6 Important Google analytics metrics to track (KPIs) (tips to improve)

6 Important Google analytics metrics to track (KPIs) (tips to improve)

Opening the Google Analytics dashboard for the first time can be intimidating for most of us. But let me talk about a few important Google Analytics metrics to track. These Key Performance Indicators or KPIs are a great place to begin with.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for measuring your website or blog’s performance and it also shows insights on how to improve it. Whatever may be your goal (improve traffic, get more leads and conversions, etc), installing Google Analytics could help you achieve it.

I know it has so many options and reports that it might overwhelm that you are putting off deep-diving into Google Analytics.

Important Google Analytics Metrics to track

But here I am to make things easy for you and help you get the best of this powerful tool. What are the Google Analytics metrics (KPIs) and numbers that you should watch out for on your dashboard, and why?

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Bounce rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of your visitors who leave your site without interacting with it. They bounce out of your site, get it?

A high bounce rate shows that the content was

  • not relevant – You are attracting the wrong audience
  • not convincing enough for the visitor to convert or interact. – Improve your writing skills or engage a content writer.

Where to look for this KPI on Google Analytics?

Audience> Overview

Bounce rate Google analytics

You can also view the bounce rates of an individual page at Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

Benchmark:

  • Blog/content sites – 65% to 90%
  • Lead generation sites – 30% to 55%
  • B2B sites – 25% to 55%
  • Retail sites – 20% to 40%

Source: CXL

How can you improve it?

  • Add more CTAs (call to actions) to your posts,
  • Create more internal links to your other posts.

Average Session duration

This metric shows how much time a visitor spends per session (30 minutes of inactivity, usually) or visit, on your site on an average.

It is an aggregate time spent on multiple pages on your site. It includes the time they spend reading your content, leaving a comment, scrolling down, etc.

Obviously the longer they spend, the better it is. The higher average session duration indicates your content is engaging and holds attention.

This metric is very important if you are displaying ads on your site. It also shows the quality of the traffic you generate.

Where to look for this KPI on Google Analytics?

Audience> Overview

Google Analytics Average Session Duration

Benchmark:

2 – 3 min

Source: databox

How can you improve it?

  • Long-form content that holds the attention
  • Videos and infographics
  • Interlinking relevant content pages

Pages per session

This metric shows the average number of pages a visitor clicks per visit.

The goal here is to keep the content engaging and relevant so that the visitor keeps clicking another page. The higher the number of pages per session, the higher the content writing quality is.

Where to look for this KPI on Google Analytics?

Behavior> Overview

Google Analytics Pages Per Session

Benchmark:

1 to 3

How can you improve it?

  • Focus on your content pillar and link to relevant pages.
  • Use a “related post” widget.
  • Hub and spoke model of content marketing can be helpful

Source

This is one of my favorite metrics to look at. This report shows where your traffic comes in from. You can find not only which channel sends you traffic but also which sends good quality traffic (= convertible leads).

Knowing which channel brings you good quality traffic can help you make marketing decisions like where you can spend more ad budgets.

Where to look for this KPI on Google Analytics?

Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium

google-analytics source

Benchmark:

None.
But it is always better to have diversified sources for your traffic.

How can you improve it?

  • Focus on where you get good quality traffic, even if they are low in number.

Referrals

The referral report shows who links and sends traffic to your site. You know backlinks are great for sites, and this report will show where your quality backlinks are.

You can find out which guest post you wrote brings in the most traffic or find out which pin on Pinterest is most effective. Determine where your next collaboration should be by using this report.

Where to look for this KPI on Google Analytics?

Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals

Google Analytics referrals

How can you improve it?

  • Collaborate with relevant and quality blogs and sites

Popular posts

This report shows what are your most popular pages. It is super interesting to look at because it helps you choose the type of content that works best for you.

Where to look for this KPI on Google Analytics?

Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

Popular pages Google analytics

How can you improve it?

  • Create topics related to the top-performing posts
  • Add affiliate links on those posts
  • Create an opt-in freebie on those pages

Bottom-line

Again, these may seem intimidating but once you get the hang of it these Google analytics metrics and KPIs are your best friends. It will help you understand your audience better and to tailor content to their tastes.

