Google Analytics is amazing. It’s a free, powerful, and a tool that everyone should have on their blog. But not everyone has the time to sift through all that data. First, if you need help installing Google Analytics please see our how to install the new Analytics on your site. So if you’re making a quick dip into Analytics, here are the 5 things you should know out about your website visitors.
How Many Visits and Unique Visitors
Knowing this is the most obvious piece of information – how many visits have you had and how many of them were from unique visitors? It’s usually a good idea to make sure you have this data every single month as a means of assessing (month on month) whether your site is growing.
How Long People Are Sticking Around
There are a few ways of doing this. You can look at ‘time on site,’ to give you a pretty good view on how long people are staying on your site. This will help you to know if your articles are interesting and people like them. You can also check out the bounce rate. If the vast majority of your visitors ‘bounce,’ you need to assess why. Getting traffic is one thing – but keeping it is a whole other ball game. Figuring out why people are leaving so soon will help you to keep customers and gain more credibility in the long run.
Where in the World Your Visitors Come From
Are you targeting users in a particular country? Or perhaps you are going more specific than that and targeting by an area of the country? Whether you’re focusing in on a small area or you’re open to traffic from all over the world, having an idea of where your traffic comes from enables you to ensure you’re hitting the right audience. It will also allow you to tailor your content for your specific location readers.
Traffic Referral Sources
Where on the web are your visitors coming from? Is it search engines? If so, which keywords? What other sites are sending traffic your way and how many people come directly to you from them? If you have traffic from a specific site you should reach out to that person or site and motivate them to send you more.
Google has, quite deliberately, made this particular piece of information more prominent within Analytics. Which could mean that it’s playing a bigger part in the SERP’s then we think. But it’s vital that you know which devices your users are coming from. Even more importantly, how well your site loads up for those visitors. Mobile is only going to become more prominent and understanding the device pool of your users will be vital to catering to them and their devices.
This is a beginners guide to Google Analytics, basically just the tip of the iceberg. There are millions more things you can do with Google Analytics that will help out your site. For all you long term bloggers I recommend you read our more advanced breakdown of Analytics articles. This will give you much more of a break down of things you should do with your blog that will help monetize it in the best way possible.