Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Basics: Google Analytics

Oh Google Analytics you confusing little thing you. When I first discovered it I was so hopelessly lost, with all the numbers and graphs, I had no idea what I was looking at. So instead I stuck to the stats provided by my old friend Blogger, and ignored those provided to me by Google Analytics. After years of trying to get on with it, I finally feel like I understand the sheer basics. So I thought I'd write this post especially for those of you that are in the same boat I was, in the sheer hope that it gives you even the slightest clue to what you're looking at. 

Audience Overview // When you first open up Google Analytics this is the first page that loads up. You can recognise which page this is by the fact that it has a big graph and lots of smaller boxes. The smaller boxes tell you various things and you can select a period (and even compare it to a previous one), and it will show you several figures such as the number of users, sessions, page views, and page views per session:  

Sessions // If you don't understand what sessions are, think of them as visits. One session is where one person has visited your blog without closing the tab. If they happen to close your website and then reopen it, you class that as another session, so you would have two (and so on).  

Users // Google Analytics tracks each individual user by their IP address. So each user is a different individual. So if 100 people read your blog, you will have 100 users. 

Page views // This is the total number of pages visited on your website. 

Pages per session // I feel as though this one is pretty self-explanatory. It is the average number of pages someone views when they click onto your website.

Average session duration // Again pretty self-explanatory, but the amount of time someone spends on your blog per visit.

Bounce rate // The rate at which someone clicks on your blog and then 'bounces' back onto the page they were previously viewing. 

New session percentage // The percentage of new visits compared to returning visits. 

Acquisition // Acquisition is basically where all your traffic comes from, or how you 'acquire' it. I find this really useful as it allows you to see which social media platforms you should concentrate on. For example, if you get most of your traffic from Twitter but only tweet once a week, you should start upping your Twitter game. 

All traffic > Source/Medium // This handy little page gives you a list of all that websites that have directed traffic to your blog. It will most likely mention the likes of Bloglovin, organic Google searches, and direct traffic.

Behaviour // Behaviour is useful for getting to know what people are doing whilst they visit your blog. 

Site content > All Pages // This is where you can see what is most popular on your blog. This page displays the most viewed pages on your blog. Usually the homepage (e.g. is displayed first followed by a forward slash ('/').  

Behaviour > Site Speed // Allow not as important as some of the other statistics available on Google Analytics, site speed allows you to see how long it takes to load your website on someone's device. Ideally you are supposed to make sure that your website loads in under 6 seconds. Any slower than this an you may want to consider reducing your image file sizes and getting rid of any unnecessary widgets. 

How do you get on with Google Analytics?

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