The SNO Report: Understanding your analytics

You probably know that all SNO Sites come with access to Google Analytics, a platform that allows you to know who’s visiting your site, how many hits you’re getting, and what your most popular stories are. Or maybe you’ve never heard of Google Analytics, or you’re not quite sure how to process the different types of data you’re seeing. Wherever you stand, here’s a quick lesson in the basics to help you get the most out of your site’s analytics reports.

Before we get started, you might be wondering– how do I access Google Analytics? Check out our help site article on accessing your Analytics account. You should also be receiving weekly email updates from Google Analytics — or maybe you were, but they’ve stopped. If you or someone from your staff needs your email subscription renewed, just let us know, and we’ll take care of that for you.

Now that you’re in, we’ve outlined three main areas to pay attention to below, which will fast track you towards the analytics wonk you are. These sections are calledAudience, Acquisition, and Behavior, which can all be found under Reporting.

Audience is your, well, Audience! Click on Audience Overview to see the most helpful stats, such as number of users and pageviews per a given time period. Are most of your beloved readers mobile visitors? Are your visitors brand new or returning readers (aim for a 50/50 split)? The Audience section will tell you.

The Acquisition section displays how visitors are reaching your site. Common ways audiences access your content are through direct traffic (or knowing your URL by heart), organic search (thanks DuckDuckGo), Referral from another website, and Social Media. This will let you know what you should be focusing on in terms of promotion; aim for Social Media, Direct Traffic, and Organic Search to be the top three.

Finally, the Behavior section displays, you guessed it, the behavior of your visitors! This would include which stories get the most hits, which pages are being viewed most often (or least often!), and what kind of content seems to drive readers to your site. What’s so great about the Behavior section is that you can determine what your readers care about most, as well as break that information down per day, week, or month.

Lastly, if Google Analytics just isn’t for you, we get it and for that reason have added a really cool feature to your site’s dashboard called Insights. Once linked to your Google Analytics email account, you’ll be able to view easy-to-read reports right from your dashboard. You’ll also be able to display your trending stories in a widget based on Google Analytics readership stats! If you’re having trouble using Insights, justsend us a message.

Google Analytics is a great way to monitor everything that’s happening on your site; what’s working, what’s not, and what your audience really wants. Use this knowledge to make your site even more alluring to your readers, and watch those traffic numbers rise.