8 - Using Google Analytics - The Basics

INTRODUCTION

Whenever you enter into business, you will need to know how you are doing as you progress and start to grow. This is true whether you are doing offline or online business.

It can be hard to measure how you are doing online especially when you are just starting out and do not have a lot of knowledge of what is happening in your business.

You build a website, start adding content, over time learn about search engine optimization (SEO), and continue to improve things as you progress.

Magically you start to get some traffic to your site, you have learned a few ways to see what amount of traffic you are getting, but you still are not sure what is happening and why.

This tool provided free from Google will help you realize what is going on, as in who is coming to your site, what actions they are taking, how ling they are staying on your site.

With this knowledge it will help point you to some actions you can take to further refine your online operation and grow your traffic, leads, and conversions.

Let’s get into this a bit deeper below…

945a2c1c3c3d84a019f8d94d8dc5fa25 1455874309 cropped - Using Google Analytics - The Basics

WHAT IS GOOGLE ANALYTICS?

Although the tool has been around for quite some time, and is free to use, a lot of online marketers are not using it or not using it effectively.

Essentially it is a tool that breaks down the visitors and their behaviors for you in a number of ways that will help you see where you can improve the user experience by making adjustments to your site and contents.

Truly analytics will help make your site more useful and effective,  and the Google Analytics tool is free and designed to help you. Since many do not understand what the tool is nor how to use it, I thought a short post on how to add it to your site, use it, and understand what to do with the data it provides would be useful.

Why Is Google Analytics So Great?

First of all, you can monitor how much traffic your site is getting and you can see where that traffic is coming from. If you use it effectively you can also gather a lot of other information to include tracking your bounce rate, determining what the most popular pages or articles are on your site, and you can see your conversion rates.

Powerful stuff? You betcha!

I think the reason many people do not use it enough is when you go to the tool site, it is confusing and overwheleming a bit. There are a lot of features you can choose to use, but they are kind of buried and hard to discern.

In fact, a lot of people do not even know the capabilities of the tool, and certainly they do not understand how to use them. Today we are going to fix that!

How To Install Google Analytics…

Before you install the tool on your site, you will need to establish a Google Analytics account, if you don’t already have one. You only need yo do this once and you can add in websites that you own and check them all from that one account.

If you do NOT have an account to now, here is where to go to register:

==> http://analytics.google.com <==

If you have an existing Google account that will suffice. At the above site sign in and press “Sign up” …Voila, you’re ready to start using Google Analytics…

Here is a screenshot…

ga1 - Using Google Analytics - The Basics

Once you are signed in, you can add a website that you own to Google Analytics. Rather than me explaining ad nauseum here, take a look at the guide conveniently prepared by Google to get this done…

(Click on the link below)

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1008080?hl=en

Analytics With WordPress…

Most people these days seem to be using WordPress, and if you are there is a plugin that you can install that will make installation a very easy process for you.

Note that many of the more recent WordPress themes already have this built in, but if not the plugin will take care of that… 

There are options regarding which plugin you want to use. Most either connect automatically with your Google Analytics account or using a few steps get it set up for you. A newbie can do this.

 

>>>>>>>>>>58 - Using Google Analytics - The Basics<<<<<<<<<<

THE GOOGLE ANALYTICS  REPORT SUITES

With Google Analytics you have access to five report types that provide you different useful information.

These include:

(1) Real Time

(2) Audience

(3) Acquisition

(4) Behavior

(5) Conversions

You may not need all of these report types, but they are there if needed for every site. You can also use the tool and reports for measuring similar items, i.e. conversion suite can help you track leads you convert even if you are not selling a product or service.

Real Time

This is a report that lets you know what is going on with your site at the moment. You can see what the traffic quantity is live plus see what particular pages people are viewing, again live.

Audience

The is a report that provides information regarding the people that are visiting your site. It will provide demographics for your use such as age and gender, interests, location, and what type of devices and browser they are using, etc.

Acquisition

This report will let you know where your traffic is coming from and how it got to your site. For instance, you can get information such as the keywords used to find you and also the links the traffic came from. This report helps you see which are the most effective keywords you are using and also can give insight on marketing channels you may be using.

