Friday 17 October 2014

how to find the numbers in google analytics

Google analytics is the industry standard for providing data to anybody who wants data about websites. If you have a long term plan to grow your blog and earn money from it, I thoroughly recommend installing it now. {it's super-easy to do - sign up for an account, copy the ID number and paste into the analytics widget on wordpress, or follow this tutorial for blogger. NOTE if you change your template, you need to install the code again}

I don't understand where to find all the numbers, but I participated in  google-analytics-101 webinar with Dana from Talk About Creative a couple of weeks ago, so I'm feeling a little bit more knowledgeable.

First up, some of the definitions {this information can be found under Audience Overview}
  • sessions - the number of visitors to your blog. Here's a link to google's more technical explaination
  • users - the number of unique visitors to your blog. Here's an even more technical explaination from google
  • pageviews - the number of pages viewed during the period
  • bounce rate - the percentage of people that leave your blog after visiting only one page.
Where is traffic coming from? {Aquisition Channels}

Google splits your traffic sources into four channels. Referral lists websites that link to you, organic search is the keywords people searched on google, direct lists the exact link that people followed, and social lists the social media sources.

By clicking social, you can see that my biggest source of traffic is still facebook, followed by pinterest. (I only stumbled my first ever post last week)

Then, under Behaviour, you can see how visitors interact with your site. Knowing where to find this information is important if you're reporting back to a company you worked with to tell them how many visitors your post received. You can use the secondary dimensions tab to find out further information, for example, if you want to know what time visitors click through from facebook.

{I don't understand the full workings of analytics, but googling has provided me with deeper explainations when needed}

Two tips to avoid number burnout
  1. pick a date once a month, and record your stats (page views, bounce rates, users). This will help alleviate the number-obsession that can develop when you're starting out, but means you can see clearly any growth. I've been recording my numbers for four months now, and I can see a slow increase across all my platforms and blog.
  2. don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle. The "big" bloggers have worked hard to get where they are (I avoid saying "a long time", because I've been blogging longer than most of them, but they work bluddy hard at their blogs!)
Are you numbers-obssessed, or happy to forget they exist?



  1. I've used Google Analytics for a while now, firstly on a business website, then more recently on my blog and it is fascinating the information you can glean from it, once you work out how to ask it the right questions! I think it's interesting to look at the 'Behaviour Flow' feature where you can see how visitors interact with various posts/pages - where they go within the site after that initial start. And yes! to picking a single date for recording stats. I do it on the 1st day of every month for the previous month.

  2. Brilliant. I am a long way from stupid (two university degrees one with 1st class honours) but google analytics might as well have been in Greek. This is just what I need - an explanation which I can understand. Thank you!


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