Until just over a year ago, Google Analytics was a completely foreign subject to me. I had no idea what it was, how to use it, or why it would become so beneficial to me.
Fast forward to 2016, where I’ve now been to multiple digital marketing masterclasses, workshops hosted by Google, and plenty of meetings-slash-training-sessions with my manager on how to master the dreaded world of Google Analytics (GA). GA is critical to online businesses, and can also be extremely beneficial to bloggers, telling you everything from your demographics to your most popular posts, which you can then leverage to massively increase your blog’s traffic.
I’ve never done a post like this before, so I’m not entirely sure how beginner I should go in terms of content, but the idea came about when I was chatting to my blogger bestie Victoria, and she mentioned that she had absolutely zero clue about GA. So, I’ve decided to touch on three of the most basic tools GA has to offer.
1 – Users Vs Sessions Vs Page Views
This is something I really, really struggled to get my head around, so I’m going to try and simplify it as much as possible.
So, let’s say I am the only visitor on your blog on November 1st and I visit your homepage, your about page, and your contact page. Your Google Analytics dashboard will say: 1 user, 1 session, 3 page views – because I am one user, I visited three pages, and I did it all in one session.
Then let’s say I came back to your blog the next day (using the same laptop), and I read three more blog posts. Assuming you have no other visits, your GA dashboard will now say: 1 user, 2 sessions, 6 page views.
A ‘user’ is simple the number of people, and a ‘page view’ is how many blog posts they read. The tricky part (in my opinion) are the ‘sessions’, which typically reset at the end of every day.
2 – Bounce Rate
Bounce rate measures if a person clicked onto your blog and either stayed on for 10/15 mins, reading through lots of articles and checking our your pictures, or if they clicked onto your blog, didn’t scroll through the post, didn’t read anything and subsequently left. This is where you need to realise that more traffic isn’t always better. In short, as a blogger, you want your bounce rate to be quite low.
If a visitor finds your blog and leaves within 10 seconds, your page will have a high bounce rate, meaning this reader either didn’t like your content, didn’t find what they were looking for and they haven’t clicked on to any other posts on your blog. For me, I’m not happy with a bounce rate that goes above 50/60%, and I tend not to write too many posts of that style again. Check your posts that have the lowest bounce rate – these are generally the posts that people have found to be the most interesting or useful, and the posts you should be writing more of!
3 – Demographics
Your demographics on GA will tell you everything from the percentage of men vs women visiting your blog, their age, their interests, what country they’re visiting from etc… Chances are, if you’ve been creating the content you set out to create in the first place, you should have a pretty good idea of these stats already – i.e. my fashion & beauty posts aren’t written with men in mind, hence why only 20% of my readers are dudes.
These tips can be used to help define your audience. And if you’re looking to take your blog to the next level, a lot of brands and PR agencies will ask more about your demographics if they’re interested in collaborating with you, because they need to make sure their target audience is in line with yours.
Comment below and let me know what you think of this post. Was it helpful? Should I do more of them? What else do you want to know? xxx