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GOOGLE ANALYTICS FOR BEGINNERS

Learn about your visitors, get new blog content ideas, improve blog traffic.

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog

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Today’s post is all about getting the right Google Analytics stuff done when starting a blog. If you are already a seasoned blogger, this post may be helpful as a way of spring cleaning or upgrading .

If you haven’t guessed already, I’m a fan of Google Analytics. I’ve worked with it for the last 10 years across small to large scale multinational companies and it’s always allowed me to achieve my personal and clients’ goals. It’s also free, easy to learn (and use), and integrates with a whole heap of other software programs – Mailchimp, WordPress, SumoMe- that are popular among bloggers.

So, let’s get started.

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog - Hustle/ Flow

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog - Hustle/ Flow

Setup and Install Google Analytics Correctly

The first thing is to set up and install Google Analytics on to your blog. This is not as scary as it sounds as these days you don’t even need to be a “coder”. That said, it’s never a bad idea to understand a little code but for this specific purpose, you don’t need any super coding skills to install Google Analytics. If you are running your blog on WordPress, there are hundreds of plugins available in the market to help you install Google Analytics.

Need to install Google Analytics on your WordPress powered blog?
Read my how-to installation guide (using a plugin) for WordPress bloggers here.

Set Up 3 Views

Setting up Google Analytics on your blog the right way will not only prepare you for the journey ahead. It will also help with a lot of challenges as your blog grows and thrives. The initial time you put in towards following some best practices in the industry means that you’ll have more time in the future to focus on your hustle.

Create 3 different views per Google Analytics property. Upon installation and initial setup, you would naturally create 1 view. The intent here is to create 2 more views for that property, totalling it to 3 views. Each view should then provide you a different reports depending on your filters.

  • Master / Primary – Automatically labelled as ‘All Website Data’ when you set up. This should be your main view when analysing your blog data. Here you will configure the basic filters such as excluding your home IP address so that the reports will only track your blog visitors (and not your own visits), set up goals, segments etc.
  • Test – this view is optional but recommended. Use this view to test out new filters that may or may not work the way you intended them to.
  • Unfiltered/ Raw – This is exactly what it says it is – unfiltered and raw data. This view should have no filters configured.

How To Create A New View

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog - Hustle/ FlowIn Google Analytics, click on the COG icon to go to the ADMIN area.

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog - Hustle/ Flow

In the third column (farthest to the right) is the VIEW column. Click on the dropdown and select Create a new view. If you have not created any other views before, All Web Site Data will be the default view which will be your Master/ Primary view.

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog - Hustle/ Flow

  1. Enter the name for the view you are creating: Test View.
  2. Select the correct reporting time zone.
  3. Hit Create View to complete. Repeat the above steps to create your Unfiltered/ Raw View.

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog - Hustle/ Flow

Turn On *All The Toggles*

Okay, I was being dramatic. There’s only 3 toggles to turn on and just a button to click but because these are optional it often goes unnoticed until needed. These toggles are actually optional reports and features that Google Analytics offers.

If you are looking or need more information on how to use these reports, sign up for my 5-days email course on getting started with Google Analytics! I cover the basics of using the Audience Report to create an idea of your blog visitor and much more.

You don’t need to turn on or enable these reports but doing so will give you some pretty sweet insights.

The 3 toggles to turn on:

  • Enable Demographics and Interest Reports
  • Use enhanced link attribution
  • Enable Users Metric in Reporting

How To Turn On the Toggles

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog - Hustle/ Flow

In Google Analytics, click on the COG icon to go to the ADMIN area.

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog - Hustle/ Flow

In the second column (middle) is the PROPERTY column. Click on Property Settings.

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog - Hustle/ Flow

  1.  Scroll down until you see Enable Demographics and Interest Reports. Turn on the toggle to show ON.
  2. Next, under Use enhanced link attribution turn on the toggle to show ON.
  3. Finally, under Enable Users Metric in Reporting turn on the toggle to show ON.

RELATED POST: Is Your Social Media Working For You? Start Tracking Them!

Link Google Analytics with Search Console

Using Google Analytics with Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools) can be incredibly powerful for SEO. Linking both accounts does take a little time but ultimately well worth the effort. When used correctly, you are able to find out in more detail your blog visitor search behaviors.

How To Link Google Analytics with Search Console

Step 1: Add Your Website to Search Console

Before linking Google Analytics with Search Console, you will need to add your website to Search Console. Head to google.com/webmaster/tools to start. Sign in to Search Console with the same Gmail address you use to set up Google Analytics.

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog - Hustle/ Flow

  1. Add your website URL in the field then click on the red button Add a Property.

  1. Use the dropdown to select the company you purchased your domain name from.

This next step is a verification step – Search Console needs to know for sure you are the rightful owner of the website. There are several methods to do this but the easiest way is to go through your domain name provider. This step will require you to sign in to the company you purchased your domain from.

If you selected to verify site ownership via domain name provider (as shown in previous step), clicking VERIFY will prompt a pop-up window to appear. Sign in to your Domain Name Provider – remember, this is the company you purchased your domain from.

After successful sign-in to your Domain Name Provider, you should be complete. You’ll know for sure it’s completed correctly when you see a little smiling robot flying vertically up the sky 🤖.

Step 2: Link Google Analytics to Search Console

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog - Hustle/ Flow

Just like before, go to Property Settings from your ADMIN section.

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog - Hustle/ Flow

Scroll down until you see Search Console. Click on the Adjust Search Console button.

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog - Hustle/ Flow

On the Search Console Settings page, click on Edit.

 Now that you have already added and verified your website in Search Console, you should see a screen like above.

  1. Select your website by click on the radio button on the far left.
  2. Click Save to complete the linking.

A Google Analytics Checklist When Starting A Blog - Hustle/ Flow

Hey there, I'm Michelle.

I created Hustle/Flow to help heart-centred individuals pursue their passion fearlessly and healthily. I teach bloggers, entrepreneurs and small business owners how to make their online hustle work, and how to keep the flow.