Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools to get analytics from your website, blog and even Etsy shop. However it isn’t enough just to have it, it’s important to understand how it works and in particular to monitor it periodically.
Compare length period
The first thing you need to consider when setting up is the time period referred to your analytics. Having 10 visits a day is different from having 10 a week. If you always set the same timespan it will be easier to track visits.
I suggest you use a timespan of a week or a month depending on how much time you would like to dedicate to keeping an eye on your analytics. To set the timespan, login into your Google Analytics account and on the top right of the page you’ll find the calendar to set the data range.
As you can see on the image above I set a data range of one month. Then by clicking on Compare to you will be able to see the results with the comparison with the month before. This is a great tool to find out if your visits have increased or decreased.
Which content is getting viewed most often?
The number of visits is the simplest thing you can track however it is also important to know and track which pages or products perform better. Knowing this information can help you make crucial business decisions.
To view this information, follow these steps:
- Click on the Behavior tab at the left of the page, then Site Content and finally All Pages.You’ll see the list of the page of your website or shop from the most viewed to the less.
If you have a blog this is helpful to see how different posts perform. You can see which topics are hot, which ones people didn’t care about, and track new contents performance.
Another thing to consider on this page:
Filter the results. After knowing which of your pages is the most viewed you can filter the results using other metrics, for example by clicking on the “Average time on Page” column you’ll be able to see the pages where people stayed the longest.
How do visitors find you?
Another important information you need to know is how people find your website, shop or blog. For example if you wrote a guest post on a blog it’s important to know how many people visited your site from that blog page and if the efforts was worth it or not.
These analytics are particularly useful when you decide to pay for advertising on a website or blog and you need to know the ‘Return Of your Investment’, called ROI in marketing. How many people did that banner bring to my website? This is the first data you need to know for ROI.
Clicking on the tab Acquisition, then Overview you’ll see something like the image below:
In the case of the example above, the majority of the visits came from Organic search. As you can see, visits increase on all channels aside from (Other) and the Bounce Rate (the percentage of visits in which users view only a single page of your site) is low in most channels too.
Let’s have a closer look at the different entries:
This kind of traffic comes from search engines like Google or Bing. In this case a visitor has searched for something on a search engine, finds you website and clicks on it. If the percentage is high, this means you’re doing a good job by using keywords and writing good content. SEO is the technique to leverage this kind of traffic, learn how to do master this technique in this previous post: The ultimate SEO guide.
The visitors under the label Direct Traffic are the ones who come to your website simply by typing in your website url in the address bar or because they had it bookmarked.
To increase your direct traffic always remember to put your web address on your business cards and product labels. Having a simple brand name makes it easier for people to remember.
This kind of traffic comes from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest but also Reddit, Tumblr etc… Google has included this kind of traffic only recently so it’s not perfect. This means that some of the social traffic is still listed as referral, however I’ve seen improvements in the last months.
To increase this type of traffic you’ll need to start a social media campaign, either free or paid, it’s up to you. Some articles you may find interesting about this topic are:
This the most complex source of traffic because we have to dig deeper into it in order to know the exact web page that referred your website. As I mentioned before Twitter, Facebook and other social networks were once included in this category. However due to increased activity of those social media, Google decided to create a second category, but even now part of this traffic goes here.
To know the exact sources just click on All Referrals on the left side of the page and start your analysis.
To increase this kind of traffic you’ll need to write guest posts on other blogs, buy a banner on website, always put your web address on email and conversations, etc..
That’s it for today, I think you have enough work to do for now. Next week I’ll conclude this article by adding another 3 tips to becoming a rockstar using Google Analytics. Leave me your questions below. Click here to go to the next part.