Newbie’s Cheat Sheet to Google Analytics

So you’ve finally done it. You feel pretty good about blogging, but you just hate to worry about the stats. But tragically, stats are important. They tell you how you are connecting with your readers, what works, what doesn’t, and how good (or bad) you are doing overall.

The first step to analyzing your blog’s well being is utilizing Google Analytics.  And if you are having trouble getting beyond step one – installation – make sure you check out this step-by-step guide to get you through that first hurdles.

If you’ve come this far, make sure to wait a couple of weeks, because it takes time for the information to come in and once you do have it available, here are a few tips to consider –

1) Bounce Rate

When you first glance at your stats, you will notice this percentage. This will tell you about the people visiting your site. If you are percentage is at about 90% or above, this gives you an idea that people don’t spend much time at your site. In fact, they bounce along quicker than you would like to admit. You will want to pay attention to this number, because it will give you a good idea on how people feel about your site. If you want to reduce that rate, make sure to check out this link.

2) Search Terms

The next thing you need to examine, is how exactly people find your site according to search terms. You can find this by going to traffic sources, then click sources, and there you can click “search.”

In there, you will learn about the most popular search terms for your site. For most of us, it’s usually the name of the site itself (this is when you begin to regret your decision). You will also take a look at the length of time people spend on your site according to that search term. If people are searching for marketing techniques and explore a variety of terms, yet they only spend about 10 seconds on your marketing blog, it’s time to return to the drawing board.

3) Length of time on the site

This is another eye opener stat. If you notice that the number is only 30 seconds or so, this let’s you know that people need a greater purpose of spending time on your blog. Add additional content and give people a reason to peruse the goods. Why is this so important? The longer people spend on your site, the more likely they will want to return and go back for more information.

4) New Users vs Returning Users

I usually take a look at the graph version of this, because i am a visual person overall. There are two different color on this graph. One belongs to new users, the other to returning users. You want to see that returning users are at least a pretty great section of the graph. This will tell you not only do people like what you have to say, and have a reason to stick around, but they also have a reason to come back. If you are wondering how to keep your returning users to come back for more, reward them in some way, whether it’s coupons, freebies, additional content they may find useful/entertaining/funny, etc.

5) Monthly Visitors Vs Unique Visitors

If you happen to sell advertising space, or consider this, you will want to pay attention to this number. (Explain the difference between monthly and unique visitors). This will tell you the number of people each month that visit your site. The unique visitor is the first time someone has visited your site. For monthly visitors, the higher the number, the better job you are doing.

Overall, Google Analytics is an important aspect to understanding your blog, or website. This is a must have. It tells you everything you need to know about how your visitors interact with your blog. At the same time, it can be overwhelming and leave you feeling that you don’t know where to begin. But it is possible to understand enough to work with what you do understand. Monitoring these five different points can tell you where your site or blog is going, and if you need to improve.

About Author: Richard Larson is author and Brand Manager for, the UK’s leading source for promotional items

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Dinesh Thakur is editor of Click Conversion Blog. Dinesh write about Digital Marketing, SEM , SEO and Web Analytics. You can follow him at Google+

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