Welcome to the fifth post in my 5-part series about utilizing, understanding and analyzing the basics of Google Analytics.
If you missed the first four posts in this series, you can catch up now by clicking these links:
- Google Analytics: The Basics
- Google Analytics: Understanding Standard Reports
- Google Analytics: Analyzing the Audience Report
- Google Analytics: Analyzing the Acquisition Report
Google Analytics is a robust data aggregation service provided by Google for free. If you want to monetize your blog, Google Analytics is a necessary tool to install.
This post makes the following assumptions about you, the reader:
- The reader has a blog
- The reader’s blog is a business
- The reader has installed Google Analytics
- The reader has limited experience in using Google Analytics
When you first log in to Google Analytics, the left side of your screen is a navigation sidebar with drop-down menus. We have covered several of those navigation aides in the first four parts of this series and this post focuses on the Behavior report.
When you click on Behavior, additional drop-down menu choices appear. They are:
- Behavior Flow
- Site Content
- Site Speed
- In-Page Analytics
Several of these menu tabs (Site Content, Site Speed, Events and AdSense) have additional drop-down menus. So, as with all of the other sidebar navigation tools, the Behavior reports are extremely robust, providing numerous ways to display data. In addition, several of these navigation tools require that you customize them by either installing Webmaster Tools or adding code to your website/blog or creating parameters to track data. In this post, we will focus on only the tools that are available with no extra customization.
Note that I’ve added red arrows to point to the additional drop-down capability of this report. By clicking on the drop-down, additional choices are offered for viewing information.
It gives you some of the same information available in other reports, but adds information about Google AdSense.
This information will appear if:
- You have applied to Google AdSense
- Have been accepted by Google AdSense
- Have Google advertising installed on your blog
This is a fun graph to review. It shows you what your visitors landed on and where they went next. When you hover over each of the connecting lines, more information, specific to that event, appears. Also note at the top left, Landing Pages, is a drop-down arrow allowing you to further define the information you want to retrieve.
Site Content – All Pages
I love this report. Next to seeing the number of visits, unique visitors and pageviews, this is my personal favorite report! Why? Because it tells me what have been “popular” posts.
If you read my earlier posts, you will note that we had a traffic spike on February 24th from being featured in a newsletter on one of Creative Income Blog‘s sister sites. The newsletter featured a link to our Peach Pineapple Dump Cake recipe and traffic followed!
Two of our other recipes had good representation. Here are my theories on those two posts:
Coffee Banana Protein Smoothie
The traffic generated by this post was probably because it’s the beginning of a new year and people are into their new year’s resolutions (weight loss or healthy eating or both). This post launched on our site on July 3, 2013, so it is not a new post. By analyzing this data, I’ve concluded that this post performs well at the beginning of the year, so I should share this on all social networks during the first quarter of the year. By the way, I didn’t do anything with this post this year. It just happened. So, now I have a new strategy to implement next year.
Sweetheart Pie Crust Cookies
The traffic generated because of this post is a “no brainer” in that we can conclude it was because of Valentine’s Day. This information tells me that holiday posts are popular and going forward, I should incorporate more holiday posts into our schedule. Maybe start them sooner, rather than later. I have a hard time ramping up for holidays before they happen!
Also, in the photo, you are seeing the top 10. You can expand this view at the bottom of the page to see all of your posts. I did this and noticed that people have landed on our site to see/read posts at respects St. Patrick’s Day from last year. If I’d been more “forward thinking,” I’d have new St. Patrick’s Day posts already on our site. Holidays rock!
Finally, I’ve sharing our page of Google AdSense revenue for the month of February. While this is a paltry sum, it is more than we had this time last year! So, I encourage readers who have not yet applied to Google AdSense to do so.
Revenue generated from ad placement on your site will only increase over time as your traffic increases. So, why wait until you have major traffic? Do it now and get the benefit even if your traffic numbers are small. Every little bit helps…
By: Carole, from Toot Sweet 4 Two