If you have any questions on how to understand any of these metrics, feel free to ask me in the comments or send me an email right away!

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Do you know of these important Google Analytics metrics to track? What are some KPIs and numbers that you watch out for on your dashboard? Which is your favorite? Let us talk.

6 Important Google analytics metrics to track (KPIs) (tips to improve)

Eight books that will make you smarter

The book you choose to read makes a great difference in what you gain. You can choose a murder mystery or romance to get you to relax, but do they help you in gaining knowledge? What if I say there are books eight books that will make you smarter that are enjoyable too?

Books that will make you smarter 

Here are my top eight choices for books that will make you smarter. Let us start shall we?

1) What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

What if -books that will make yousmarter

Author: Randall Munroe

Randall Munroe of xkcd.com fame (a former physicist and NASA robotics employee turned brilliant comics artist) provides scientific answers for absurd questions in his book What if. 

With his trademark humor and illustrations, What if is perfect for anyone who wants to know the answers for the hypothetical questions. 

2) Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind  

Sapiens -books that will make yousmarter

Author: Yuval Noah Harari

Change the way you think of history of humankind by reading Sapiens. What could have made us, the way we are as a society? Could the fictions we spin helped us to behave better as a group?

Harari makes us realize everything we have read about pre-historic world, in our schools and beyond, is just a sample on what could have happened. Sapiens is a must read if you are curious (and you should be) about the history of mankind.

3) Thinking, Fast and Slow 

Author: Daniel Kahneman 

This book has its place in every list of must read non fiction and rightly so. The Nobel prize winning author talks about human thinking that is of two types – one like it is on an auto pilot and the more conscious thinking. 

With real life examples on how these different cognitive abilities affect real life decision making, Thinking, Fast and Slow is  an interesting read that can make you smarter!

4) Train Your Brain: 60 Days to a Better Brain

Author: Dr. Ryuta Kawashima

Designed specifically for adults who want to stay sharp, the book is a bestseller in Japan since it was published.

With daily 5 minute exercise with simple mathematics problems, this is a great work book to help you become sharper and smarter soon. 

5) Stuff Matters 

Author: Mark Miodownik

Stuff matters takes us on a brilliant tour of various materials that we see and use in life (like concrete, chocolate and glass) and tells why these materials have a specific characteristic.

Why do some materials have an odor? Why some glass shatter and others are bullet proof? In his own witty and anecdotal way makes us think and enjoy his tour through material science.

6) A Short History of Nearly Everything 

Author: Bill Bryson

This is one of those book that everyone should read as soon as possible. Bryson offers a crash course on all your existential crisis and provides answers to them with his wry humor. 

From UFOs to bacteria to radioactivity this book nearly covers everything that a smart person should know. And the writing is pretty fun too.

7) The Art of War 

Author: Sun Tzu

Considered as one of the text book guide on competing in the modern business world, The art of war talks about the psychology and strategy for the warfare. 

But the principles of the ancient Chinese warfare could be applied to any competitive situation and/or conflict resolution or just to understand the human psychology.

It is a must read for CEO and wanna be high executives alike.

8) A Brief History of Time 

Author: Stephen Hawking

Written in a plain language without too many scientific terms, this book shot the author as pop cultural icon. This book talks about black holes, universe and antimatter and answers profound questions, in a way anyone could understand it. 

A perfect book that will make you smarter with a little bit of effort.

That’s it for now folks, these are my top eight choice of books to make you smarter.

If you like my suggestions you should check out my other book recommendation lists here. 

Similar book lists that you may like

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So what do you think about my choice of books that will make you smarter? Have you read any of them? Suggest your favorite non fiction book. Let me know in the comments.

6 Important Google analytics metrics to track (KPIs) (tips to improve)

How to write book reviews – a guide

You have just finished reading a book. Now what? Why not write a book review on your own blog or other sites, so that the author and the other readers might benefit from it? Here is a quick guide on how to write book reviews to help other readers decide whether they should read the book or not. 

Also if you are already a book blogger, you might have heard that the book review posts do not get much engagement from other bloggers, and that might be putting you off from writing more book reviews. If it is so, this guide can help you on creating a format so that you wont have to spend too much time on writing book reviews. 

