Whether you blog for a hobby or have a website for a business, here are two Chrome extensions you must use to analyse and monitor your site and visitors, and spot problems.
One of the things you will want to do when you have a website is to count how many people clicked a link, see which web pages are the most popular with visitors, and similar statistics.
If you know what sort of content people like to see on your website, you can create more pages that contain it. This benefits visitors.
If you don’t know what people like, it means you are blindly publishing articles and hoping that someone will like them. But you will never know.
These two Chrome extensions are essential for analysing your site and showing which links and pages people like the most. They can also show certain types of problems, like hacking.
Page Analytics (By Google) Chrome extension
Page Analytics is a very useful tool for anyone that uses Google Analytics on their website or blog.
Google Analytics counts the number of people that view web pages on a site. It shows whether 10 people read an article or 3,257. It’s just a number and you don’t know who they are. You don’t need to know. But you do need to know the number.
Counting page views means you can tell which pages are the most popular. They are the ones viewed the most.
The Page Analytics Chrome extension pulls information from your Google Analytics account and shows the number of people that click links on a web page (only on your own site, not other sites).
Click the Page Analytics button when you are viewing a page on your website and it overlays the web page content and puts the percentage of clicks next to each link. So you can see that 5% of people clicked this link, 20% clicked that link and so on.
If you have a menu bar across the top of the page, you can see the percentage of people that click each menu item. This tells you which sections of your website are the most popular.
If you see low figures for a particular section, you might want to think about why this is so. The Page Analytics extension will not tell you why people don’t click a link, it just tells you the numbers.
The percentage of clicks is shown next to each link, but when the mouse hovers over the percentage, it shows the number of clicks. So on the page you are viewing, you can see that 156 people clicked one link, or 384 clicked another, and so on.
This is all valuable information and it will help you to create a better website by showing what areas you need to focus on.
The Page Analytics information bar
Another feature of the Page Analytics extension is the banner it inserts across the top of the web page. It shows valuable information about the current page, such as the number of page views it has had, the number of unique page views, the average time people spend on the page, the bounce rate (how many leave the site after viewing the page).
This is useful information, but it is not the only statistics that can be displayed. Each header can be clicked to display a categorised list of items and this enables you to switch the currently displayed information for something different, such as the average time taken to display the page.
This is important because slow loading pages are a turn-off for visitors. No-one likes to wait for pages to load and if it takes too long, people can quit and go elsewhere.
All this statistical data is in your Google Analytics account, but finding it is not easy. This extension makes it simpler to analyse individual pages and links. It saves you having to create complex reports and queries to find information.
Google Publisher Toolbar Chrome extension
This is the second essential Chrome extension for many blog and website owners. Unlike Page Analytics, which appeals to everyone, Google Publisher Toolbar is for people that have Google AdSense adverts on their site.
If you have an AdSense account, install this extension to make it easier to monitor the advertising content. Of course, no-one likes ads, but if you keep the ads out of the way of the content, such as at the top or bottom of an article, or in a sidebar, they aren’t too irritating.
Many websites rely on ads to pay the bills of course, and they could not exist without them. It is mainly because of adverts that the web is mostly free. The parts of the web that you have to pay for are mostly the parts without ads.
Sorry there are ads on this page, but they make this site free.
When you are viewing a web page on your site and have the Google Publisher Toolbar enabled (click it to enable it), it highlights AdSense ads. You can see exactly where they are and how big they are. When the mouse passes over an ad, the advertiser’s name is shown. It can be useful to know who is advertising on your site.
The ads on your site are highlighted with a green overlay. It can make it easier to see where the ads are, whether they get in the way, and the general layout. Hold down the Ctrl key as you spin the mouse wheel to zoom out and get an overview of a page.
Spot malware and hacks
The Google Publisher Toolbar extension has another function and this is to show which adverts are your AdSense ads. If an ad is not highlighted in green, it means it is another ad publisher’s.
You might have several different types of ads on the page, such as Google AdSense and Amazon. Other ads are not highlighted and that is OK.
However, suppose you have an AdSense ad on your site, such as a banner or sidebar ad, but it is not highlighted in green. It means it is not yours! Hackers sometimes gain access to a site and take control of the ads to steal your revenue.
With this extension you can confirm that the AdSense ads on your site are actually yours and have not been hijacked by a hacker.
Check AdSense earnings
Click the icon in Chrome’s toolbar and a panel is displayed that shows things like your Google AdSense earnings today, yesterday, last week or month. It helps you to keep an eye on your income without having to log in to your Google AdSense account.
The panel also lists the advertisers with ads on the page, so you can monitor who is advertising on your site.
Click the links at the bottom of the panel and you can sign in to Google Analytics. This adds more information to the panel and you can see visitor numbers to the page.