The Podcaster's Guide To Google Analytics

Understanding your listeners is the key to building a successful show. In this guide, we’ll show you how Google Analytics can help you gather key info about your podcast website.

No matter how successful your podcast is, it’s important for it to have a home on the internet. In short: you need a podcast website!

Understanding how your website works requires a lot of data collection (not to mention making sense of all that data). Fortunately, Google has a tool for that.

Google Analytics is the best way to analyze how visitors are interacting with your site so you can help make their experience better. This guide will give you a basic overview of how to use this tool so you (and your audience) get the best results.

 

What Is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free tool used to track website performance and collect data about how people are interacting with your site. Recently, Google Analytics updated their software and renamed it GA4. Throughout this article, we’ll be referring to the tool as both Google Analytics and GA4.

Whereas Google Search Console shows you how users are finding your site (i.e. what keywords and devices they’re using), Google Analytics reports tell you what those people are doing once they get there.

As you can imagine, both of these tools provide invaluable information that, when put together, gives you a comprehensive view of how your podcast website is performing.

 

Getting Started With Google Analytics

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to set up a Google account, which allows you to use many of Google’s software tools. Then, you’ll need a Google Analytics account.

After you’ve created your Analytics account, you’ll have to add your website, which Google refers to as a “property.”

If you created the account, you’ll automatically be designated as an Editor of the account. However, if you’d like to grant access to other members of your team, you can add them as verified users.

Finally, you should connect your Google Search Console account to your Google Analytics account, so you can access all of the information from one place.

 

Essential Terms

Before you jump in and start clicking around, there are a few technical terms you’ll need to know, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the jargon surrounding search engine optimization!

Users

A user is any individual who visits your website. If this is their first time visiting your site, Google will classify them as a New user. Otherwise, they are a Returning user.

You can track your New vs Returning users in the Retention report.

Events

An event is a specific action that a user takes on your site. An event can be nearly anything—from scrolling down the page to clicking a link.

 

How To Use Google Analytics

When you first open up your GA4 dashboard, you may be a bit intimidated by all the graphs, charts, and numbers. Don’t worry, once you get familiar with it, it’ll be easy to find the information you need!

In the menu on the left-hand side of your screen, you’ll find a few different tools, but right now, we’ll give you a basic walkthrough of the most important one: Reports.

While you can access Realtime reports to find out what users are doing on your site right this very minute, it’s probably more helpful to get a snapshot of at least a month at a time.

There are reports available on Users, Search Console (if you’ve connected the two accounts), and Life Cycle. It’s this last one that offers the most valuable information.

The Life Cycle tab is broken into four categories:

  1. Acquisition
  2. Engagement
  3. Monetization
  4. Retention

Acquisition

The Acquisition reports will tell you how users found your site (i.e. through a Google search, from your social media account, or by directly typing your URL into their browser window). You can also learn the average pages per session, which can help you calculate how long people are staying on your site.

Engagement

The Engagement reports will track different events on your site. Keep in mind, in GA4, events classify as more than just page views. For example, if you want to know how many people scrolled down a page, played a video, or filled out a form, you’ll find that info here.

Monetization

Not every podcast website has an e-commerce platform, but if you do, you can find all that info here.

Retention

Tracking your New and Returning users allows you to get an idea of how fast your audience is growing.

 

Conclusion

At first, learning how to use Google Analytics may feel like learning a foreign language. But with enough practice, not only will you be fluent, you’ll have valuable insights into your podcast website.

Building a better show is about more than a snappy intro or an interesting guest, you also have to make sure your digital presence is solid and engaging.

With Google’s suite of helpful tools, you’ll be able to make informed decisions, improve your site, and reach new heights with your show.

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