Sarah from Back Home Blue is back to up our Google Analytics game– time for a 201!
In my Blogger U: Google Analytics 101 post, we talked about the very basics of Google Analytics– what is it, why you should use it, and a few things to get you started. Now that you know about making sure your Google Analytics code is properly set up and have an idea of what you can see in the Audience Overview panel, let’s dig a little deeper into Google Analytics.
Do you have a conversion action on your blog such as a newsletter sign up or an e-book download? You may want to consider setting up goal tracking, located under “conversions” on the left hand drop down menu.
Goal tracking is what it sounds like– how many people downloaded your e-book or signed up for your newsletter? Once your goals are established, there is so much knowledge to be gleaned from the data. You can see where people come from, the path they take to conversion, even the type of device they are converting on. This data will help you make changes to your site to improve performance. If you are an e-commerce shop, there is extensive e-commerce goal tracking available as well.
Goal tracking can get tricky. I recommend reading through Google’s Goal Tracking Help Center before getting started.
Did you know site speed is one of the key components Google looks at when scraping you site? If your site is slow to load, Google will count it as a strike against you, potentially knocking you further down in search results. The good news is, Google also gives you suggestions on how to fix it. Site Speed is located under “Behavior” on the left-hand menu.
I recommend checking your site speed periodically. Things like lots of graphics or hosting issues can cause your site to slow down. While writing this post, I learned that so far this month, my blog has loaded exceptionally slow due to problems with my host and I’m now looking into how to fix that.
Another component Google looks at when scraping your site is how mobile-friendly it is. As of April 21st, Google really leans mobile first. To see how people are viewing your site, just go to Audiences -> Mobile. In the overview, you will see “desktop,” “phone,” and “tablet.” If you click “devices” you can then see what kind of phones, tablets, etc. are being used to access your site.
Not sure if your site is mobile-ready? Just use Google’s handy Mobile-Friendly Tester. Plug in your URL, wait a few moments, and ta-da! If your site is mobile-friendly, you will get a pass screen. If not, Google will let you know what to do to correct it.
Do you find yourself jumping all around Google Analytics looking at specific data? Google lets you create a custom dashboard which can even be shared with collaborators. This dashboard can include everything from basic information like page views and unique visitors to conversion data.
To create your own dashboard, simply click “New Dashboard” at the top. You can add modules and change graph styles until you are satisfied. Just remember that if you share the dashboard with collaborators, you will need to re-send the share link any time you make an edit.
Again, we are just scratching the surface of what Google Analytics can do. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at Back Home Blue!
Sarah blogs at Back Home Blue and is an ambassador for The Blogger Collective.