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Nitty Gritty: Google Analytics Day Three

by Megan

Previous posts:

Day One: Setting Up Google Analytics
Day Two: Visitors Overview

I hope you have been finding this series helpful so far. Today and tomorrow we are going to be looking at some of the widgets in Google Analytics that will be of interest to you as a blogger. Today we are going to focus on the “Audience” tab on the left hand sidebar.

Under the Audience heading, you will see subheadings, the first of which is “Overview.” This is what we looked at yesterday.

Next comes “Demographics.” Under “Demographics” you will see “Language” and “Location.” These are pretty self-explanatory widgets, but I think it’s interesting to see where your readers are visiting from. This information may help with choosing your sponsors and advertisements.

The Location page has a cool interactive map. Hover your mouse over a country to see how many visits you’ve had from there. Don’t forget that the dates default to the past month, but you can adjust the date range in the drop down box in the top right.

The next screen that I find useful is Audience – Technology – Browser & OS. This will give you an ordered list of all the browsers people are using to view your blog. The page starts with the timeline of your visits, which you’ve seen before, but scroll down to see the list of browsers.

This is helpful because your blog will look slightly different in each browser, and you want to make sure that your blog looks good and is readable on each one.

Next, go to Audience – Mobile. “Overview” will show you the same timeline of visits you’ve already seen, and it will give you a simple table that shows how many of those visits were on a mobile device, and how many were not.

The “Devices” screen (Audience – Mobile – Devices) is a little more helpful. This time the timeline of visits shows the number of visits that were on a mobile device each day, and it gives you a list of the mobile devices used to view your blog.

I can see on this list that the Apple iPad is the most popular mobile device that has been used to view my blog, followed by the iPhone. All the other devices only had one view, so I might determine that it’s worth my time to make sure my blog shows up well and looks good on the iPad and the iPhone but not worry about the other devices.

The last screen I’m going to show you today is the last tab under Audience, which is “Visitors Flow.” This screen will show you which pages your visitors came to first and which pages they subsequently visited. It also shows you the number of “drop offs” from each page, so you know when your visitors left your blog, and which page they left from.

You can click on any country and then click “highlight traffic through here” to get a clearer view of the visitors flow from that country.

You can see above that most visitors from the US started at my home page, and from there some went to my about me page, some to a specific blog post, some to my sponsor page, etc. You can also click on the bottom entry, which says “# more pages.” A pop up screen will show you the other pages that people visited:

The Visitors Flow screen will by default show you the breakdown by countries. If you click on the drop down box in the top left, you can view the data by other parameters. One I find useful is Traffic Sources – Source.

This information can be very helpful. If you see that a certain page is more popular than others, you might give that page special attention, use it for announcements or advertisements, etc. If you see that certain posts are more popular, that might help direct your future writing or cause you to decide on a specific focus for your blog.

So those are the Audience screens that I find most helpful, but please click around and look at what else is there, because you might find the other screens useful as well.

Come back tomorrow to take a closer look at the “Traffic Sources” and “Content” screens.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to help spread the word!

Shaping Up To Be A Mom


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Beth September 25, 2012 - 7:06pm

Hi! I’ve been blogging for years but am just now starting to reach out and get to know other bloggers/improve my own blog. Thanks for this How-to series! I’ve been meaning to play around with GA for a while, but never got around to it until I found your posts. And I enjoy the rest of your blog too! :)

Nitty Gritty: Google Analytics Day Four - Shaping Up To Be A Mom January 11, 2014 - 2:42pm

[…] Day One: Setting Up Google Analytics Day Two: Visitors Overview Day Three: Audience […]