This is the third part of the ‘Technical Help for Beginners’ series of blog posts and in this post, we are going to talk about setting up the Google Analytics for your blog.
Google Analytics is a metric tool that helps you understand how the visitors are interacting with your blog.
Knowing where the visitors are coming from, what posts they are reading, how much time they are spending on your blog is very important insight and helps you understand how your are achieving your goal and plan the content accordingly.
Creating an account on Google Analytics is as easy as creating an email account, in fact, you can start using it right away if you already have a Google account.
Setting Up Google Analytics
Setting up Google Analytics is very straight forward. It is built in a way that it can let you track different websites or apps.
If you have got only one website, you can start right away, but if you plan to add more in near future, it will be best to keep it organized.
In Google Analytics, you can create around 100 accounts and add different properties in them, treat these accounts as separate projects, where you can add different properties (websites, apps) and share the access of these accounts with others.
For example, I have created two accounts for me, (Authority Websites and Side Projects) and have added my websites into them accordingly, I am sharing the analytic with different people, writers, developers etc.
You might not require all the features it offers, but it knowing this will help you make the best use of Google Analytics for your online business. Create the account, add your website and you are good to go.
Installing the Tracking codes into WordPress
You will get different tracking codes for different properties, which can be inserted into the website. As this guide is about WordPress, we will cover only that part.
Usually, many WordPress themes offer an easy way to insert codes in a blog, but you can go ahead and add the Codes into your WordPress theme yourself.
Just find the footer.php from the editor, found under Appearance tab in WordPress dashboard. Open footer.php and add the codes to the bottom, just before the </body> tag. (as shown in the image below)
If you are scared to go there or have never played with your theme files, don’t try this. Fortunately, there is a better solution available for you.
There are Plugins available that let you insert codes quite easily. The other benefit of using Plugins for the tracking codes insertion is that you don’t have to worry about putting them again in case you have changed your blog’s theme.
It has happened to me many times where I changed or updated my theme and the tracking codes were gone, you realize it when you head over to Google Analytics to track the performance of your blog and you are welcomed by a flat line.
A Plugin called Super Simple Google Analytics makes it easier to avoid playing around with your theme’s codes and losing analytic reports when you change the design of your blog.
The plugin has got a simple settings page where you just have to insert the numbers from your tracking code, which looks something like UA- XXXXXXXX – XX.
Important Metrics you should look for
Now that you have set up and installed the codes of Google Analytics into your blog, here are some important metrics you should look for while tracking the performance of your blog.
Where is the visitor coming from?
Look at the visitors, where are they coming from, Search engines? Social Media? Which website is sending you the most traffic and how many are directly visiting it.
All these things will help you focus on that particular area where your blog is gaining more traction. If it’s from Search engines, look for which type of posts are ranking well, if it’s from Social Media, see which kind of content people are sharing the most. It’s a very valuable information in growing your blog.
How much time is a visitor spending on your blog?
Measure the time spend by the visitors on an average, this helps you lean whether they are reading your posts or simply jump to another site without even completing their read. It will let you know if your content is useful to them or not. Find out how many pages does a visitor visitors on an average.
You can improve the navigation of your blog, create a simple design, make the kind of content which is getting more attraction.
Also Read: How to Decrease Bounce Rate of Your Blog
Look for the top pages of your blog.
Most visited pages, pages where the visitor stayed for longer will help you learn what kind of content you should create for your visitors. This also gives an opportunity to showcase your other articles by leaving their links on these tops pages.
You can also put a strong Call to Action (CTA) to your top performing posts which will convert more.
Will all these information at hand, you can make the most of your time and take your blog to the next level. So, it is essential that you start using Google Analytics right from the beginning.