How to write book reviews

So here is how you can write book reviews in a way that it will be useful for your readers and yet you can write them fast.

Again, writing them quickly doesn’t mean you can do a half baked job. Having a template ensures that you will not miss out on any important detail from your review post.

Write a short introduction to the book

You might start with all the relevant details like 

  • Author name and link to their website
  • Their other books
  • the name of the publisher
  • the year of publication
  • ISBN or ASIN of the book
  • Genre of the book
  • Target age group 

Do not forget to include the book cover and link to the purchase page. 

Keep the plot short and spoiler free

Instead of copying the plot summary from the blurb or Goodreads, summarize the plot in your words. And keep it short and to the point. 

Most importantly keep it spoiler free, because you are trying to get the reader pick the book (or not, depending on the review) and giving away the plot is not the right way to do it.

How to write  book reviews -spoilers
Credit: Giphy

Add the relevant disclosure

If you have added any affiliate links like Amazon, B&N in the post, please mention that to avoid the legal issues. 

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Mention if you received the book received the copy from author or publisher for reviewing. 

Any books, products, or compensation received in exchange for review or promotion will be clearly stated in individual posts. This does not affect my opinion; opinions expressed are honest and entirely my own.

Also mark as spoiler if your review has anything that might be considered spoiler to the book you are reviewing. We do not want to spoil others

Add your rating and explain your scale

After the disclosure and before starting your detailed review, add your rating for the book. It can either be a number scale (say, 3/5) or a pictorial representation showing the rating, like many other bloggers do. 

Either way ensure it is visible distinctly as soon as the readers open the page. Insert a sidebar text box explaining what your rating scale means, say 

  • 5/5 – Wow, favorite book 
  • 4/5 – great, would recommend!
  • 3/5 – good but can be better
  • 2/5 – It was ok, wouldn’t miss it if I had not read
  • 1/5 – it was so bad that want my time back

Also, rating a book on your blog is not absolutely important. Here is my stand on why I do not rate books on my blog.

Pen down your personal thoughts

Here comes the main part of your review – writing down your thoughts on the book. 

Make the review personal and tell your readers about how did the book make you feel. Or be objective and talk only about the positives and negatives of the book. Your choice. 

How to write  book reviews - feelings
Credit: Giphy

Here are somethings that you can talk about in your review 

  • Character development of the protagonists
  • Character development of the side characters
  • Main plot and the sub plots
  • Did you see the twists coming?
  • Author’s writing in terms of the style, pace etc
  • Representation, if any
  • Triggers, if any

Conclude with a strong summary of whether you recommend the book or not. You can mention the specific set of people who may enjoy the book or should avoid the book. 

Other sections that you can include in your review

  • Pointers on what you liked or disliked in the book
  • Quotes from the book 
  • Relevant GIFs and images to convey your emotions
  • You can mention other books that might be similar to the book you are reviewing.
  • Add links to Goodreads book page, if you are not adding purchase links.

I hope this guide helped you in knowing how to write book reviews. If you are looking for some inspirations, take a look at some of my newer reviews.

This is the format I use to write book reviews

  • About the book
  • The plot
  • My initial thoughts
  • Things that worked for me
  • Things that didn’t work for me
  • Bottom-line

Here are some more pointers to improve the engagement in your book review posts

Previously on blogging tips for book bloggers

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Do you like writing book reviews? Or do you feel it is not worth the time spend on writing the book reviews? Do you prefer emotional or analytical book reviews when it comes to deciding whether to read a book or not? Let us talk.

6 Important Google analytics metrics to track (KPIs) (tips to improve)

Adding WordPress follow button to your self hosted sites

One of the main reason I switched over to WordPress years was the nifty follow button that shows your follower count and more importantly the ease of new posts showing up on your WP feed Reader. So imagine my surprise when I found that the self hosted WordPress sites do not have the follow button natively? 

Of course there is a way to get it added, and it is not too difficult. And I did the WordPress follow button on to my sidebar here and my home page here. 

Adding the button on self hosted sites

In fact it is one of those basic things that every blog or site should have! So with no further ado, can we get to adding those buttons on our self hosted wordpress site?

