Google Analytics  Tips For beginners….. Oh… I have to be honest, that this is something that I don’t particularly enjoy looking at. My site is still very young in internet terms and so the analytics do not make for great reading.  Of course we all want to see tons of traffic being logged on our websites, but I am astute enough to appreciate that my traffic will go up if I follow a few tips to improving my traffic.

But I hope with this article to show you as a beginner what exactly you can get from your Google Analytics, giving you information that you can use to improve your traffic too. 

Analytics, with all its data calculation tools, can be confusing but I know it is important for me to understand my audience and work out what I need to do to increase traffic, what they look at on my site and whether it is optimised to perform well. 




Setting up an account is straightforward……… Follow the instructions to set up the account with a username. You are given an html snippet to copy and embed in your website header. Now Analytics gives you instructions on how to do this but I found them to be confusing when I did it so here are my instructions…. And this is for a wordpress website…. 


Go to your wordpress dashboard – Scroll down to ‘Appearances – Theme Editor’ then look for ‘header.php’ on the right hand side.  Look to the top of the file content and you’ll see ‘<head>’ and further down ‘</script>’ You need to place the html snippet between the two. Then scroll to the bottom and save. You then go back to Analytics and click the button to verify they have found it and you are good to go!


Spend some time familiarising yourself with the Analytics dashboard. Now that the snippet is on your site, it will start collecting data, so give it a few weeks to do this before you start analysing your website.


Vistors To Your Site

  • How many visitors you are getting
  • The devices they use
  • The browser they use
  • Where they come from

Sites That Send You Traffic

  • The sites that refer the most traffic
  • Social media sites that send traffic
  • The keywords that bring most traffic

Things About Pages On Your Site

  • The length of time visitors stay
  • The popular pages
  • The unpopular ones
  • Whether your landing page works

What Visitors Do On Your Site

  • The length of time visitors stay
  • The number of pages they visit
  • What visitors do on your site
  • Do they leave contact information



How do we analyse the results? What is is telling us? This is the crux of the analytics. Its all well and good collecting the data but if we don’t know how to act on it,  it’s rather a waste of time. The following information shows what data can be collected and what it is telling us. I have shown a selection of the available tools below but there are several more metrics to be seen from Google Analytics. 


Remember my site is very new, so my stats that I will show now are fairly thin as far as traffic is concerned but it will improve !

Analytics Home

Users: Number of visitors to your site in the last 7 days.

Sessions: Activites a visitor undertakes whilst on the website.

Bounce Rate:Percentage of useres that vist but leave without visiting any other page

Session Duration: Average length of time spent on your website.

Realtime User Data

You will find this tool in the left hand menu on your dashboard –  It tells you the number of active users on your site in realtime, page views/minute and the most active pages in realtime.

Where Do Visitors Come From?

Check out where your audience comes from. Social media, adverts, organic searches

What Pages Do Your Users Visit?

You will find this tool in the left hand menu on your dashboard –  It tells you the number of active users on your site in realtime, page views/minute and the most active pages in realtime.

Active User Trends

 Look under ‘Audiences – Active Users’

This gives you the number of daily/weekly/monthly active users and plotted on a graph

Where Are Your Users

This gives you an idea about the countries and locations of your visitors.

How Well Do You Retain Visitors?

Look under ‘Audience – Behaviour’ on the dashboard to find this metric and see who comes back.

Behaviour Of Your Users?

Look under ‘Audience – User Flow’.

Check out where your audience goes on your site. 

What Are Your Top Devices

Look under ‘Audiences – Mobile – Overview’

This is  percentage breakdown of the devices used  to access your website by your audience.


Whilst on the quick glance, Google Analytics looks like a load of jumbled graphs with nothing really to tell us but this is not so…. I can tell a great deal about my site, although I haven’t got much traffic yet, I can see that there is quite an audience in North America and my bounce rate is not too bad!  

From the diagram below, I can tell, right now that most of my traffic is getting there directly from the search engine, some through referrals an a very small amount from social media. I can act upon that and increase my posting to social media and Pinterest to encourage more engagement. The fact that my website is very new explains the metrics I have. Its a starting point and I will revisit Google Analytics frequently to see how well my site is doing. I hope this has helped you understand Google Analytics more. 

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