How to use Google Analytics: A beginner
If you are a media company or own any other online forum, you are probably putting a lot of effort and time to keep it in shape. It is needless to say that you devote a significant amount of time in writing material or if you get it written by someone, you spend money on it. When you doing all of this, you obviously expect to get the best outcome.
An important thing that you must focus on is modifying your webpages using the right and most suitable keywords to rank it higher on queries' results. This is required because there are so many webpages that are covering the same type of topics so you must ensure the when people search for a particular topic, your webpage is visible to them to get the maximum traffic.
However, doing this will only help you make your webpage visible to the readers and if you have attractive headings and descriptions, they will land on your webpage. But, the aim of any company is to increase the no. of units sold. That is to say you have to ensure that the people not only land on your webpage but also convert to accomplish your mission. Also, you are required to examine the effectiveness of your forum to determine if it is even worth your effort and money.
You must know that filling it with loads of related material isn't the solution. You must be aware of who the readers of your webpage are, where do they come from, how long do they interact with your webpage, which webpages of yours do they visit the most and most importantly at which point do they leave your webpage and why. If you are not aware of these factors, chances are that you might not be targeting the right consumers because you don’t exactly know anything about them. This suggests it will result in wasted effort, time and money as well.
Similarly, if you own a blog, you must be aware of which blog posts are your top performers and how many of your readers subscribe to your blog and how many of them actually convert. Discovering the answers to these are essential as it can aid you in completely modifying your webpage for better. When you know which of the webpages are attracting the readers, you can analyze them to figure out what makes them top performers and use the same strategy for the other webpages to get the maximum amount of views.
When you desire to improve the no. of units sold and your profits, you have to focus on a lot of factors which mainly consist of the behavior of the consumers on your webpages. When you are aware of your consumers, you have better chances of giving them the what they desire. It goes without saying when you offer your consumers what they want, it will result in better reputation .
Two of the main elements that you need to examine are consumer interface and experience as they play a major role in the effectiveness of your forum. By improving these factors, you can efficiently improve your profits. These can be enhanced by taking proper measures that best fit the needs of your users. For this, you must know the details of your consumers such as their interests, age, location, and gender, etc. In the same way, when you know which browsers and gadgets they are using to visit your webpages, you can make them compatible with these gadgets and give them the best experience.
Now, a key question that might come in your mind at this point is how can you determine all of the above mentioned elements? Well, worry not, this can be done conveniently with an analytics tool. With the increasing competition and demands of the consumers, this tool has now become a necessity for any online forum owner who wishes to improve the operations of their forum and give the best possible stuff to their readers. Simply put, these let you understand who your consumers are and how they interact with your forum. Furthermore, they also give you important insights into the top performing webpages.
There are many such tools available now, all with the basic purpose of assisting you in learning about your consumers and enhancing your webpages. One of the most popular and effective analytics tools is GA. In this detailed guide, we will discuss what this tool offers and how it can be utilized to its full potential. So, if you desire to know all about google analytics for beginners, keep reading the article.
What is GA
It is undoubtedly one of the most well-known and used data analytics software. As clear from the name, the tool is developed by Google and keeping in mind the efficiency of google you can imagine how effective and powerful this tool must be. Whether you run a blog or you own an eCommerce platform, this tool will help every owner in enhancing their performance.
With this efficient tool, not only can you examine the no. of consumers on your webpage but it also allows the subscribers to analyze the behavior of the consumers in detail. The tool will let you evaluate if your webpage is operating the way to want and where do you need improvements. With the useful insights that this tool provides, you can form the strategies that are sure to improve your operations and effectiveness.
The tool will give you answers to the key questions that every business has such as who are their consumers, what webpages do they click through the most, the duration for which they are on your webpages, what is their best performing webpages etc. When you know what attracts your consumers and what doesn’t, you will have a clear picture of what must to be done to shape your forum in a way that can provide your consumers exactly what they desire.
The tool automatically collects the details from your webpages and gives you detailed reports based on that data so that you don’t have to spend hours collecting the info manually and putting it into complex spreadsheets to analyze it later. What’s even better, you don’t have to put a lot of effort into setting up the tool; you just need to make an account and paste a syntax on you webpages; we will discuss this in detail in this article.
Once you paste it, your work is done in terms of collecting the info as the tool will do all the hard work to give you the most accurate and exact details. The reports can be accessed instantly. This means the tool not only saves you effort and energy but time as well. With the help of these detailed reports, you can make informed decisions on how to improve your operations and effectiveness.
Another great thing about this smart tool is that it lets you create custom reports containing the parameters and metric that you pick according to your requirements. Moreover, the tool works on desktops as well as tablets and smartphones.
However, the best thing about the tool is that it is completely free to use. Well, it is hard to believe that such a powerful and effective tool with so many useful features is available for free but that is true. There are no hidden charges or anything.
How to Sign Up for GA
If you want to utilize this free tool, you must have to have an id on google which is essentially a Gmail id. Most people these days have an account on Gmail so you can make use of it for google analytics login but if you don’t have it or you wish to make a new one, it can be created for free with ease by heading to the platform and providing some basic info such as name, etc.
After you have successfully signed up, you can proceed to create your profile on GA. When you are on the homepage of google analytics, you can see several tabs on the top section. Here, Start for free button must be pressed which is present on the top right corner. When you press it, you are sent to another webpage where you are required to log in via your Gmail id.
Once you are logged in, you can start the process of setting up your GA account by hitting the “set up for free” button. You will then be asked to provide some details for your new account such as name etc. Next, you have to select from one of the three options about what you want to analyze. These options consist of web which will let you examine the effectiveness of your webpages, app which will let you examine the operations of your iOS or Android apps and lastly a combination of apps and web. You must pick the options on the basis of the purpose you want to use the tool for.
