Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tool for analyzing the traffic and change your plan according to the need.
In our previous article, we discussed about Google Webmaster Tools and in another article we wrote how to integrate Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics.
Preference of verification methods for Google Analytics
You can either manually put the tracking code after registering for Google Analytics account or can use various plugins available for WordPress. Both the ways are same and we noticed no flaw in Google analytics reporting when either of the method alone is used.
In Google Analytics is currently offered in two flavors : the traditional view and the new Beta version of new Google Analytics. We will use the screenshots of the new Beta version of Google analytics here, as possibly it will be adapted in future by Google. The basic functions are obviously the same in either way of Google Analytics.
After logging in, you will find two ways to navigate in Google Analytics : through the upper navigation and left handed pane. We will keep the upper navigation set to “My Site” in Google Analytics and will discuss point by point about the left handed column in Google Analytics. Also, we are discussing about “Reports” in Google Analytics.
On the left handed pane of Google Analytics; you will see there are four main tabs, which can be extended as drop down menu to reveal more options. These four main tabs are:
- Traffic Sources
We are going in to a bit detail for each of them.
Extending the Visitors option in Google Analytics
As you can see in the left sided screenshot of Google Analytics panel where the Visitors main tab has been extended; there are four sub links : Overview, Demographics, Behavior and Technology.
Overview is self explanatory. From the right sided top pane in Google Analytics, you can click the Advanced segments option to filter out type of visitors in the Google Analytics report; you can save the data from the next option Export or can change the time period to monitor your traffic trend. When you mouse over any point on the graph; it will show you the date and number of unique visits for that date.
Under Demographics, you will get four options. For most of us, Location is alone important in these sub section of Google Analytics. Obviously, it is important that your target demographic area (if any) and the reported should match.
Next is Behavior, you will get New vs Returning visitors data, Frequency and engagement data.
Under the Technology sub link; it is important to check the percentage of Mobile users as more mobile users might give more bounce rate (mobile users generally surf one page only).
The most important points in this category in Google Analytics to notice are : Bounce rate and Pageviews (under Visitor Trending in Google Analytics).
Traffic Sources category in Google Analytics
If you extend this option, you will get 3 sub links:
- Incoming sources
This Incoming sources in Google Analytics gives very important data. Kindly note the changes and try to understand the trend. It is unfortunately, beyond our scope to write details here. Google Analytics it self is a specialized topic, indeed.
Content in Google Analytics
If you extend this option in Google Analytics, you will get 6 sub links:
- Site content
- Site search
- Site speed
Again, we are repeating; Google analytics is so useful and provides so much information, it is beyond the capacity of a single article to write about each section separately. Plus, it is a matter of fact, you will get bored to read tons of informations about how to use Google Analytics, that is why, we have highligted only the must to be monitored areas of Google Analytics.
The above section in Google Analytics is important to predict how your blog / site will perform in future. Only exception is, if some black Hat SEO trick is applied; most professional and Expert SEO consultant will fail to predict.
- The Pages submenu of this part of Google Analytics shows the currently most searched and used pages of your blog. Do not worry if you have changed your writing topic in recent 8 weeks : it might not come up despite they are popular. Here is why Google Webmaster Tools should be used side by side.
- Content drill down reporting in Google Analytics can perfect your writing niche. For Example; for this site, the archives of 2011 are most popular than 2010, as we added newer topics. Google Analytics in this way is supporting that our idea of adding new topics was right.
- Top landing pages appears best if you have integrated Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. In brief, these are what those are / will appear in your Sitelinks. So, reinforce them or weaken them as per your wish or target.
- Exit pages in Google Analytics: either you can repair the weak points (wrong titles, poor design and navigations etc) or simply observe. Because, at one point, visitors will leave the site, definitely!