What is Google Analytics? A Google Analytics Walkthrough (+video)

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free tool provided by Google to help report useful information about your website and site visitors. New users to WordPress often aren’t ware of just how useful Google Analytics is – so they don’t set it up. It’s awesome though. Everyone should set up an account and turn it on. Here’s some background and a Google Analytics walkthrough.

Some major data provided

There is a ton of information provided by Google Analytics so this is nowhere near comprehensive. Some of the most useful reports though – to me at least – are:

  • Total page views over a certain period of time
  • Trends in page views over a period of time
  • How did views find your site
    • Social media, referrals from another site, search engine, etc.
  • How many pages does the average site visitor click before leaving?
  • How many of your views are return views versus new viewers?
  • Are your viewers mostly men or women? What are groups visit your site the most?
  • What is your average page load time?
    • Are there certain pages that load slower than others? If so, why?
  • Who is active on your site right now?
  • …and more!

Getting set up

I’ll cover setting this all up in another post and video, but for now just go over to Google Analytics and set up an account. Until it is integrated with your site it won’t track any data, but setting up the account is the first step anyway – so go do that now.

Here’s a 10-minute video demo and Google Analytics walkthrough of some of the features

Hope you enjoyed this demo walk through of Google Analytics – and the answer to “What is Google Analytics?”

Happy blogging!

Video Transcript

Wow for new WordPress bloggers or people that have just launched a website you may not be familiar with Google Analytics and the intent of this short video is just to show you some of the really awesome statistics and metrics that you can get from Google Analytics we’re not going to deal with setting it up or anything in this video just to give you a little bit of an idea of what information is available what we’re looking at right now is the dashboard for one of the sites that I manage dashboards are fully customizable as you can see right here you can actually add different widgets I’m not going to add widget right now but you’ve got a lot of different options each one of these boxes are a widget you can drag the widgets change around the view placement what this looks like you can see I’ve got page views users bounce rate a couple of things here it’s totally customizable it’s your own personal dashboard clicking add some other things here there’s a real-time option this is not a super busy website so currently there are zero people on the website you can see that there were some people you know in the last minutes there were a couple of people who are visiting if there were visitors on the website or if somebody showed up or shows up while we’re looking at this video right now it’ll actually show you how many people are there where they came from and what page they’re currently looking at and it will even put a little circle on the map here showing where they are in fact let me open a different tab and then go to a page on that website while that page loads in another tab let’s see it shows up there you go one person and they’re on the home page they’re not a referral source because I just typed the information in directly and it’s going to show you where I’m coming from so that’s pretty interesting especially if you have a lot of people that actually go to your website on a regular basis some of the past websites that have run you need to have you know dozens or hundreds of people on the website any one point in time it’s just interesting to track some of that information so getting away from real-time let’s look at some of the other interesting information click on audience overview you can see here that we are showing the sessions over a period of time you can change the time period this is going for the last days sorry there we go it’s shown by day you can actually change that to hourly if you want to by week by month day is a pretty good metric to look at and you can say say hey they got a nice little bump here on this day you can coordinate that with any of your marketing activities or new post that was released it’ll tell you let’s say % of % of the traffic in this past days were returning visitors % where new visitors total number of sessions pageviews pages per sessions is interesting you know you want higher number of pages processions somebody will land somewhere on your website and you want them to click other pages while they’re there or take some actions so a higher number there is obviously better so let’s look at some more stuff we have let’s go back in here let’s look at demographics so you can get some demographic information about the users that visit your website you can see here that the largest age group for this particular website is to years it’s percent of the traffic almost percent of the traffic is male percent of the traffic is female you can click and get some kind of more detailed information excuse me on those two metrics there also you can look at some of their interests so the people that visit this website based on other websites they also visit you can see that they like financial services information about employment travel and hotels they like cooking investing their business professionals stuff like that let’s look at some other things here behavior is interesting it’s just a further breakdown of the information that you saw earlier it’s going to show you new versus returning visits % of about % by the way a lot of these different reports are actually hyperlinks you can click into these reports and see some additional information on them also technology it’s interesting you can look at the browser the operating system that they’re running mobile I think is really interesting and in fact this surprises a lot of people so look at mobile here % of the traffic to this website is from the desktop % from a mobile phone and % from a tablet so over % of the traffic comes from a mobile phone or a tablet device I think that’s very interesting information what it does tell you is you want to make sure that you look at your website from multiple devices make sure that it’s responsive and that looks good from different devices actually yeah so let’s look at user flow real quickly here this is kind of interesting this will actually tell you so somebody is country here for some reason leave I want to waste too much of your time but I believe there is page landing page here we go so you can see that the top landing page is the home page that’s where the slash is and then these lines gray lines that you see here it’ll actually help you understand what they gone after they go to that page so from right here from the homepage the biggest number of people are clicking over to the vlog this other line is going down here to about coaches what is coaching etc so it gives you a little bit of a understanding of the flow of people coming to your website and then what they click specifically not just that they are clicking things but what they are clicking and in what order acquisition great information right here so you can see that % of the traffic comes from social networks % is direct % referrals and % organic search to help clarify this a little bit social is fairly obvious it’s going to be Facebook Twitter kora Pinterest things like that organic searches if somebody actually types something into a search engine like Google referral is if somebody has linked to a page on your site from another person’s website so they were referred to your site from another now direct is actually misleading direct is people that specifically type in the URLs but it’s also all other information that Google is just not able to show us the details about so if somebody’s set up some sort of a secure connection for some reason and Google can actually track how that person got over to your website they put it under direct so direct is a little misleading % of the traffic did not specifically type out the entire URL to go to this website as I mentioned you can click on these links so let’s just go ahead and click on social here quickly and this is going to give you a further breakdown so you can see the number of people and the percentage from each of the different social media venues that came over here again this is for the day period that’s defined up at the top and then you can even drill down further let’s click on Facebook and you can see the traffic from Facebook over each day over that day period of time you can see here there is a big jump and it would be interesting for somebody to look into the details of what and with that jump on that day search console is something you have to actually enable it’s not turned on by default I don’t believe you have to have the search console turned on itself and you have to link the search console into your analytics but once you’ve done that there’s some good information here it will tell you which pages are showing up within search engines and very importantly it’ll also tell you what queries what things are people typing into the search engine that is causing them to find your results then click over to it so you can see the number of clicks that people had from the search engine how many impressions there were so you can see this top one here there were six clicks for impressions the second one there were five clicks for impressions let’s see here this also shows you the average page position so this second one right here is . is the average position in the search results is pretty good anything in and less is really good because that’s going to be a first page result all right we can drill down on some of the social it’s basically the information that was summarized earlier it just gives you another view into it behavior very similar here you can look at site content and let’s go ahead and show this it’s going to show over the last day period again total number of page views which matches the dashboard and then it’s going to show you which pages and the number of pages for each one of those pages so you can see the most popular pages on your website sites B is interesting and soon we’re going to have a video on that if not already by the time you read this just talking about how to optimize a website a little bit this . is absolutely horrible so there’s something that needs to happen there to improve things we can look at page timings specifically Green is good it’s loading faster than average and we’ve got a bunch of those is one page right here is really slow though and it’s throwing off the average so that’s something worth looking into speech suggestions is going to open up the page speed insights from Google again that’s going to be in a different video we’re going to go over that later but I just want to show you those options there right now that is pretty much the the biggest and most popular stuff that people tend to look at so I’m going to leave you with that there do you think that you should probably go ahead and get Google Analytics enabled get an account set up and get it working on your website so you can start tracking this information and be more efficient with how you’re serving your customers hope this helps

Brad Kingsley

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