Jetpack plugin

1. Ensure your self hosted wordpress site/blog is Jetpacked powered. Basically check if this Jetpack plugin is installed. It usually is, but if it is not just do it.

Where do you want the button

2. Choose where on earth your site you are going to add the button. Just make sure it is a prominent place. 

The most obvious choices are

  • sidebar header 
  • footer
  • But in some cases, like this post, you can add it to your posts (see the end of the post).
  • And your ‘about me’ and contact pages, as well

Get the code

You can use this code generator from WordPress to generate your WordPress Follow button. 

The options here are pretty simple.You can choose to show your site name (better to leave it on).

Button options for adding a WordPress follow button on your self hosted websites

And show/hide the count of followers, as you wish.

Click the generate button.

Add the code to your site

Now for the important bit.

Insert the code to wherever you want the follow button to appear.

Code generator for adding a WordPress follow button on your self hosted websites

This is how my code below my ‘about me’ looks.

How to add a WordPress follow button on your self hosted websites

I am adding it to a custom HTML widget to display on my sidebar. 

adding a WordPress follow button on your self hosted websites

I am also adding the code snippet to this post, for good measure. 

adding a WordPress follow button on your self hosted websites

And you are DONE!

How does it work?

Now you can have your blog posts sent directly to others WordPress reader, without them signing up with an email address. 

If you have problems implementing any of these or would like to hear more on these feel free to chat up.

And don’t forget to follow me!

Follow Elgee Writes on WordPress.com

Previously on blogging tips for book bloggers

Check out this link for more of blogger resources posts and how to guides.

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So what do you think about this little ‘how to’ guide? Do you have your WordPress follow button enabled? If you want any other guide for book blogging let me know. Let us talk.

6 Important Google analytics metrics to track (KPIs) (tips to improve)

Books to kick start the reading habit

Are you a new reader who wants to kick start the reading habit? Or you may be returning to reading books for pleasure after a long gap? Either way if you are looking for book recommendations, I got you covered.

How to choose books to help you read more?

My criteria for this starter pack for new readers would be books that are

  • short
  • currently relevant
  • funny and romantic
  • thrillers and horrors
  • adapted into Series/movies
  • Non fiction / self help books

Books to kick start the reading habit

Let us get on with my recommendations, shall we?

1) A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Man called Ove start the reading habit

This is one of those heartwarming books that would bring a smile to your cold heart. 

Ove is a mean, grumpy and opinionated old man, who looks forward to the day he would join his late wife, Sonja. What happens to this grumpy old man when he unwillingly meets his messy neighbors, forms the rest of the story.

Read my review of A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman here 

2) Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston 

 Red, White & Royal Blue

Red, White & Royal Blue is such a cute, sweet and funny LGBTQA romance that will definitely keep your lock down sorrows go away.

The sons of the first families of The USA and the UK hate each other dislike each other and the world knows it. The first families and their PRs decide to intervene and stage a fake Instagram relationship. What starts as a fake friendship between them blossoms into something more. 

Read my review of Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston here 

3) The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa 

Travelling Cat Chronicles start the reading habit

Satoru and his feral cat Nana, have settled into a comfortable companionship. But Satoru suddenly decides to give away Nana and they embark on a journey to find a suitable home among his friends. Read The Travelling Cat Chronicles to join the duo on their travel through Japan and Satoru’s childhood memories!

The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a feel good book, with a bittersweet ending. Be prepared to cry, laugh and snicker throughout!

Read my review of The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa here 

4) Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon 

 the reading habit Everything everything

Maddy led a very sheltered life all through her life due to her illness. She has never stepped out of her house in years and her mother and her nurse are the only one she interacts with. Them and her book blog. Until a new family moves to their neighborhood.

You might like this short YA romance with a twist you wouldn’t see coming!

Read my review of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon here 

5) To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han 

 the reading habit To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is one of those rare movie adaptation that was as good as the book.
The story revolves around Lara Jean, an introvert who writes letters to her crushes to get it out of her system. Unexpectedly those get delivered to all those boys and hilarity ensues.

This Young Adult book and its movie adaptation took everyone by a storm. You will love it if you are looking for a cute romance with teenage angst! 

Read my review of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han here.