The last step is to provide some more details such as the name of your domain, its URL, its category and your time zone. The reports will be sent to you according to your time zone so choose this carefully. You can now hit the create button to complete the process. Before you get your account, you will be asked to agree to the terms of services.
Adding Tracking Code
When you have agreed to the terms of services, you then need to generate a syntax which you have to put in to your CMS so as to get the details from the tool. To get it, go to the Admin section present at the top and then select your account. Next, select your property from the section available on the left side. To proceed, you are required to head to info section and select code from its sub-sections.
The code installation process is determined by the type of CMS you want to scan. An important thing you must be aware of here is that for each webpage that you want to scan with GA, you will have to install this code separately.
For HTML, you will need an app like Notepad, EditPad or any other text editor app. Alternatively, you can use an HTML editor. This type of app is required so that you can paste the code to each webpage of yours. The code can easily be added by pasting it before the tag </head> in the text editor. Remember to do this for each landing page that you want to monitor.
When you are done editing the code using the editor, you are required to upload this edited file to every webpage. This can be done with FileZilla or any other File Transfer Protocol (FTP). This doesn’t require much learning and if you understand the basics of HTML, you can do this step without any trouble.
There are two main methods through which the syntax/code can be installed.
The MonsterInsights tool can be used which is among the most reliable and effective plugins. The best thing about it is that it can be navigated with ease and allows you to add codes for each page instantly.
For the installation, one has to heat to plugin section which is presnt in the CMS dashboard. When the add new option is pressed, tons of plugins will be displayed. The search bar can be used to install the tool quickly .
After you have activated it, it can be configured by heading to settings. Here you have to sync your GA account with the plugin. This can be done by either by doing it manually by providing user code or automatically connecting it to your GA profile. The later procedure is preferred by many because it gives you access to different features of the plugin such as reports and dashboards. Now, you just have to paste your tracking code in the plugin.
The second method includes manually adding the syntax. It must first be generated from the GA, then you have to sign in to your CMS and go to its dashboard. Now click the editor which can be found in the Appearance tab on the left side. Now, find the “header.php” file which will be somewhere in the templates section. Now click the file and add the copied google analytics code in the editor before the following tag: “</head>”. Now hit the update button and there you go. You will have your coded file ready.
No matter which method you use for the code, you will have to wait from 14-24 hours to get reports.
This is a great feature to monitor what is happening on your webpage. Now, this is required because when you create these goals, you will allow the tool to keep an eye on the conversion rate. When you know how many people converted, it will be easy for you to evaluate the effectiveness of your webpage.
Let us say that you have a retail forum where you sell different types of items, you will need a page confirming the order which will be shown to the purchasers once they have successfully placed to the order. Or, if you run a blog and you aim to get people to subscribe, you must have a page thanking them for subscribing.
The tool enables you to form as many as 20 goals and when an action is taken by the consumer, you will get a detailed report from the tool based on which goal the action was related to. Basically, how it works is that the tool will immediately pick a conversion once you have created goals and activity on a webpage happens according to those goals. This way it can be discovered which of the features are effective and what must to be improved. When you are creating a goal, you must be clear about the purpose you are using the tool for.
To create the goals you login first and then click the admin section to select goals option present in the view tab. Hit the new goal button to proceed. Now you have three choices that are smart goals, template, and custom goals.
The smart goals are best suited for those who use ads. This will help them keep track of their conversion rate. With this goal, you will get a rating every time someone lands on your webpage and through this info, you can examine the conversions resulted from a visit. You can choose this goal if it fits your forum and then select a title for it.
If you choose the template, you will have 4 parameters including revenue and inquiry. The template should be utilized according to what you want to achieve from your forum. This is a very useful feature that will help you grasp the behavior of your readers.
Lastly, you can set custom goals according to your objectives and the info you want to analyze. No matter which option you choose, you have to give a title to your goal and you must mention its type.
This is another useful feature through which you can find out the phrases and words that are used by people when they are searching for particular stuff on your forum. It will also show you where the people start their search from and which pages do they land on. With these details, you can figure out which webpages of yours do the consumers most look for when they are on your forum.
To use this feature, you first need to set it up. Log in to your GA account and head to the admin section. Now hit the view settings option present in the view tab. Scroll down to the settings and turn on the tracking. Next, you have to enter the query parameter of your domain. This parameter is found by searching for something on your forum and extracting it from the search URL. Now all you have to do is save these settings and start examining the searches on your domain.
Using Google Analytics
There are different types of features offered by GA. It is wise to learn about them in detail so that you can use them for your benefit.
- Real-Time Data
- Conversions Reports
This section shows a summary of your reports more specifically the most significant ones. This feature allows you to keep tabs on parameters and metrics that you think are most significant for the efficiency of your webpages. The dashboards can be created with ease and they can also be customized. Furthermore, an option of adding the widgets is also provided.
In this section, you can see the overall summary of your GA account. Here you can see all the domains that you have listed with this account and you can select any of them based on which one you want to monitor. This tab will also show you some other important parameters. The session parameter will tell you about the total activities that happened on your forum at a specific period. Moreover, it will also display the bounce rate which is important in understanding how many people left your forum without converting.
- Real-Time Data
With this feature, you can get the details of interactions as they happen on your webpages. It will give you important detail like the keywords that are currently being used by consumers, the amount of readers currently on your forum and the webpages they are landing on.
- Conversions Reports
With these reports, you can see before the conversion, what actions did the consumers take. You can analyze, which webpages do they visit, the stuff they check out before they decide to make the purchase. Moreover, it will also tell you the no. of units sold through your online forum.
Google Analytics is a very strong tool that lets you analyze the effectiveness and operations of your online forum and also helps you with learning about your consumers by giving you useful insights into how they interact with your forum.