Google Analytics is an amazing tool that’s both robust and free. Given the amount of data and insights Google Analytics can provide, we think it’s an important tool for anyone with a website to know how to use.
Unfortunately, we’ve found that a lot of people just don’t know what to do with it or how to get started. So here are five tips for Google Analytics beginners to start digging into their data. And don’t forget to check out the first five tips.
Watch Your Traffic in Real-Time
One awesome feature of Google Analytics is the Real-Time section. As you may have guessed, this feature lets you see how many people are visiting your site throughout the day in real-time.
This is helpful if, like me, you’re impatient and want to see how many people are reading your blog during the day, or if you announce a promotion and want to monitor it’s performance.
Viewing this feature is super simple. In the left column, select “Real-Time” and “overview.” This shows you how many site visitors you have at that moment, where they’re located, how long they’ve been on the page, how they came to your site, and which pages they’re on.
See Which Devices Visitors Use
Under the “Audience” section click the “Mobile” drop down and select “Overview.” Like described in the previous blog, you can change the date range for the data as desired. This page shows you data similar to the Audience Overview but breaks down the information according to which device the visitor used to view your site.
If you notice that a lot of traffic is coming from smart phones and tablets, you want to make sure your site is mobile optimized. Checking the bounce rate and session duration for each device can help you determine if visitors are having difficulty using your mobile site. For example, if your mobile bounce rate is 75% and the session duration is only a few seconds this is a clear indication you should rethink your mobile strategy
Or, if you’ve recently made changes to your mobile site you can compare data before and after the changes to track improvements.
Learn Which Pages are the Most Viewed
Knowing how much total traffic you’re site gets is important, but you probably want to know where on your site visitors spend their time. You can find that information under “Behavior”>“Site Content”>”All Pages.” Here you can see how many views a page received during a given time period, how long visitors spent on the page, the bounce rate, and more.
This can tell you if visitors are finding the most important information on your site or if you should make adjustments.
Monitor Your Site Speed
Under “Behavior” and “Site Speed” you’ll find data on, you guessed it, the speed of your website. This section is full of useful data about your site. Like we’ve mentioned before, users expect fast load times and will abandon a site if it takes more than a few seconds to load.
In the “Overview” section you’ll see the average page load time, plus the average page load by browser, country, and page. Under “Page Timings” you’ll see details on load times for your top viewed pages. “Speed Suggestions” will advise you on how to improve the load times of given pages.
Monitoring and improving your site speed will make your customers happy and encourage them to spend more time on your site.
Use In-Page Analytics
One of the coolest features of Google Analytics is In-Page Analytics. If you get to this page and aren’t able to see the analytics, you may need to download the Chrome extension to use this tool. This will let you go to any page on your website and see the number of page views, time on page, bounce rate, real-time analytics, and also show you what percentage of visitors are clicking any of the links on your page.
For example, say you’re on your company’s homepage. This tool will show you what percentage of visitors click on your “about” page, “contact us,” “careers,” etc.
Have any questions about these or other Google Analytics features? Ask them in the comments below.