WordPress is just a perfect CMS (content management system), but it’s not exactly the one where you can look over behind the curtain and understand how users locate the site, who they are, or what device they’re using. It means that you don’t have a useful insight into their behavior.
This is the reason why websites benefit from Google Analytics integration, not only through receiving useful information but due to other multiple advantages.
Besides, Google Analytics is easy to use, and it has a variety of reports you could pull off with minimal manual effort. All you need to do is to access your account, and you’ll find them on the left side of the screen.
The things you need to know about your audience, and how you can discover them
The number one method is to ask right away, making a survey or so. The second best option is to use GA’s ‘Audience Menu’, where all the standard reports are located.
The purpose of these reports is to summarize the visitors’ information in one place, displaying basic information such as gender, interests, location, language, behavior and technology (mobile or not).
To be clearer, through it, you can understand whether your website is or not mobile friendly. In case it’s not, it highlights what you should do to make it so. To find out, open the ‘Audience’ tab, and choose ‘Mobile’ and ‘Overview’ in order to understand where most of the traffic is coming from. The ‘Device’ tab is even more particular, showing you exactly what type of device the users are using when accessing your website.
Google Analytics can be priceless even for estimating time, and choosing the best moment to post something. Knowing the location of your visitors, you can estimate the time they are most active and share information with them.
These are only a few of the options ‘Audience’ can display; the possibilities are in fact endless.
As a website owner, you’re not only supposed to know who is visiting your website but also to be aware of how visitors actually find it. That requires a certain familiarity with the traffic sources.
Google Analytics has a special section for studying traffic sources, where all visitors are examined and categorized by few critical metrics that can show you which are your strongest and weakest sides. Let’s mention a few of them:
- Types of traffic – the search engines, referred or direct;
- SEO – top keywords and phrases that attract users to check your website;
- Trends – Visibility rates per page;
- Influence of social media – which is the network where most users are coming from.
Tactics for attracting more traffic
You might have spent hundredths of hours to make your Pinterest perfect, but that’s not a guarantee visitors are going to land on it very often. You need to know some few crucial tactics to make the most of the time you’re investing.
In this case, you will need the ‘Social Overview’ report where you can discover the social network that delivers your best traffic rates. To do it, click on ‘Networks Referral’, and you will also see which is the favorite page of specifically referred users.
The possibility to understand visitors’ behavior when they come from a particular social network is stored in the ‘Social Visitors Flow’ tool.
What makes the tool really special is that it identifies tiny and detailed preference patterns, which helps you tailor future posts carefully, or repost content visitors that are most liked. It will obviously have a positive influence on your future social reactions.
Creating spin-off content using the most popular posts
To make your future content more attractive and engaging, click on ‘Site Content’, and ‘All Pages’. There will be a specific list of every page and post, and an evaluation of their performance. These are the metrics you could use there:
- Page views;
- Unique page views: Multiple visits from the same person are not counted in this section, only in Page views;
- The Average time users spend on that page;
- Entrance rates: How many times visitors use a particular page to access your website;
- Bounce rates: The number/percentage of times visitors visit a specific page, but fail to visit the website (you should keep it as low as possible);
- Exits: number/% of visitors who visit the page and leave (called also bounce rates)
- Page Value: Revenue and Goal value / Unique page views: Most generally, the section shows the money value of each page you own.
What we consider as the most important metric is the ‘Average time’, because keeping a close eye on it helps you understand whether an article is effective or not. The more a user stays on that page, the better your article is.
To understand this, you need to know that average users read approximately 130 words in 1 minute, and this can be your benchmark to figure out whether visitors are actually reading the article, or scrolling down to get the general idea of it.
Using the data in combination with page views and bounce rates, or even social sharing, is pretty much enough for you to understand what you’re doing well and what bad.
Get rid of non-effective pages
By non-effective pages, we mean top exit pages, where users don’t read the content or don’t use them to access the website. Thanks to Google Analytics, you can identify them easily, and distinguish them from effective ones where people like to spend their time.
This is a critical moment for bloggers, who use the site to locate a specific piece of information and leave, being, to hope at least, satisfied with what they find. This transfers the focus to the quality of your content, and you need to figure out what they like the most, and include a ‘call-to-action’ button to provide them with options other than leaving, as for example to buy a product or to subscribe for emails.
Fix your loading time issues
As a blogger, the last thing you want is to keep readers waiting for ages before the site finally loads and opens. There are many tools that can help you test and improve speed, but you have to be realistic with yourself and put real data in the first place.
Once again, Google Analytics can help: Click on ‘Behavior’, then ‘Site Speed’ and ‘Page Timings’, and the tool will show you how long each page takes to open, together with a comprehensive conclusion about your entire website (all of it based on your visitors’ behavior!).
Right under the report, you will find ‘Speed Suggestions’ the tool is offering you to make the site run faster. Our experience shows that these are not default phrases, but fruitful tactics that are pretty much worth trying. And also check your hosting!
Familiarize with your users’ favorite clicks
No website owner would deny knowing this! On Google Analytics, there is a specific ‘Content’ menu that exposes your website to detailed information browsing to pull off the percentage of clicks that occurred on each page or post.
There will be links for extra details, and you could easily move from page to page to see their rating. It definitely offers a clear picture of the website and how it works, and it highlights content that is really popular and the one that makes your website unpopular. Therefore, if there is a piece of content you really want users to see, place it in the right area, around other similar sections they click more often.
Google Analytics is a must-have for webmasters. If you want to know better your customer, and moreover, to check your website’s performance, Google Analytics is an indispensable tool that you should have. Check its insights, follow them and it will definitely reward you.