Behavior

This is a handy report that will let you know which particular pages people visiting your site are viewing, where they are going when they are on your site, how fast your pages are loading, etc. It lets you know what is popular on your site, and you can then make adjustments on the less popular pages to improve results and user engagement.

Conversions

This is a report that lets you know just how effective your site is when it comes to getting sales or email signups,  or persuading traffic to take whatever action it is you are trying them to take.

So there you have it. These five reports can give you a LOT of good information to improve your results from your online marketing efforts. Best of all, they are all available to you free once you set it up!

Basic Date Range Reports

This is another feature that Google Analytics offers that is useful. You can see what traffic is doing over a specific period of time, and then compare it to other earlier time periods. You can see if your traffic volume increasing or decreasing, and how events like holiday weekends or special days or events are affecting your traffic.

This feature can be used easily. Looking at the top of your Google Analytics screen (you must be logged in) you’ll notice a date range. There you can set the range for any dates, and it will pull up the information based on the period selected.

You may have been running a special event such as a product launch or discount sale, and using PPC or other marketing means to draw in traffic. You can see what effect your effort had on traffic and conversions.

ga2 - Using Google Analytics - The Basics

With this tool you can also compare sets of data by selecting “Compare to” that will show you different lines depicting traffic volumes.

Here’s how you can to do this…

ga3 - Using Google Analytics - The Basics

Simply by ticking the “Compare to” box after you have selected and see results for your initial date range, you then can select the date range you want to compare those results with. This can be done for a single site, or if you wanted it could be done for all the sites you have registered under your account.

Also, the charts generated have an area at the bottom where you can add in notes. This can be useful to have reminders of events or reasons for jumps or decreases in traffic for selected time periods.

This is a quick way to keep track of events over time, and let’s you know what is working and what is not. Without having to reinvent or trying to figure out what was going on, you have instant knowledge of events .

Goals

This is a suite tool that most people do not use much. They do not understand the use or the power this tool provides. This tool helps you track the effectiveness of your sales funnels, your squeeze pages, your ads, etc. THAT is handy!

Here’s how this tool works…

(1) A specific traffic source brings in traffic

(2) There is a specific call to action you want that traffic to take

(3) The traffic takes that action or not

(4) This tool shows you where the traffic came from, how many potential customers saw the offer, and how many took your desired action

To use this go to Admin, found at the top of the Google Analytics screen. Once there, click on ‘Goals’ which will be found on the left hand menu from that screen. From there, select ‘New Goal,’ then select ‘Custom.’ and click on ‘Next Step.’

Create a name for your goal that you can easily remember and is associated with whatever it is that you are tracking.  From there , you can track events…

See below to understand what I am talking about…

(1) Destination – The user ends up at a specific page

(2) Duration – The user is on page for a specific length of time

(3) Page/Screens Per Session – The user then views at least X number of pages

(4) Event – The user clicks on an opt-in button

Whatever your ultimate goal might be, you’d set your value to the URL of that goal to track how many followed through with your call to action to get to that point.

There is more detailed guidance found at the Google support site using the link I have added below…

(Click on the link to get to the tutorial)

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1032415?hl=en

 

>>>>>>>>>>58 - Using Google Analytics - The Basics<<<<<<<<<<

SO HOW ELSE CAN YOU USE GOOGLE ANALYTICS?

There are a multitude of ways the Google Analytics can be used and there have been a lot of articles that detail in depth some of them,

One that I have found particularly useful is really a curated post on a number of sites, and it is curated links to 50 different angles you can tap into!

Yes there are THAT many uses!

That link is right here for your use:

===> Google Analytics Uses Curated Post of Links <===

The author of this Ryan Saloman, and what he has done is break these into categories of articles and tips, and then added in the links for the reader to quickly access each.

It includes articles for beginners, tips and tricks articles, plugins, hacks and additions, and finally a group of articles related to advanced and new features you can tap into.