6) When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi the reading habit

Dimple Shah has ambitious plans for her life and has been accepted to Stanford. But her parents have other plans for her. Dimple ambushed by her parents hates Rishi even before she gets a chance to know him. Does her opinion about Rishi changes after she knows him better?

When Dimple Met Rishi is a cute YA contemporary romance that would make you grin in all the right places.

Read my review of When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon here

7) One of us is lying by Karen M. McManus 

One of us is lying the reading habit

One of us is lying begins at detention with five students that fit the popular stereotypes (the Breakfast Club?

Things go haywire when one of them dies of an allergic reaction right in front of them at the detention center. The police suspect foul play and the other four teens are brought under spotlight. 

Did the fact that Simon was going to publish their secrets on his website the next day had anything to do with his death? You will have to read One of us is lying to know more.

One of us is lying is definitely an easy to read book and I finished reading it in a few hours. And needless to say it was un-put-down-able. Perfect to start your reading habit!

Read my review of One of us is lying by Karen M. McManus here

8) The Woman In The Window by Finn A J

 Woman In The Window

Dr. Anna Fox’s daily routine includes drinking a lot of wine while being highly medicated, watching retro movies and peeking into her neighbours’ house through their windows. 

But when she sees something untoward happening at her neighbors’ she has no grounds to report about it. How she proves that she did not hallucinate and finds out the culprit form the rest of the story in The Woman in the Window.

The Woman in the Window will keep you occupied and might even turn to be unputdownable. With the movie version coming before the end of the year, you might wanna read it already. 

Read my review of The Woman In The Window by Finn A J here

9) The Hate u give by Angie Thomas 

The Hate u give the reading habit

Stuck between the two worlds and parents who have different views about their lives, Starr feels an outsider in both places. Starr understands her lives are universes apart and has never had to choose between them – until the fateful night, her unarmed friend Khalil gets shot by a cop in front of her eyes.

Should she remain silent, as her mother and uncle want her to be, and save herself from the wrath of the public and her own peers at school? Or should she put her life in danger, give a voice to the cause that may lead nowhere?

The Hate U Give is essentially a coming of age story in the present American scenario, dealing with racism, bullying and violence. It is inspired by the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, obviously but is much more than that.

It is an honest account of a strong black family that has nothing to do with the gangs or drugs but is put to trial because of their skin colour.

Read my review of The Hate u give by Angie Thomas here. 

10) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 

Handmaid's tale the reading habit

Set in not so distant dystopian future, women have lost all that they won in the recent past, at least partially – the ability to chose what they wore, what they did for life or even handle money. They are forbidden from reading, writing and even speaking freely.

Their existence is based on their functionality – the wives (in charge of the household), the helps (Marthas), the teachers (Aunts), the wombs (Handmaids), the sexual toys ( Jezebels) and the outcasts (Unwoman) are sent to Colonies where they are left to harvest cotton or clean up the radioactive waste.

Offred, our narrator, a handmaid belongs to Fred, who is on her third and final attempt to conceive a child with a government appointed ‘Commander.’ 

Offred falls for Nick, the Guardian for the commander, a crime that could lead them both to be publicly hung. Was the risk worth taking? Did she learn anything about her family? Read to know more.

The Handmaid’s Tale might be a little hard to get into, yet once you are into it, you can not stop it. You can not read The Handmaid’s Tale as a breeze through the weekend. You can not unsee once you have been to the Republic of Gilead and not relate it to the real world.

Read my review of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood here.

11) The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 

The Alchemist the reading habit

The book follows the journeys of a young shepherd boy on his search for ancient treasure. The philosophical theme that ‘the universe conspires to help us achieve things we want’ is well written and shines through. 

This simple and brief fable took the world by storm when it came out. The message is still relevant today. And perfect for someone who wants to kick start the reading habit. 

Read my review of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho here

12) Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson 

Who Moved My Cheese? the reading habit

The book is divided into two parts, a short story and then the relevant message. The basic theme of the books is how to deal with change and the importance of the right attitude in life.

While it is usually classified as a business subject, it is equally possible for anyone if us to implement them in our life. 

Read my review of Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson here

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What do you think about my choices? Would you recommend these books to someone who wants to start the reading habit? If you are someone who is starting the reading habit just now, let me know what you choose. Let us talk.