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Google Analytics (Part One)

Google Analytics (Part One): the complete guide to using the remarkable free tool Google Analytics to make your site more professional and more profitable. Google Analytics is a fantastic free tool that helps you to analyse your site and see what visitors are doing. For example if you have a high bounce rate, that is visitors are landing at your squeeze page and then immediately leaving, GA will tell you. You can then alter your squeeze page and see what happens. This may not, of course, be the answer but GA does allow you to track in very fine detail what your visitors are doing. If it can be measured, then it can be analysed and changed. There is no gut feeling to it whatsoever. GA is precise and professional. If you don’t already have a Google account get one free at http://www.google.com/analytics Just follow the on screen instructions. It really is very simple and straightforward. You can have several websites on your account.

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Google Analytics is a fantastic free tool that helps you to analyse your site and see what visitors are doing. For example if you have a high bounce rate, that is visitors are landing at your squeeze page and then immediately leaving, GA will tell you. You can then alter your squeeze page and see what happens. This may not, of course, be the answer but GA does allow you to track in very fine detail what your visitors are doing. If it can be measured, then it can be analysed and changed. There is no gut feeling to it whatsoever. GA is precise and professional.

If you don’t already have a Google account get one free at http://www.google.com/analytics Just follow the on screen instructions. It really is very simple and straightforward. You can have several websites on your account.

Once set up go to http://www.google.com/analytics and enter your user name and password. Then, if you do have several websites, just pick the one you want to analyse and click on it. The next screen will show you the words View Report. Again just click on the words View Report and you will be taken to the next screen that shows The Dashboard. You have two calendars that you can click on to find your start date and then you end date. So if you wanted to know the data for the period 4th April 2011 to 2nd May 2011 then you can do it with two clicks. You can also compare the period with another period to see if sales have improved or gone down.

The Dashboard Overview provides you with information about site users: number of visits, number of page views, the number of page visits and a map showing you where all your visitors are coming from. Also there is information on the number of site visitors, an overview of content that tells you what pages your visitors are looking at, and even where your traffic has come from, that is Referring Sites, Direct Traffic, SEO and Other.

You can even get alerts if something is particularly high or low. These can be daily, weekly or monthly.

The Visitors’ Overview tells you where your visitor is coming from, whether they are a new or returning customer, what language they speak, general visitor trends such as time spent on site, visitor loyalty such as length of visit and depth of visit, visitor’s browser capability such as operating system and screen resolution, network properties like connection speed and how many visitors are using mobile devices to access your site.

The Visitors’ Network Properties provides even more valuable information. For example you can find out who the visitor’s internet service provider is and this may be useful in comparing bounce rates. If one ISP has much higher bounce rates is this due to a poor connection speed causing it to take too long to download a page? If a number of visitors suffer from poor connection speeds then you may have to consider cutting down the number of illustrations you are using or the videos you are showing.

The information you are provided with for mobile users is interesting as if you have a large number of them you will have to make your site mobile user friendly. Also you are told the carrier, that is O2, Orange and so on.

The Traffic Overview shows you not only how visitors arrived at your site – SEO, directly by typing your website name in – but also what keywords they used. Direct traffic statistics include the number of visitors from this source, the average time spent on the site, the site average and whether the average time is above or below the site average. You also get bounce rates, page visits and new visits and all presented in a variety of ways such as pie charts and performance charts.
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Ian Heslop

Money will come to you when you are doing the right thing.