particular page of your website and exits in less than 30 seconds, it is known as a ‘bounce.’ The bounce rate of your site will differ in different pages. Study the webpages that bear a high bounce rate.
It is likely that a visitor is not very happy with the content you have put, and you might need to change or update it as per your audience’s preference. Moreover, this is also a metric that determines the quality of your site. The lesser, the better.
If you want to track the Analytics of your website flawlessly, you must set up ‘goals.’ This will help you ascertain the number of conversions your site has received, and the path the visitors opted for to make the conversions happen.
Yes, rookie, you are heading toward better traffic!
If you have a thorough understanding of the Analytics report of your website, you will be able to generate more and better traffic. Remember, you are doing it for the sake of Search Engine Optimisation of your site. You must keep up with what’s working and what’s not.
Yes, it’s a time consuming process. You cannot learn Google Analytics in a day, let alone in this single post. But, you have to start somewhere or the other, right? So, if not now, when? If not here, where?