Having Google Analytics can be fun. And it’s impressive to tell people you’ve got it. But do you actually use the data to make informed decisions about how you’re managing your website?
Here are four questions you should ask yourself each month (and how to use your Google Analytics account to get the answers).
How many people have visited my site this month?
When you log in to your Google Analytics account, the Home tab contains many helpful reports. Front and center is a graph that represents your site’s visitors (called “Users”) over a specific period of time. By default, the graph will display data from the past seven days. Simply use the drop-down menu at the bottom of the graph to filter for a specific time period.
Which pages of my site are being viewed the most?
From your Google Analytics Home screen, scroll down to the section titled “What pages do your users visit?” for a breakdown of your site’s most-viewed pages. Again, use the drop-down menu to filter the data based on a specific window of time.
What devices are visitors using to view my site?
Your Home tab also displays a report detailing the devices via which your traffic is occurring. Scroll down to the “What are your top devices?” report to see a breakdown of your traffic among desktop, mobile, and tablet devices.
Who is visiting my site?
Learn more about the demographics of your site’s visitors. Using the navigation tab on the left of your Google Analytics account, click Audience > Demographics > Overview. This will generate a report on the age and gender of your site’s visitors.
Using Google Analytics data to make informed decisions
Now, use the knowledge you’ve gained to refine your site’s content on a monthly basis. Specifically, ask yourself:
- Is my main navigation allowing people to quickly and easily find the most popular content?
- Can my homepage more effectively highlight the most sought-after information? Should I delete content? Should I add something?
- How do my five most popular pages look on a mobile device? What can I do to create a better experience for mobile users?
Of course, hard traffic data is helpful when making content-related decisions. But remember this: Blindly following the data can lead you down the wrong path. Use your seasoned knowledge to make the best decisions for your audience! (e.g., Even if your analytics says your “Obituaries” or “Annulments” pages are highly-trafficked, featuring this content front and center on your homepage might not be the tactful choice.)
Ready to dive in?
If you’re ready to set up Google Analytics with your eCatholic website, check out How to set up Google Analytics for your website in the eCatholic Help Center.
Note: The screenshots above and accompanying instructions were captured and written in November 2017. The interface of your Google Analytics may change over time.