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Using Google Analytics for Info Barrel Writers

By Edited Oct 13, 2015 11 17


Google Analytics(62262)
For 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.

 DashboardMetrics

  1. 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.
  2. Page Visits – This metric indicates how many times people visited your articles.
  3. Page Views – This shows how many separate pages were viewed from all article visits.
  4. Pages/Visit – This means page views per visit which is basically how many pages were viewed on average from each unique article visit.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. Percentage of New Visits – This is the percentage of new visitors to your articles out of all visitors to your articles.

Dashboard Metrics

    Features 

    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

    1. Dashboard – This is the general overview of your content and can be used to click through to other in-depth analytics options
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Traffic Sources – This shows the types of traffic sources—direct traffic, search engines, and referring sites—that are leading to your articles.
    5. Content – This is an analysis of all of your articles including which are popular, visitor navigation from your articles, AdSense on content, and more.
    6. 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.

    Visitors

    Metrics

     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.
      Google Ad Planner Metrics

    Traffic Sources

    Metrics

    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. 

    Top Traffic Sources
    • 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.

    Content

      Metrics

      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.

      AdSense Revenue(65485)
      • 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. 

      Comments

      Sep 13, 2011 8:30pm
      jcmayer777
      Great article! I don't pay nearly as much attention to my Analytics account as I should.
      Sep 13, 2011 11:50pm
      Jerky
      Google Analytics is such an amazingly powerful tool, I try to check my "stats" every time I check my Adsense account, lots of great information for new articles and back link anchor text lurking in that free program :)
      Sep 14, 2011 2:50am
      danmont
      I haven't taken advantage of this powerful tool. I should start looking Google Analytics more carefully.
      Sep 14, 2011 3:22am
      Irene
      You should consider writing an ebook. Really useful material and good introduction to the often confusing too many metrics of Google Analytics.

      I've been using GA for years so I kinda take for granted everybody understand what I am thinking about, but have discovered several times that they are very confusing for people when they start, so I'll send them to this post now! :D
      Sep 14, 2011 3:59am
      SuffolkJason
      Great article. Do you think you should show a full screenshot of your Adsense account? I believe Google's TOS state that you are only allowed to reveal earnings.
      Sep 14, 2011 6:53am
      southerngirl09
      Excellent article! Information that everyone should have if they are writing for Adsense. Thanks for sharing.
      Sep 14, 2011 7:42am
      hanaomori127
      SuffolkJason, thanks for alerting me to that. This is actually a screenshot out of Google Analytics and not my AdSense account but I'll check the policy with Google to make sure it's okay.

      Thanks to everyone else for the kind words. I really appreciate that people are taking the time to read my work. I am currently working on a social bookmarking article as well so please look for that to be published within the next week or so.
      Sep 14, 2011 9:48am
      RachelB
      Fantastic article! I will study it carefully and keep it on hand to refer to on a regular basis.
      Sep 14, 2011 3:33pm
      homebaseincome
      I've always been intimidated using the Adsense Analytic but your article will help me understand what I need to do when I sit down to give it a try. Thanks so much for this article. I'm someone who needed it.
      Sep 15, 2011 1:52am
      eileen
      I like google ananlytics, but frustrated that you can really only get all this information for one main site. My first main site was hubpages so Iget information for that but cannot get the same adsense info for infobarrel. Shame. I would also like it for my blogs too but it does not give us that., Just the basics thats all. Great article
      Sep 15, 2011 10:55am
      BlogMakesMoney
      very nice information
      Sep 16, 2011 4:27pm
      Info-by-Naomi
      Thanks for such a complete explanation of Google Analytics. Getting familiar with it was one of "one of these days" projects. You laid everything out very well. Great article!
      Sep 28, 2011 8:02pm
      Jerky
      Hey Hana, be careful showing your Adsense and Analytics data, Google frowns on that kind of thing. No point in getting kicked out of the system by trying to help people! I think if you cover up the "middle" of the charts (where the CTR and that kind of stuff is) you're fine leaving the page/site and earnings, but you might want to read up in the actual terms of service just to double check.

      Rock
      Oct 3, 2011 4:33pm
      hanaomori127
      Thanks everyone for the comments and I have now fixed the Google Analytics images; it is prohibited to publish earnings information as I have recently learned
      Oct 4, 2011 5:28am
      yackers1
      I have read through this great article few times and I am still struggling in getting my adsense info to show up. I must be missing something obvious here - but I can't see it!! If I ned to link my Adsense to my Analytics account can someone provide a "total idiots" step-by-step guide?
      Oct 5, 2011 11:38pm
      hanaomori127
      I'll try to put up a step-by-step guide in an article next week
      Oct 21, 2011 1:33pm
      Hypersapien
      Incredibly useful. Thanks for putting this together.
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