Credit: icalvyn.comFor the average Info Barrel writer Google AdSense is probably a very important tool. But AdSense can only show you so much about your articles and won’t necessarily help you improve your earnings. However, Google Analytics is a very helpful toolthat may not only help you understand your earnings but also will help you increase them over time. This article will discuss how Google Analytics works, the features it has, and how you can use it to benefit your writing for Info Barrel.
When you come to the Google Analytics page you should see infobarrel.com/yourusername listed as one of your website profiles. Click “View Report” to get to the Dashboard and all the features I’m going to discuss.
Note: Google Analytics has undergone updates since this article was written. Though the explanations for how to use Analytics information to optimize your content are still useful, the navigation details may be incorrect in the new version. For information on the new Google Analytics please refer to this article.
- Range of Time – At the upper right hand corner is the range of time being analyzed. You can use this to compare your metrics now to another time period and thus can see your progress over time.
- Page Visits – This metric indicates how many times people visited your articles.
- Page Views – This shows how many separate pages were viewed from all article visits.
- Pages/Visit – This means page views per visit which is basically how many pages were viewed on average from each unique article visit.
- Bounce Rate – This measures the percentage of times that a visitor “bounced” or left the site from the landing page (or the first article they visited) compared to all visitor article views.
- Average Time on Site – This shows the average amount of time a visitor spends on your articles based on length of time spent on every article visit over the total number of visits.
- Percentage of New Visits – This is the percentage of new visitors to your articles out of all visitors to your articles.
On the right side of the screen is a list of in-depth analytics options; they are: Dashboard, Intelligence, Visitors, Traffic Sources, Content, and Goals
- Dashboard – This is the general overview of your content and can be used to click through to other in-depth analytics options
- Intelligence – This is used with your analytics alerts. You can set up custom alerts to tell you when you’ve reached a certain click through rate, number of visitors, or whatever you want it to measure.
- Visitors – This is where you can find all of the information on the visitors coming to your articles or in marketing terms, your visitor demographics.
- Traffic Sources – This shows the types of traffic sources—direct traffic, search engines, and referring sites—that are leading to your articles.
- Content – This is an analysis of all of your articles including which are popular, visitor navigation from your articles, AdSense on content, and more.
- Goals – You can create this for yourself out of a combination of any metric you choose.
Using Google Analytics with Info Barrel
Here I’ll go into a few specific ways that you can use the in-depth analytic options to optimize your Info Barrel earnings.
These are pretty much the same as those on the Dashboard except for one that says Absolute Unique Visitors. Don’t be confused by this new term, it is the same as Unique Visitors as shown on the Dashboard.
Google Ad Planner
Under Visitor Segmentation is a link that says “Try Google Ad Planner.” If you click through this you are taken to the Ad Planner as is calibrated for Infobarrel.com, NOT your individual account on Info Barrel. However, you can still use this very much to your advantage in optimizing your content. The Google Ad Planner shows the basic metrics for Info Barrel but the most important to pay attention to are Unique Visitors (users) and Reach.
- Unique Visitors (users) – This is the number of monthly regional and global visitors. Disregard the metric for Unique Visitors (cookies) because this is just another type of estimation that is less reliable than Unique Visitors (users)
- Reach – This is the total number of people who have taken action—viewed or clicked—on the content of Info Barrel
Further down the page you should see a bunch of information on the demographics of visitors coming to Info Barrel. These include age, gender, level of education, household income, audience interests, keywords searched for, sites also visited, etc.
- Age – How old are the visitors coming to Info Barrel?
- Gender – Male or Female?
- Level of Education – Are these high school, undergrads, or graduate students?
- Household Income – Are these people who can afford to click through the offers on your articles?
- Audience Interests – This shows things the visitors are interested in which led them to Info Barrel. Looking at this list can help you determine what topics to write articles about based on what people are interested in.
- Keywords Searched For – Similar to audience interests this tool is great for writers who want to know what topics are more likely to gain traffic or what visitors to Info Barrel may search for.
- Sites also Viewed – This shows Info Barrel competitors; the content of these sites may be relevant to what the visitors are interested in.Credit: Google Analytics
What percentage of your visitors is coming from direct traffic, referring sites or search engines? If you click on any of these metrics you can see a more in-depth analysis of each. Below you can also see your top traffic sources and keywords leading to your articles.
- Direct Traffic – Direct traffic means that the visitors came to the URL of your articles from an unknown referrer. This may indicate visitors are sharing your article with others either offline or online.
- Referring Sites – Here you can see which sites are referring your articles which are usually your back links. You can see which are better than others and use this to decide where to back link your articles for the most traffic.
- Search Engines – This shows traffic from search engines. You can use your this with top keywords to see what keywords your articles may be ranking for.
- Top Keywords - This shows what keywords are bringing the most traffic too your site. You can use this to see what content is getting more traffic from search engines.
These are very similar to the metrics from the main dashboard but also include information on the AdSense Performance of your articles and a Navigational Analysis of how visitors move from page to page throughout your articles. Here are the most important metrics to use:
- Page Views – This is the number of page views your articles are receiving collectively
- Bounce Rate – This calculates the percentage rate of “bounces” off the site from the landing page or first article the visitor has viewed. Generally, a higher bounce rate is considered bad because you want people to stay on your site but for one-page articles a higher bounce rate may not be an indication of poor article performance but simply that the visitor finished reading and wasn’t interested in your other content. To increase the bounce rate link articles to others that have similar or relevant content.
- Top Content – Here you can see which are your most popular articles so you can determine the category/type of content to write more about. Also, consider linking popular articles to others of related content to increase traffic on those articles.
- AdSense Page Impressions – This is the number of ad page impressions meaning the number of times a visitor has viewed an article which displays Google Ads
- AdSense Unit Impressions – This is the number of ad unit impressions that have been displayed to visitors. This is different than the number of page impressions because multiple ad units can be displayed on a single page. Obviously the highest number of unit impressions is what you want to aim for by getting the most article views possible.
- AdSense Revenue – Here you can track how much revenue you have earned from advertisements placed on your articles. You can use this to determine which articles are making the most revenue and use that information when planning the content you write about and the way you structure your articles. Also, this will show you which articles to build more backlinks on.
- Entrance Paths – This shows the path that a visitor traveled after viewing a particular article. It generates lists of pages that were viewed after the article and shows which articles may be considered related or interesting content to visitors who came to your original article.
- Entrance Sources – This metric displays the top sources for your content so you can optimize sources that generate more traffic than others. In other words, if one backlink off a social bookmarking site is creating tons of traffic you can choose to bookmark more content through that site than others.
- Entrance Keywords – This shows the keywords that visitors searched which led to your content; it may show keywords you are actually ranking for on Google.