5 tips for using Google Analytics

Often on Twitter, I see bloggers asking about Google Analytics. Most people know that the Blogger statistics are wildly inacurrate, so it's well worth installing Google Analytics for a more precise look at your stats. I'm by no means an Analytics expert, but I figured I could share the way I use it to help my blogging. Like many programs, there is a huge amount of information you can find out and it can be totally overwhelming. However, you don't need to know all of it. Instead, identify the things that are most important for you to know and don't worry about the rest. The following are the things I use and the items that seem to cause the most confusion for bloggers. 

Where do I install the code?
I see this question a lot on Twitter. Once you've followed the instructions for installing Google Analytics, and have generated the tracking code, you need to insert it in your blog. You do not need to put it in every post. Just create a widget somewhere on your design and paste it in there. It won't be visible, but it will track every visit to your site.

How do I find out my visitor numbers?

When you're on the Analytics dashboard for your blog, you will see the graph shown above. This tracks your daily views for the past month by default although if you change the dates at A you can see the views for any time period you like. You can also change the intervals at B if you'd rather see how your blog performed hourly, weekly or monthly. I like to see my daily stats for the past month for recent information and my monthly stats for the past two years to see an accurate representation of my blog's growth.

For more detailed information, look below the graph, at C. Sessions is how many individual visits you got, including multiple visits from the same IP address. Users is how many different people visited your blog and page views is how many different pages your visitors looked at (eg: If they landed on your homepage and then clicked in to read one particular post, that would be two pages). 

You can also see an average amount of pages viewed per visit, the average amount of time people spend on your blog, the percentage of new users (I like to have about a 50% mix) and your bounce rate. Which brings us to...

What does bounce rate mean?

Ok, bounce rate sounds very confusing and it divides bloggers. On most sites, it's important to keep the percentage as low as possible as it tells you the amount of people who landed on your site and then left without looking at any other pages. A percentage of 0 would mean every single visitor checked out more than one page, whereas 100 would mean nobody did.

However, I tend to think blogs are the exception to this. I don't know about you, but since I read blogs through Bloglovin', I catch every post. I read the most recent one and then close the window. I imagine most people read blogs this way, so bounce rate isn't important to me. Each reader could spend 5 minutes reading every single post on the first page and then leave. This would give me a 100% bounce rate, but I'd have had a huge amount of interested, engaged readers. For this reason, I tend to pay more attention to the average time spent on my site rather than bounce rate.

Some bloggers like people to check out more than one page though, so it's personal preference. 

How do I find out my keywords?

Not only can your keywords be really helpful, they're also absolutely hilarious! They tell you what people searched to end up on your blog. If you click on Acquisiton at A, then Keywords at B, Organic will tell you what your viewers looked for. There's a graph first but scroll down and you'll see the list of keywords. It starts with the most popular ones, which will probably be your blog name and variations of it, and goes down to those that only one person used. These are the best ones because they're totally nuts. As before, it defaults for the past month but you can change the date to the time period you want to see. 

How do I use Google Analytics to improve my blog?
Some people prefer to use Analytics in a curious way, rather than using the information to inform their blogging and that's fine. However, if you do want your stats to develop your blogging, there are a number of ways you can do this.

Keywords tell you what people are searching for so use these terms regularly in your posts (where relevant, of course!) You can also use these to work out what readers want to see on your blog- Are people searching for MAC reviews? For Primark outfits? For piercing guidance? (That last one is by far the most frequently searched for beside my blog name)

Traffic lets you know which sites people were visiting when they found the link to your blog. For most people, the top two will be Google and direct (ie: People who went straight to your blog by typing the address in) but the ones below show you how people are finding you. It also helps tell you where your promotion works. You may decide to make the most of those higher-rated sources and utilise them more. Alternatively, you may prefer to focus on the lower ones and drive more traffic from those sites. 

Location tells you which country most of your readers are from. Can you use this to tailor your content to that location? Or would you prefer to adapt your posts to make them more popular with a different location?

Hopefully this has given you an understanding to the basics of Google Analytics. There are also apps you can use on both Apple and Android. Personally, I'm not a fan of the Apple app as I like to see the chart of my growth, and the GAnalytics app on Android was much better for this, but it works for the basics on the go.

As I said before, I'm by no means an expert but if you have any questions, let me know and I'll do my best to answer. 


  1. This is such an informative post but i have put my link in an HTML widget on my blog and Google is saying the code isn't on my blog do you know what I have done wrong at all? :) Xx

    1. Try this: Delete the widget and go back through Google Analytics to get a new code, in case there's an error in your code. Then go to your html in design and add it to the end. Let me know if it works.

  2. This is such a helpful post, thank you! I've been struggling a bit with analytics and this has definitely answered a few questions :)

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

  3. Amazing post gorgeous girl! I have a love/hate relationship with Google Analytics, mostly because I don't really know how to use it properly -__________- Your guide is simple, clear and easy to understand! Thankyou! X

  4. I have no idea how to install this on to my blog....let alone anything else!! I have signed up so it seems...but that's about it!! ;(

    1. Once you've gone through all the installation steps, it will give you an html code to insert in your blog.

  5. This was the most useful post ever! I have had google analytics for a while but only really used it for curiosity! Thanks so much for being so informative :) xxx

  6. Really helpful post and actually answered few questions that I had :) Thanks

    Anna from Fashiony Nails

  7. Ooh, I'd never clicked on the keywords - that is interesting to read! xD I've always been a little hung up on bounce rate but after reading what you said, I've changed my mind! I read through bloglovin so yeah, it's rare that I will click on another page on someone's blog when I'm catching up!

  8. Thanks so much for this! Definitely the most useful Analytics post I've come across, going to put this into practice!
    Sophie x

  9. Becky this was so incredibly useful to me, thank you so much :)
    Amy x

  10. this is a great help thanks


I read all comments and appreciate every single one, even if I can't always reply. If you have a question or need a reply, feel free to tweet me @BeckyBedbug- I always reply to tweets!

Blog Design by Get Polished | Copyright Becky Craggs 2017