Learn Google Analytics
Publishing a successful blog is not easy. There are many hard works involved: preparing several drafts, proofreading the final draft, and editing as per the editorial guidelines. Once published: promoting the post, finding target audience, building reach and engagement, and ultimately, generating conversions.
Things may more difficult for new publishers. That doesn’t mean it’s a cakewalk once you’re on the plateau. Things never get easy. Competition and new challenges are always there, in addition to human’s attitude, “never settle.” Publishers always want a better experience for their users, not to mention, their craving for more page views, more engagement, more signups, and above all, more revenue.
This is when Google Analytics comes handy. Every publisher is well aware of Google Analytics and uses its statics to boost their posts. Are they using it to the fullest?
As a publisher, there many things you can learn about Google Analytics. Before, let’s understand the basics: what are dimensions, Goals and Metrics in a Google Analytics Report.
In a Google Analytics report, Dimensions describe your web publication’s’ statistics. If you open the Location Report, each cities represent a dimension of that report. Dimension are displayed on the right side of a report
The various figures in numbers and percentages that define the value of a Dimension are known as Metrics. Metrics are displayed on the right side of Dimensions in a report.
Destination goals are triggered when a user visits a certain page, or multiple pages in specified order. The order is preselected by the webmaster.
Once the basics are covered, let’s cover three advanced things that GA can do:
The default dimensions serve the masses. But what about specific needs of a web publisher. When he or she has to certain a Dimension that’s not covered in the defaults. Google Analytics allows customising the Dimensions. It means the publishers can get almost any kind of statistics related to his published work, answering most of his queries related to his publications like
- Which Article tag is most popular?
- Which Article Category has the maximum reach?
- How the current year’s posts are doing to the last years’?
- What is the length of the post popular Articles or Blogs?
- How the audience is behaving when a post has a video?
These stats will be very beneficial for you to understand what is working and what is not working in your posts. If 400 words’ posts in Travel & Tourism category are gathering maximum traffic in a Google Analytics report, then you can easily divert your energy towards a single category without bothering about other categories and writing a 2000 word article, still getting maximum engagement.
Another Example: If a post of yours with a video is generating healthy traffic but low conversion, it means your audience is more likely to check a post with a video than without it. However, on finding your video boring, they’re leaving the page without bothering about filling the contact us form.
Likewise, custom Dimensions can give you a hell lot of information, making you writing more engaging and converting posts than ever.
Sometimes a smaller picture is not enough and you need a bigger one to figure things out. This is when Google Analytics Segments come in the picture. They can be applied to expand any Google Analytics report.
Let’s take an example. The figures on “Overview” page of Google Analytics can easily freak a webmaster, finding bounce rate exceeding 60% is sign of panic after all. However, the “Overview” session shows the average of Google Analytics stats. If we bring country “Sessions” in the picture, the picture looks entirely different. Due to language difference, the bounce from Spain was reaching 100%, which was deflecting the average bounce rate.
The same “Panicked” Webmaster will now simply filter out traffic from Spain and other non-English countries using Google Webmaster. Now the overview will show normal bounce rate.
Destination and Event Goals
Destination goals are a great way to track number of successful sign ups, newsletter registration, or a subscribe page, depending upon the link Goal setup. The Goal can be made to be triggered in a particular sequence using Funnels.
However, only clicks to a page on same domain can be monitored with Goals. For tracking external clicks, Event Goals are required. It means for tracking a click on one YouTube video or an advertisement on your website, Destination Goals are not going to work, and you have to use Event Goals.
The setup of Event Goals is a bit complicated than of Destination Goals’. It may require a bit of programming knowledge and, subsequent, testing.
Event Goals are a great ways for tracking pages that don’t have a destination like a download link or an AJAX button that doesn’t initiates a new HTTP request to the server.
With these techniques, you’ll not only have a better understanding of your audience, but also you’ll become a better web publisher.
Learn to create user segments to appreciate your users, and don’t forget to track goals. What can be better place than Google Analytics can?