getting started with google analytics

When I say Google Analytics, you probably look for the closest exit sign. Your mind becomes flooded with lots of complicated-looking reports and numbers that make no sense. Maybe it is something you’ve heard briefly mentioned but it is on the lowest of low on your priority list. You are already juggling enough—why add this one thing that you don’t even know how to use?

I want to talk to you about how you don’t need to be a statistics major to start using your Google Analytics. I believe all serious bloggers should be looking at their data in Google Analytics.

I’m here to tell you that it can help you make better decisions online and, as a result, grow your following!

First of all, what does it do? Basically, Google Analytics lets you track all site traffic on one domain. By traffic, I mean all visits to your site. The best part is that the tool is absolutely free and the initial setup takes less than 5 minutes.

So, you are probably wondering what kind of information or data you can see. Or more important, what do all those ugly reports mean?

There are three main areas the data is organized in: who your visitors are (Audience), where visits are coming from (Acquisition), and what visitors are doing on your site (Behavior).

When looking at Audience, you can get demographic and interest data on your visitors. For your Acquisition data, you can see how visitors are coming to your site. They could be coming from your e-mail campaign, from Facebook ads, or by directly typing the URL in their browser. And finally, under Behavior data, you can see which pages are most popular on your site, from your main site sections to your blog posts.

Maybe you are starting to imagine what your data would look like and what you could do with it. That’s great! Or maybe you are like, “Why should I care? I’m not a numbers person anyway!”

I get it; numbers aren’t your jam. However, knowing how your site stands right now can help you when pitching to potential sponsors and can inspire you in the content you are creating today.

Here are some real-life case studies of what you could do with your data:

  • You realize that you have more traffic coming from your weekly Twitter posts than from your paid Facebook ads. You decide to hold off on the paid ads for now to spend more time and energy on your Twitter content.
  • The majority of visitors to your site are women between the ages of 35 – 45. You update your ideal client profile to include this age range and brainstorm what kind of content would interest this type of visitor.
  • You notice that, in the last 30 days, your most popular post has been on planning and hosting a mermaid-themed party. You take that theme and create additional content to compliment the post to continue driving traffic to your site.

Are you starting to see how using your data can change where you focus your attention for both your content and marketing strategy?

And this is just scratching the surface! Over time you will be able to get more and more accurate with what the data is telling you.

Want to get started using your Google Analytics data today? Join my 5-day e-mail course Site Traffic Secrets. I will help you get started with accessing and understanding your reporting from the beginning and get you inspired to continue using your reporting in the future.

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