How often has a particular blog been read on your website? What region do your website visitors come from? How many visitors does your website have in total? These are all questions you can answer with one tool: Google Analytics. With these five tips, you’ll quickly become familiar with this handy tool from Google.
Google Analytics is free to use and is intended to process data and provide information about your website. In the past, you had to check your server log to see how the traffic to your website was doing, but today that’s much easier thanks to Analytics. Initially, it could only extract information based on the data in its log file, but now it has become much more extensive.
It’s not very easy on the simplest free WordPress site, but if you have a website entirely under your own management, you first generate a code via Google Analytics when you sign up, which you put in the head tag. on your site so Google knows where to look. The data is then displayed in a handy dashboard-style report in Google Analytics. Creating a link to your website is important, because it is not the intention that everyone can just link www.yourwebsite.nl to Google Analytics and get all kinds of information about their visitors.
There is a lot of information that can be found in Google Analytics. There are only standard reports with the figures around: real-time, target group, acquisition, behavior and conversions. Of course, it all depends on what your main reason is for using Analytics. For example, if you want to use it to see the number of visitors and reading figures for a certain article, it’s best to go to ‘Behavior’ and then ‘Site Content’. Also make smart use of the data you can configure, so you can see the figures for a whole year or a specific month in one go. In any case, start small so you don’t get overwhelmed by all the possible ideas.
Remember that Analytics only gives you information, and Google won’t tell you what to do differently. An important part, for example, is the average time that people spend on your page. If you have a blog and you want people to stay on your page longer, you need to figure out how to do it yourself. Checking other websites can also help provide inspiration, but ultimately it’s up to you what you implement to improve those numbers in Google Analytics. Ultimately, you can also choose to hire an expert who will help you once (or regularly) with insights and especially tips on how to do better.
If you create a website with a lot of images of tens of MB, it probably won’t be that fast. After all, a visitor’s device must first download all those large files to properly display the website. Therefore, site builders always strive to create a site that works as fast as possible, because Google ultimately evaluates them better, so they end up in a higher position in the search results. In Google Analytics, you can see how fast your website is by going to Behavior and then Site Speed. The advantage is that Google Analytics plays an advisory role here. It can provide insight into what’s so inhibiting, so you can make adjustments and see again in Analytics if those adjustments have been helpful.
The best thing about Google Analytics is that Google does not analyze everything beforehand. There are a number of basic reports that you can quickly and easily refer to, but you may want to see a slightly different report specifically for the purpose of your website. You can have those reports emailed to you as standard, so you get an email every day with the latest stats, for example. You can do this by setting up a report the way you want (via Customization) and then clicking ‘Share’. You can choose to have it emailed to you as an Excel or PDF document and also for how long.
Ultimately, using Google Analytics also helps when setting a goal. Do you want to improve site speed in 1 second? Do you want to generate more traffic on a certain article? These are all things that Google Analytics gives you an idea of. It’s smart to set yourself a goal, so that you really use the tool as a way to reach new heights. The sooner you realize that using data and personalizing your site really works, the more inspired you’ll be to make more changes and ultimately create a site that you love and works well: if only for Google, because then visitors will follow you automatically.