Using Google Analytics

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Having a website is great but when you're not reviewing who's checking in, where they're looking and how long they're on your site for you're not using your website to its full potential! 

Here is where Google Analytics comes in - your new best mate

Setting up Google Analytics to your website means you now have in depth access to find out more about what people are doing on your website. It can seem a bit overwhelming at first but I recommend you add Google Analytics tracking your website and then start by reviewing these 5 sections below.

  1. Unique Page Views - the number of sessions during which a page was been viewed one or more times. This will eliminate the 100 page views your mum has done whilst showing all her friends your newest piece of artwork or your latest product you're selling. You can also stop Google Anayltics from tracking your views too, I highly recommend you set this up. Find Unique Page Views by clicking "Behaviour" in the left hand bar, then "Overview", in the top right hand corner choose your date range, eg 1st Dec 2018 - 31st Dec 2018. 
  2. Average Time On Page - Average time on page is going to give you an indication of how long people spent looking at your content. If you've written a crazy long blog post and the average time on the page is 30 seconds, they've obviously not found the content they wanted. Therefore if you review the average time on each page that you've posted during the month you'll start to see if the content you're producing elicits a better outcome. Find average time on page by clicking "Behaviour" in the left hand bar, then "Site Content" then "Content Drill Down" and then you'll want to click your way through the options on the main screen. As my website is created using Squarespace my options show "Blog", then choose month "12" for December and then all my blog posts for that month show with their individual data including average time on page. 
  3. Bounce Rate - % of visitors who leave your site after viewing one page. The aim of reviewing this is that you want to have content on your site which will keep people looking around and staying for longer. Tracking this, along with your average time on page, will help give you an indication of dwell time on your site. Find Bounce Rate by clicking "Behaviour" in the left hand bar, then "Overview", you can then choose your date range, eg 1st Dec 2018 - 31st Dec 2018 in the top right hand corner. 
  4. Users - Number of browsers that have been used to reach your site. Although it isn't the number of people who have visited it gives you the closest idea. Find Users by clicking "Audience" in the left hand bar, then "Overview". In the top right hand corner choose your date range, eg 1st Dec 2018 - 31st Dec 2018. 
  5. Popular Pages - I recommend also tracking down which were your popular pages that month. Keeping a track of these can help towards finding a theme that your audience enjoy reading. Find Popular Pages by clicking "Behaviour" in the left hand bar, then "Overview", then in the top right hand corner choose your date range, eg 1st Dec 2018 - 31st Dec 2018. A list of your most popular pages will show in the bottom right hand corner. Click on a particular post to get more information. 


What to do with all this data?

You'll want to keep track of all your in a spreadsheet or a notebook (any excuse to buy a new notebook hey!). Do this by writing down your stats on the first of every month for the previous month's data. The main aim each month will be to increase your page views, your users, average time on page and decrease your bounce rate vs the month before. Dependent on your business, comparing the data vs the month before might not be helpful so you can always compare it to the same time the previous year (once you've been tracking your data for that long). 

Don't be disheartened if your data feels lower than you expected, you've now got a number to work on each month. You can then also review what your most popular posts / pages are so you can get a good idea of what people enjoy reviewing. Have a look around Google Analytics to see what else you want to start noting down as this data is inevitably going to help you track your goals (more on this in my marketing strategy series, Refresh). 

Image: Lizzie Darden

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