Google Analytics is by far one of the most useful tools Google has to offer. With just a few minutes of easy setup, even beginners can get a ton of insightful and helpful information about their site traffic. You can not only find out just how many people are visiting your site, but what they’re looking for, how they got there and more.
[If you’re a past the beginner stage and have already setup your account, advance yourself by reading:
Use the quick tips on this page to learn how to use Google Analytics for beginners and start making the most of your site.
Setting up Google Analytics
The first thing you’ll need to do is to tell Google Analytics that you want it to start looking at your site. You do this by inserting a simple, small piece of code into the HTML of your page.
- Log in to Google Analytics (if you have a Google account, you already have a log in).
- Click the “Sign Up” button and provide the info the following window asks for – it will want to know they URL of the site you want to track, the country you’re located in and the time zone.
- Click “Continue” and then provide your contact info, agree to the terms of service and click “Create New Account.”
- You will be provided with a block of code. Copy this and paste it into the HTML of your site right before the </body> tag.
It may take up to 24 hours for Google to find the code and start tracking your site. Give it time and then check back to see some of the great stuff below!
Navigating the Dashboard
You can learn a lot about your visitor behavior just from this one page. You’ll also see where your readers are coming from – by either directly typing your URL into their browser, being referred from other sites, from search, etc. Your top traffic pages are also displayed here.
Here’s a quick breakdown of your Google Analytics Dashboard:
Visits: The number of visits to your site during any given time period (it is automatically set for a month, but you can change this at the top right).
Pageviews: This is the number of pages total that were seen.
Pages/visit: The average number of pages seen by each visitor.
Bounce rate: The number of people who left (or “bounced”) after only visiting one page. This could be because your site wasn’t what they were looking for, they found it uninteresting or that your site could be set up better in terms of usability. In general, you want this % to be as low as possible.
Avg. time on site: How long each visitor spent checking out your site.
% of new visits: The percent of people who landed on your page for the first time ever.
Visitors on Site: Google Analytics for Beginners
You just want to know how many people are visiting your site, period? This is your report. Get an easy-to-understand breakdown of your traffic numbers. Click on “view report” to get detailed information about exactly how many visits you had, and how many people did the visiting. Absolute Unique Visitors is the number of people that came by in your selected time frame.
This is a cool feature that lets you quickly see on a map of the world just where your visitors are located. You’d be surprised at the people who find you!
Traffic Sources Overview
This one is important. This pie chart shows you just how people are coming to your site – by either typing your URL directly into their browser, from search, from a referring site (such as a social network or a site that links to you).
When you click “view report,” you’ll see even more, such as a list of keywords that people searched to land on your site. By paying attention to what people are looking for, you can not only make sure that you provide the content they want (smarter content = more traffic!), but also make sure you are not missing any opportunities to capitalize on current trends. If you see a search term come up often, you may want to dedicate more pages or more time to get the most bang out of the search buck (which is free, so why not?).
This report shows the most-visited pages on your site. This is extremely helpful so you can see what your visitors are most interested in and which pages are doing well. If you have Adsense set up on your site, you can also track your revenue here.
For even more information on how to use Google Analytics for beginners, be sure to check out these Google Analytics videos on YouTube.