Google Analytics is often cited as a useful tool for tracking and managing website data. However, if you don’t know how to put the information this platform provides to use, it may seem like a waste of time and effort.
In reality, analytics are one of the best ways to improve your website. Once you learn the significance of the data Google Analytics gathers, you can apply it to bring new users in and give your current users a better experience on your website.
This post will show you what Google Analytics is capable of doing. Then we’ll share a few tips for using website data to boost your site’s visibility, quality, and content. Let’s get started!
An introduction to Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a tool used by website owners and managers to gather information about their websites. It shows information regarding a site’s audience, acquisitions, user behavior, and conversions in a variety of tables and charts.
Typically, in order to add Google Analytics to your website, you have to generate a tracking ID and add it to your site’s code. However, there are also plugins for WordPress users to simplify the process, such as Google Analytics Dashboard by MonsterInsights:
However, if you have multiple websites, it can get tiresome switching between accounts to see your analytics. Fortunately, we at ManageWP have a handy Google Analytics feature that can help you easily track your site data in a single dashboard.
Our Google Analytics feature is free to use. You can add as many accounts as you need and monitor them all from your ManageWP dashboard. Plus, you can easily include Google Analytics data in client reports to demonstrate how your work is paying off.
3 ways to use Google Analytics to improve your site
Your Google Analytics dashboard – be it in the platform itself, within WordPress via a plugin, or in your ManageWP account – can show you website data, but can’t tell you how to use it. Below you’ll find three key tips for taking action based on your findings.
1. Track your referral sources to increase traffic
Knowing where your website traffic is coming from may seem like a novelty, but it can actually be extremely useful when it comes to your marketing strategy. When you know how your users are arriving at your site, you can clearly see which promotion methods are working, and which aren’t.
You can see your referral sources by navigating to Acquisitions > All Traffic > Channels. Here you’ll get a nice overview of how most of your visitors are hearing about your site:
You can learn a lot by looking at this information. For example, if the number of people finding your site via organic search is very low, you know your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) needs work.
Likewise, if your social media accounts are bringing in a lot of traffic, you know that your current strategy relative to others is working. This information may also encourage you to expand your social media marketing strategy accordingly.
2. Monitor user behavior to decrease bounce rates
Your website’s ‘bounce rate’ refers to the number of visitors who click on a link to one of your site’s pages, then leave the page without interacting with it. While a high bounce rate in some niches isn’t necessarily a problem, it generally indicates a problem that requires your attention.
In Google Analytics, you can see your bounce rate by navigating to Behavior > Overview and looking beneath the line graph. You can also find useful Users Flow charts that show how your users are navigating around your site:
Generally speaking, a bounce occurs because a user thought a link would take them to a certain page, but it actually took them somewhere else. This could indicate poor website navigation or confusing anchor text.
By looking at which of your pages have the highest bounce rate and examining the flow charts to see how users are getting to those pages, you may be able to unearth some navigational issues on your site. You can then correct your design to improve user experience and lower your bounce rate.
3. Note popular posts to improve your content strategy
In most cases, there will be certain posts that perform better than others. By looking at these posts, you can learn about what type of content your users value and other helpful hints to help improve your content strategy.
You can see which of your posts and pages are most popular by navigating to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. Remember: you’ll potentially have to add your Google Analytics tracking ID to every page you want to monitor (although many times including it in the <head> tag is sufficient.) If your tracking ID isn’t included, a page may not show up here:
Make note of all your most popular posts and pages, then go to your website and take a look. Consider the topics they cover, and whether you created those posts differently compared to other content on your site. For example, do your high-performing posts have more images, better SEO, or certain tags that perform well?
You can then emulate these features in future posts and see if they also perform well. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to content strategy. Looking at your most popular posts can show you what your users like so you can create more of it.
At first, using Google Analytics can feel overwhelming. It’s easy to get caught up in looking at all the graphs and charts and forget to actually put the information they contain to use and improve your website.
In this post, we shared three ways you can take data from your Google Analytics dashboard and use it to make your website more successful:
- Track your referral sources to increase traffic.
- Monitor user behavior to decrease bounce rates.
- Note popular posts to improve your content strategy.
Do you have questions about how to use Google Analytics to better your website? Leave them in the comments section below!
Featured Image Credit: Pexels.