You have setup your blog with a bunch of really awesome articles and wondering if there is any life on my blog? Are there any visitors and where are they coming from? What articles are trending and getting more traffic on my blog and to check which sites or social networks are giving more traffic?
Well, These are some of the most basic questions which comes to mind of every blogger after setting up a website or a blog. The answer is Analytics.
At a glance, digital or website analytics is a way to collect and view data from a website in the form of reports and to take necessary measures based on those reports. Although there are analytics solutions are available but we will discuss Google Analytics platform which is probably the most popular analytics solution.
Google Analytics Introduction
Google Analytics is a well-structured reporting system which generates reports based on the data collected from your website. These reports then can be used as building blocks to better understand user behavior and to review and improve your business strategy.
For example, you can develop your online goals and campaigns to turn visitors into leads for better conversion.
How Google Analytics Works
These reports might include user information like browser type, device used (mobile or desktop) to access your website and even operating system name. Moreover Google Analytics will also track what makes a user come to your site whether it was a search engine, a referral from another site or an advertisement (Google Adwords) which user clicked.
All the navigation summary of every single user visiting your blog will be noticed and sent to Google Analytics for further processing to generate reports accordingly.
The data sent to Google Analytics can also be customized using filters. Yes! you can set filters in Google Analytics to segment data accordingly. For example, you can minus your own visits to your blog to get a more accurate number of your visitors.
Filters can also be applied to individual pages which might be important to you, for example, pages with Call-to-Actions. In this way you will be able to know your campaign’s success rate.
Google Analytics Basics
To let Google Analytics starts its magic, you must create an account within program. The account can have a property and a property can have views.
Don’t confuse this account with your Google main account you use to login Google Analytics or other Google services.Woopoo's Caution
Accounts in Google Analytics are associated with businesses and websites. Ideally make a separate account for every website you run. An account can have multiple properties and each property can have multiple views in a hierarchical fashion. You can have as many as 100 accounts using Google Analytics Standard.
Google Analytics, same like Google Search Console uses the word “Property” which could be a website, a mobile app or any digital asset you want to be tracked for user interactions.
Multiple properties can be added to the same account, for example you may have a website, a mobile app and a digital forum representing your business. It means you have to create three properties under one account to track all of them separately.
The views basically hold all of the reports generated by Google Analytics. All the data collected by the program ended up here in the form of reports. As we have already discussed before, this is where we can use filters on data with information most important to us and to be included or excluded in reports.
New views can be created anytime under each property with a maximum of 25 views per property. Similarly you can delete a view if its no longer applicable.
Views once deleted can be recovered within 35 days otherwise they will be gone forever.Woopoo's Caution
Accounts, properties and views are the basic structure of Google Analytics and you are good to go if you have setup three of them but there is one more important concept needs to be discussed and that is Goals.
Although not required to be setup instantly when you start using Google Analytics but we bet you can’t live without them later on. As the name specifies, Goals can be used to keep an eye on your business objectives.
Goals got “triggered” every time when a certain action (set as a Goal) has been fulfilled by a visitor. For example, you can track how many visitors are signing up for your email newsletter or how many visitors have visited your eCommerce store page and eventually ended up in cart to make a purchase.
Here is an informative video for beginners:
Until here, we are done with the most of the concepts important to understand Google Analytics in general. You will feel more comfortable in the next part where we actually start using Google Analytics and mostly consists of actionable step-by-step process of setting up Google Analytics for your website or blog.
Click Let’s proceed to second part.