Google Analytics is a goldmine for people who are in the blogging business. But, if you are a newbie who just started blogging the idea of Google Analytics can be a little daunting. Don’t be scared! The following article will help you get to grips with setting-up Google Analytics.
What can Google Analytics do for you?
In just 2 simple words – “a lot”. There is a reason it is one of the most used SEO tools across the business world, and the data it provides it invaluable to provide you with the insight you need to manage your content – plus it’s always helpful when the PR companies come-a-calling!
Some of the most interesting parts?
- You can get real data of people who are visiting your website at this precise second
- Discover when your blog is most popular, down to the minute or hour – look to center your social activity and posting behaviour around this
- Has your blog gone global? Explore which countries, outside of the UK, your blog is reaching and if the audience is big enough think about centering some social activity around their time zone.
Linking Google Analytics to your blog
You have two options. Either, get a plug-in (Yoast SEO is especially useful) and place the Google Analytics code there, or if you’re a bit more technically minded you can manually place the tracking code within the <head> part of your blog.
Initially, you have to sign up to Google Analytics and register your property/domain. Once you have added this, you will be provided with a Tracking ID. This is the key to your Google Analytics journey.
During set-up Google Anaytics will request 4 key things:
Account name: Can be anything, but I would typically utilize the name of your blog/website for ease of reference
Website name: This is the name of your blog
Website address: Your URL address
Category: This should be relevant with your blog
To get the Tracking ID you need to select all of the recommended options, and it should look something like: “UA-435433”.
Getting a plug-in to do the hard work
As stated above, there are two ways to get Google Analytics running for your blog. Either use a plug-in, or manually insert the code.
Within WordPress, install a plug-in caled Google Analytics for WordPress or if you’re looking at eventually expanding the SEO for your site, I would recommend Yoast SEO.
You’ll then need to active the plug-in and set it up. This is typically as simple as viewing the plug-in settings, pasting your Tracking ID and saving.
Exploring Google Analytics
In the first 24 hours you will not initially be able to see all data whilst Google works away in the background. But once it is fully synched, you will have data to your hearts content.
To see your blog posts, go to Behavior > Site content > All pages. Here you can see traffic and more based on all of your pages, or narrow it down to a specific post or page.
By taking notice of data provided by Google Analytics, you can fill the gaps inside the content which is revealed by the results of ‘visitor searches’ and based on the data for individual pages. You will also begin to notice which of your topics are most popular, and perhaps look to start to align your content with this (for example, lifestyle rather than beauty).
You can’t break it
Whilst it might take a little bit of “reverting” settings, you ultimately can’t break Google Analytics – and any changes you do make wont directly impact your blog/website.
So, I find the best way for new use to get to grips with it is to click, click and click again. Discover what data you can find and what is of interest to you, build up your experience perhaps by running a weekly report of things like traffic and bounce. Making adjustments to content based on what is most popular with your visitors, and reviewing to see if this has made a difference to your overall traffic.
The data and analytics world is now truly your oyster!13