What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a tool provided by Google that tracks useful data about how people find and interact with websites, and packages it into a format that makes it easy for website owners to understand.
Google Analytics is free and easy to use, making it readily accessible to all bloggers. The tool packs a lot of information you can use to understand who your audience is, how they typically find your blog, and what they do once they land on your website. It’s the key to measuring the success of your blog, and finding ways to improve as you go.
How to Set Up Google Analytics on Your Site
Adding Google Analytics to your website is a fairly simple process that yields big results. To start, set up your Google Analytics account. Make sure you’re logged into the Google account you want associated with your Google Analytics account. Then follow the prompts the tool provides to take you through the set-up process.
Once your account is set up, Google Analytics will provide you with a tracking code. Adding this to your website is the final step to activating Google Analytics. If your website is built on WordPress, you can use a plugin like MonsterInsights to add the Google Analytics code to your site. For all types of websites, you can add it manually by pasting the code into the HTML of each page, directly after the tag.
Google Analytics will start collecting data from the time you activate it, so you won’t see much useful information in there from day one. But over the next few days and weeks, you’ll start to gain a treasure trove of valuable insights.
What Can You Learn from Google Analytics?
We keep referencing all the valuable insights you can get from Google Analytics, but what does that look like in practical terms? The data Google Analytics provides can answer a number of big questions every blogger has.
Some of the main ones you can count on learning are:
How many people visit my blog?
This is one of the most straightforward measures of blogging success. Are people actually finding and reading your blog to begin with? Anything else you might want to accomplish through blogging will depend on making progress with this metric.
Google Analytics puts this data front and center. You can see at a glance how much traffic your blog receives, and how it trends over time.
What blog posts are they checking out?
Every blog will have some posts that are more popular than others. Knowing which posts are receiving the most traffic on your blog is important to understanding what topics your audience cares most about.
Google Analytics breaks down traffic data by page, so you can see which pages are getting the most traction.
Are they reading the posts they click on?
Traffic is nice, but it’s not worth much if a person clicks on a blog post then closes out the page before reading it.
Technically, Google Analytics can’t tell you for sure whether or not visitors read a blog post. But it can tell you how long visitors spend on a page, which is a pretty good indication of whether they stayed around long enough to read it.
Do they stick around for more than one post?
Most visitors will likely read one post, learn whatever information they were looking for, and move along on their way. But occasionally, someone will like what they read enough to stick around and read additional blog posts on your site. Anytime that happens, it’s a big indicator that people are enjoying your blog.
How to Get the Most from Google Analytics for Your Blog
- Start with your goals.
- Set up conversion tracking.
- Check Google Analytics regularly.
- Analyze and test.
Use Google Analytics to Learn and Grow Your Blog
A lot about building a successful blog is difficult. But the challenges become easier when you have a way to track progress as you go, and learn what works. Google Analytics is a powerful tool for measuring your results and understanding your audience better. It’s free, intuitive, and invaluable to any blogger that cares about finding success (in any form) with their blog.