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Tech Tips for Author Marketing
An Author’s Basic Google Analytics Report

Published on Thursday, June 15, 2017

An Author’s Basic Google Analytics Report

Stereotypically, authors work with words rather than numbers. Of course there are plenty of wordsmiths who are also comfortable with figures, but lots of authors still steer clear of anything that sounds too much like math. Google Analytics does have numbers involved, but you shouldn’t be avoiding it.

Google Analytics is a free tool that tracks the traffic on your website. Some website building programs come with their own brand of traffic measuring tool, but what Google offers will probably be much better.

The way you get Analytics on your website is to copy a snippet of tracking code that Google gives you and paste it into the html of your site. Google has pretty clear instructions on this, but if you aren’t technologically comfortable, it might be better to ask your web designer to do this for you. They might already have added the code for you even – go ahead and ask.   

The code can’t be seen by humans, but Google’s spider bots keep track of all comings and goings. You can log into your account to see everything being reported or have certain reports emailed to you on a regular basis. Again, talk it over with your web professional to find the best way for you access the information.

There are SO MANY reports that you may be overwhelmed and tempted to ignore it all. Don’t do that! Instead, take a look at a few key reports. Here are some suggestions to start:

The default report is Audience Overview and that is a great place to start. You’ll see how many people are visiting your website and how many pages they are looking at while they’re on your site. Of course you want to see the total number grow every month and you’ll want to see a lot of new visitors as well.

You’ll also want to watch how many pages they look at and how long they spend looking at them. If they don’t linger long, that means they aren’t finding much of interest there. If you have a lot of blog posts and calendar events, that could be a bad sign. But if you send folks immediately to buy your book at Amazon, that might not necessarily be a problem.

There is much, much more to be learned from your Google Analytics, but rather than overwhelm you, we’ll break it down over a couple of months. In July, we’ll look at some other reports that will help you plan your book marketing. 

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Author: Kate Gingold Host

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Using Tech for Book Marketing

Kate Gingold from Sprocket WebsitesKate has been building websites with her husband Don since 1996 for all sorts of clients, including authors.

Kate regularly writes about online marketing for Sprocket Websites and provides tips and techniques for entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Since being an author today is not really different from being an entrepreneur with a small business, most of those tips are just as useful to authors.

Kate is an author herself. She writes books on local history, including the award-winning "Ruth by Lake and Prairie," a fictionalized account of the true story of Great Lake pioneering to the shores of Chicago and beyond to found Naperville, Illinois. 

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Following a presentation for In Print Professional Writers Group, Kate's husband (and publisher!) Don was interviewed by author Louise Brass for WBOM Radio. During the conversation, Don shared many of the marketing tips from his presentation. You can listen to it online here.

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The Sprocket Report is published every other week with Internet marketing tips, tools and techniques. The archive features articles from 2011 up to the present. You are welcome to read how business owners are using technology to market themselves and apply those tips to your author business.

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