Today in this artiolce we are only scratching the surface of what you can do using this tool, of that there is NO doubt. remember this is a free tool that we all have access to…Make the most of it!!

Here are just three I will dive a bit deeper into, so you have a taste of what I am talking about…

(1) Identifying Successful Content

As I mentioned above, Google Analytics is perfect to figure out which of your pages that webite visitors are landing on most. Not only will the tool show you this, it will also tell you where they go after they land on that page.

You can see what is working and then create more content that is written in the same style or similar to get even moe traffic…

If you find there is a topic that is creating interest and traffic, you can write more articles on other subjects that are related to that one. Cover different angles, maybe offer a product that is related to that keywird, create a video that will engage your traffic, the possibilities are endless.

The other side of this is just as helpful. You will see what people are NOT interested in, and not waste your time and energy writing about something that no one is interested on…

So using analytics you can Identify your key content and can decide:

(1)  What is the kind of content you should be writing about more.

(2)  What isn’t working, so you don’t waste time writing content that people will not view.

(3) Which kind of topics are your site visitors most interested in.

(4) Which of your posts and subjects should you focus on adding or getting external links for to boost their search rankings.

This a very powerful use for the analytic tool that can help your online marketing effort immediately.

(2) Increase Your Search Engine Traffic

Organic traffic, or unpaid traffic  is received largely through people using the search engines to look for articles that are pertinent to the keywords they type in the search window.

Google Analytics can be used to see which keywords are helping you get traffic, and from there you can put together a plan to boost such search engine results, which in turn will increase yur traffic.

The tool for this is found under the acquisition reports. On the Google Analytics page you can go to Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization > Queries…There  you will see the keywords people are using to find your site.

The report will also tell you more…It will provide the position you were in at the time of the visits, plus let you know how many people clicked when they saw your page on Google.

Here are some other ways you can use Google Analytics for more organic (and free) traffic from the search engines:

(1) Use it to identify your most successful and somewhat unsuccessful content.

(2) You can determine which keywords your visitors are using to find your site.

(3) It is easy to see which keywords that are ranking near page one so you can get a few more solid links to help boost them to the first page (i.e. social links or related links to the keyword).

(4) Once you see which pages are most popular you can promote them to send even more people to them, you know there will be a positive reaction and a buzz created…

(5) You can also see which of your keywords are getting the highest CTR for you in search results. This will help show you which articles that might need further attention to build them up  (things such as changes to the title or perhaps  the description or more content) to get you more traffic.

(3) What Are Your Best Traffic Sources

If you are at your Google Analytics dashboard you can go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium, where you can then see which sites or urls are sending you the most traffic.

This can help you when it comes to where to focus your marketing efforts, either paid or unpaid. Also it will tell you what is NOT working if you are using marketing efforts on such sites that are not getting you traffic.

Having this knowledge also helps you another way. Having too much traffic from one source could hurt you if that source suddenly disappeared.

This happened to many people years ago when the Google Search Engine algorithms changed and suddenly people lost 80 to 90 percent, or more, of their traffic in one fell swoop. It was devastating to many.

Remember, this is only three of many wys you can use Google Analytics for your online marketing program. Be sure to check out that article and the curated post I mentioned above – just click the link to get there…

 

icon6 - Using Google Analytics - The Basics

Conclusion

Google Analytics can seem like too complex a tool to consider using, but that is exactly what makes it so useful.

Once you take the time to learn about it, it is like having an eye into the business of your website. It provides so many uses and valuable information that you simply must use it.

Google Analytics can help boost your traffic, conversions, and income. It is that simple and do not forget the point that it is absolutely free to use!

So get busy, learn more, get it installed, and use it to its full  capacity on your websites right now! Have fun!

 

arrow red 2 - Using Google Analytics - The Basics

FINAL POINT

What has been your experiences using Google Analytics? Do you find the tool useful and if so why? Let is know below in the comment section so we can all discuss and learn more together. I thank you in advance for your participation!

Cheers!

David Sweney Online Siganture - Using Google Analytics - The Basics

Dave In Italy 2 - Using Google Analytics - The Basics