Google Analytics is an unfortunate but necessary part of a blogger's life. It's confusing, muddled, messy and definitely not easy to decode. How do you find the information that you're looking for? I've been using Google Analytics with Raye Social from the beginning(August) and I'm here to assist you through your analytics journey!
If you aren't familiar with google analytics, it's a tool to help you track traffic to your website. If you applied for a sponsorship or hit up a huge PR company they have probably asked to see screenshots of your traffic. While each platform usually offers their own version of the analytics, Google is the industry standard.
Let's start with the lingo on the main page! You might assume that sessions mean how many people have clicked on your site. Sessions actually mean what happened at one time that someone or a group of people logged on to your site. So one session could be 5 people logged on, clicking through different pages simultaneously. A session is the amount of time not the number of people. The bounce rate is the amount of your traffic that leaves after only hitting the main page. The rest of the terms are self-explanatory.
As a blogger, there are a few key things you want to take notice of.
- The bounce rate
- Demographics (age, sex, income)
- Content drill down (found under behavior, site content)
- Referrals (the origins of your traffic; found under acquisition and all traffic)
The bounce rate shows if your content is compelling enough to keep someone on your page. If your bounce rate is really high 40% or more, consider making your front page more appealing, adding more photos or better headlines. The purpose of demographics is solely for selling. This information is great if you are an affiliate marketer and looking for content to post for your readers. If you realize that you're writing for women ages 18-26 but men ages 25-32 are on your site, alter your content to include them as well for more hits and longer stay time. The content drill down shows you which pages are getting the most hits, you should write more content like the ones that are garnering the most traffic. As for referrals, that is the most important analytic to me because it shows me if my social media plan is working. As you can see I get about half of my referrals from twitter. So that means my tweets are freaking working! I haven't received any hits from Instagram or Pinterest, so I may want to adjust my social media plan to increase those areas as well.