Analytics is one of the most important aspects of a blog and contributes a major role in its success. For enhancing your SEO knowledge, keeping an eye on your analytics is a must.
I recommend using any analytics software or service right from the first day. As a WordPress user, I prefer to use a plugin for that.
The beginners who are new to analytics, let me give you a brief introduction –
“Analytics is (from the website perspective) that valuable data which is generated for website owners to help them understand their audience”
This data includes visitor statistics, their movement on and off your website, time spent and their open source information such as location, browser, language, demographics, etc.
The reports are far more comprehensive than you can think like a beginner. Some analytics also include heat maps and flows.
How To Get Yourself An Analytics Service?
In WordPress, You have two free options to choose from, Jetpack & Google Analytics.
However, there is a major difference between both of them.
The way they work is completely different, so is the way they execute the data.
Let’s talk about,
Jetpack is a WordPress plugin created by Automattic. This plugin comes with great features like related posts, sharing module, photon CDN, widget visibility, sitemap generation and many more along with the site stats integration.
You can check statistics data collected for up to a year with the jetpack. However, you cannot see the real-time data with it. It refreshes every 30 minutes.
This is a pure beginner-friendly approach to analytics. More details on this are coming up right after we discuss a little about analytics from Google.
Google analytics is a complete solution for every data you will ever need. This isn’t a plugin for sure.
Google analytics is a google hosted analytics software which is available to anyone having a Gmail account.
For using this one, you need to install a plugin that seamlessly integrates with it. The tracking is done by inserting the dedicated code provided by Google to you. We often prefer to use GADWP or MonsterInsights.
With Google Analytics, you can check out the time spent on your blog, the flow of your audience, the best landing pages, impressions and more.
That being said, here’s what you should be thinking is,
Q. How are they both so different?
The statistics shown in the jetpack plugin isn’t 100% correct in most of the cases. The ratio is between 70-80% and that’s still significant to consider.
The jetpack shows you some basic partial insights like what pages did your readers browse, where did they came from, how many searches were done, what outbound links were clicked, which author had the highest views, top searches and who referred to your site.
A newbie would see jetpack’s data as a delight and that’s the truth. Jetpack is really great for beginners who just want to see how many views they have managed to get.
But if you think from the perspective of marketing and insights, that’s way behind the woods in jetpack.
When compared to google analytics, the jetpack stands nowhere. The data Google processes and provides is very comprehensive.
Google Analytics shows you how exactly your visitors move on your website. Right from racking their inch by inch activity to evaluating their interests, google analytics does it all.
Google analytics shows you:
2. CTR & CPC
3. Real-time data
4. Bounce rate
5. Time spent
6. Page & traffic value
7. Behavior flow
8. Acquisition data
9. Interlink flow
10. Deep website structural analysis
11. Conversion Data
And More. Everything you can imagine to reveal what your audience do is shown by google.
The data it collects is extremely comprehensive and jetpack stands nowhere near so far.
Jetpack also counts bot traffic coming from different IPs at a time. The same thing happens with blogger (Blogspot) stats too. Although it’s a rare event in jetpack still it happens.
On the other hand, I have never seen google counting any not traffic. In any case. This makes sure that you only see the traffic that is genuine.
Which one should you choose?
As a beginner, jetpack is a great choice for you. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use google analytics.
the dashboard of google analytics is surely a bit overwhelming and hard to understand for you but you can still collect the data, for future reference.
This will give you valuable data when you would need it. Meanwhile, you can look into jetpack for analyzing how many page views you got and where did they come from along with other data as well.
Jetpack doesn’t show you bounce rate and time spent on your blog, something you should worry about. If your bounce rate is that means there is something wrong with your content or theme or somewhere else. But how will you know that with?
With Google Analytics, not jetpack. So I suggest getting your self a Google Analytics tracking code right away.
In the case of jetpack, you don’t have to do any additional criteria for enabling the stats. Just install the plugin and activate it. Connect it with your WordPress.com account and you are good to go.
So far, Google analytics is the winner. That doesn’t mean jetpack isn’t worth it. I use both of them on my blog. Why?
Well, jetpack gives me a quick overview of what is happening on my blog every 30 minutes. This includes the top searches and top posts along with total views I got.
Jetpack also shows me the referral traffic and the clicks I got on my outbound links.
For investigating the bounce rate and time spent I look on the google analytics report. I compare both of them to see if they differ in sessions count and most of the times the difference is very low.
Overall you should use Google analytics no matter how beginner you are. You can stop using jetpack stats and use its other features like email subscribing forms, related posts, etc.
Use the data to understand your audience. For example, you can find out the time you get most of the views. After analyzing it for a week, try to publish your articles just a minute before this time. This will keep your audience engaged and eventually you will get more referral traffic.
You can also look at the Google analytics report to check what are those posts which are performing the best. Promote these content and you will get valuable backlinks for it again, a good sign for SEO.
You would also like to read about how to track email signups with Google analytics and 3 best WordPress plugins for Google Analytics integration
I hope this guide has helped you and if yes, share this post on your favorite social media and leave a comment below if you have any questions or problems arising.