To recap: in our previous blog ‘Part 3 – Get Found (Better)’, we discussed the following:
1. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes
Think of yourself as a storyteller and put yourself in your reader’s shoes:
Every blog should have a clear message
This ‘clear message’ should be reflected in the keyword and title
Stick to one ‘clear message’ per blog
Make the title / headings catchy
2. Optimise your blog for SEO purposes
We touched upon SEO-optimisation in Part 2’s ‘5 reasons why Google ‘likes’ blogs’ section; i.e. having internal and external links.
Part 3’s ‘Get Found (Better)’ elaborated on ‘best-practise’ recommendations for SEO-optimisation.
3. Cornerstone content
Cornerstone content can either be a blog post or a page
Think of it like a skeleton which holds the whole website together and which you can flesh out with other posts and articles.
In this blog ‘Part 4 – Get Analysed’, we’ll introduce the concept of Google Analytics and the 3 Key Areas for Beginners to focus on in order to improve your website’s performance.
About Google Analytics ‘GA’
Google Analytics ‘GA’ is a very powerful tool which tracks all the website data for your websites (although for the purposes of this beginners’ article, we will assume there is only one website).
1.Set up your GA account
Select your primary Google account – make sure this is your own personal Google account, not anybody else’s (web developer, web hosting provider…etc) or else they will have control over all your Google data which could prove tricky if you part company one day.
[Note: Kehorne will always set up your Google Analytics using your primary Google account!]
Go to Google Analytics, click the ‘Sign in to Analytics’ button on the top right and follow the on-screen steps.
[We won’t reproduce the whole sign-up process here, but there is an excellent step-by-step guide for absolute beginners, complete with screen shots at www.moz.com. Of course, if you are a Kehorne client, we will copy and paste any GA links into your website – all you have to do is to provide us with your primary Google account details and the tracking code you receive when you sign up which ensures that the account is ‘yours’.]
2.View your Audience Overview report
Once GA has been set up for your website, every time you log in to GA you will be taken to your Audience Overview report.
[Audience Overview report image]
GA provides a huge amount of data (far more than the average user needs) so let’s try simplifying things here and focus just upon the first graph which appears in your Audience Overview report – Google Analytics Home:
i. Users – a unique identifier associated with each user is sent with each hit to your account to establish how many times it has been visited within a given timescale (GA defaults to 7 days – issue here if too low).
ii. Bounce rate – a bounce is defined as “single-page session on your site”; i.e. if a user only opens a single page on your site and then exits without viewing any other pages (if the success of your site depends on users viewing more than one page, then there is an issue if too high…although if you have a single page site or blog, then this will not be an issue) .
iii. Session duration – the period of time a user is active on your site (issue if too low).
If you happen to navigate away, just click ‘Home’ [top-left] and Google will take you back to this page, starting with the ‘Google Analytics Home’ graph.
Start to analyse Reports
The Audience Overview page represents a summary of all your GA data. However, you can drill down into any of these fields by using the ‘Reports’ tab on the left-hand side.
This provides a wealth of data (sometimes overwhelmingly so!); for example, to analyse your ‘Users’, click on ‘Audience’ and a drop-down menu appears with a long list of options beginning with ‘Overview’, ‘Active Users’…etc. Each of these options brings up a new report, so for example, in ‘Interests’ you can analyse your user profile by age, gender, interest, geographic location.
If you follow the steps above, you will be able to:
Install Google Analytics (GA) on your website;
View your key website data metrics via the ‘Google Analytics Home’ graph; and,
Start to navigate your way through the ‘Reports’ function to drill down into your GA data.
The next blog in our series will be ‘Part 5– Get Analysed (Better)’ where we’ll look at the more advanced capabilities behind Google Analytics to make you aware of what it can do in the hands of a professional web developer (or a very keen amateur!)