What The Heck Is Google Analytics?: A Beginners Guide

Once you’ve published a blog post, one of the most gratifying things is finding out others have read it. Especially if you’re blogging for a business, you may need to prove the return of your efforts. But as a blogger or marketer, where do you even start gathering that data? Google Analytics is a tool you can add to your website in order to track basic information about your site’s visitors.

Google Analytics is the industry standard for tracking website metrics. There are many other tools you can use in addition to Google Analytics to get more information about your visitors and their actions on your website. However, we recommend getting Google Analytics set up no matter what in order to get the best view possible of your website analytics.

Why should I use Google Analytics?

There are many reasons to use Google Analytics. The main driving factor that influences individuals to use Google Analytics is a desire to track visitor quantity. This can be beneficial to analyze how a new campaign is performing or which days of the week are most popular for your visitors.

The basic data you can see goes beyond how many daily visitors your site attracts. You can also see how long they spend on your site. The more time your visitors spend, the more they are reading and engaging with your content. You can also see where in the world your readers are located, as well as what browser they like to use.

You can also use Google Analytics to track the conversion path of users on your website. Sure, you might have the perfect path all planned out in your head. But, when a visitor lands on your website, it’s not that simple. Google Analytics lets you see how long people are spending on each page before navigating away, which pages they visit next, and what the average bounce rate is.

All in all, the purpose of tracking your website visitors is to provide an opportunity to optimize your content. By analyzing what performs well, what doesn’t, where your visitors drop off, and where they’re engaged, you can optimize your content and pages for the best possible results.

How can I get started with Google Analytics?

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Step one, if you don’t have Google Analytics, go to http://google.com/analytics and set up an account for free, then install it on your site. Many of the popular blogging platforms make it pretty easy to do. In short, you’ll need to add a piece of code to your website in order for Google to be able to track visitors, their location, time spent on your site, and more.

How do I use Google Analytics?

Now let’s get into the juicy details. You can use Google Analytics to learn about what your visitors like to read. This information is found from clicking on the Behavior menu option on the left navigation, then click on Overview. On this screen, you can see your most popular pages first and then the list descends to the least popular. You can also see how much time, on average, readers are spending on your pages—if they are enjoying what you wrote, they’re going to spend more time on the page, right?

The next key piece of information you can see on Google Analytics is where your traffic is coming from. This is important because it will tell you, depending on where you’re promoting your blog entries, which ones are bringing you the most traffic. You might also see some unexpected sources of traffic, like if some random person linked to your blog from their site and are throwing traffic your way. (You can then reach out, send a thank you note, make a new friend, and start thinking about guest blogging.)

You can see your traffic sources under Acquisition and then click on Channels. This will show you a generalized source of where your traffic is coming from. For example, it’ll say Social, Direct, and Referral. You can click on those words on the left of the chart and drill down. When you click on Social it’ll show you which social media sites are sending you the most traffic. Referral will show you which non-social media sites are sending you traffic. Direct indicates the number of people who go right to your site without searching or clicking on a link in social media.

With these basic pieces of information, you will know exactly what your readers like, and then you can deliver more of that content to them, and know what’s working when you promote your blog. As they say, knowledge is power — and will make you a more effectively promoted blogger.

What’s the difference between Google Analytics and Google Search Console?

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Google Analytics is more user-oriented, while Google Search Console focuses on search engines. One isn’t better than the other, in fact we recommend using both in tandem to get the best possible view of your analytics.

Google Search Console provides much better insights into the keywords visitors use to land them on your site. Whereas Google Analytics tells you more about what your visitors do once they’re already on your site. Together, you can use this data to develop content that ranks on Google search results andkeeps readers engaged.

If you aren’t thinking about SEO in relation to your blogging efforts, now is the time to start! Blogging goes hand-in-hand with SEO, helping you climb Google search rankings and get in front of relevant visitors.

Complimenting Google Analytics with Missinglettr Analytics

Missinglettr Analytics provides a detailed look at how your followers interact with your Missinglettr posts and land on your website. You can see popular times of day, which networks perform the best, and where your clicks are coming from, all within the Missinglettr dashboard.

Together, these tools can provide you with all the data you need to develop incredible content that your audience engages with and leads them to converting on your website. Learn more about the powers of Missinglettr Analytics.

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