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Wouldn’t it be helpful to know where your website’s visitors are coming from and what they do once they’re on your site? This would allow you to figure out which strategies are working, and which could use some rethinking.
If you have a WordPress.com Business plan, Google Analytics is a tool that can track all of that information for you. By analyzing organic traffic, this tool helps you generate actionable insights about your website. While Google Analytics offers advanced functionality for those who want it, it also excels at making the most important data accessible without a learning curve. Here’s a closer look at what information Google Analytics can provide, as well as how you can get started with understanding its data.
Google Analytics is a popular web analytics tool that keeps track of detailed information about each and every visitor to your WordPress.com Business website. It can share information such as:
Where visitors come from
Which pieces of content are the most popular
How long visitors spend on your site and what they do during their visits
What causes visitors to leave your site
What factors make visitors “convert” (a “conversion” is when a visitor performs a desired action, like filling out a form or making a purchase)
These insights aren’t just interesting tidbits — they can help you make real improvements. For example, if you’re running an e-commerce store, you could see where visitors come from and which actions they take between landing on your site and making a purchase. Then, you can fix any issues that you find and double down on what’s working well.
To start analyzing organic traffic with this tool, you’ll need to add a small tracking snippet to your site. If you’re a WordPress.com Business plan user, you can follow these instructions to add Google Analytics to your WordPress.com site.
Once you’ve added the tool to your site, you’ll be able to view all of your site’s data via the web interface. The main dashboard page (pictured below) gives you an at-a-glance look into your site’s most important data. You can also scroll down to view additional high-level information:
This home dashboard is helpful, but this tool can go much deeper with the insights that it offers. To help make those insights accessible, Google Analytics divides your site’s data into four top-level categories:
Audience: Information about your visitors, such as where they live, what devices they use, etc.
Acquisition: Where your visitors come from, e.g. from Google, Twitter, a referring site, etc.
Behavior: What visitors do while on your site, what content they look at, and how long they browse
Conversions: How many visitors “convert” by making a purchase or filling out a form
Each high-level category contains its own Overview report, as well as a number of subreports. Below, you can see a list of the subreports for the Acquisition category in the sidebar on the left:
For example, the Channels subreport allows you to analyze a specific traffic channel, like only analyzing organic traffic that comes from Google.
Once you have access to this information, you can look for patterns and trends to find what parts of your website and marketing strategy are successful, as well as which parts might need tweaking.
Google Analytics is a powerful tool, and there are entire courses devoted to mastering its functionality. However, you don’t need to be a master to benefit. Exploring Google Analytics’ many premade reports alone will give you actionable insights to start improving your website today.
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