Your Google Analytics Guide
Even if you don’t have an analytical mind, understand Google analytics is important to your small business. If you are not currently tracking these analytics on your website you will want to begin doing this. Hopefully, you do know your google analytics login which will be helpful as you read this article. The good news is that Google has created a system that allows you to understand data without having strong analytical skills. While there are people with advanced skills who can go into great detail with analysis, you will see you don’t need Google Analytics certification to benefit from the analytics Google provides.
I think Google Analytics is one of the most powerful web analytics applications and love the fact that this is free. I highly recommend you use analytics because it allows you to see the traffic patterns on your website. You can even set up custom dashboards for your website with the metrics you want to see and also you get to choose how the information is displayed.
Once you log on you will see the visitors overview and can find a chart showing your website’s traffic patterns for the past month. You can look at certain days and view traffic patterns for those days and look at detailed reports of traffic sources, content, and conversions.
I recommend you look at the visitor’s screen and consider the number of visitors to your site and see how many unique visitors you are receiving and how many page views and pages per visit you are receiving. I also want yo to look at the average time spent on your site, your bounce rate, and the percentage of new visits. This data will give you a strong overview of how your site is doing. You want to have high pages per visit and a high average time on your site as well as a low bounce rate. If these numbers are good then you know that when people find your website they are enjoying the site once there.
You should also get familiar with the behaviors in the visitor’s section. Study how many visitors frequently return to your site. Those users who visit 10 or more times are your true fans who you can count on when you have offerings. Look at the data under the “days since last visit” to see how often your return visitors come back to your site.
Your goal is to have visitors who stay on your site longer and are engaged with your content, meaning they view more than one page and remain more than a few seconds.
Your traffic sources overview is the key area of your Analytics account. This will tell you where your website traffic is coming from and will let you see how weak or strong your search engine optimization is and your Google AdWords (if you are using them). You will want to see that your traffic comes from many sources and isn’t tied to one source as Google changes their algorithms very frequently.
The area I make sure all my consulting clients are aware of if the keyword report. This tells you how people are searching to find your site and gives you the top keywords that drive traffic to your site, and every keyword used. You can actually see all the long-tail search results driving traffic to your site. I like to also know which page visitors land on most frequently and which search engine they are using.
If you are using AdWords you can also look at detailed reports of traffic driven by your ads, including campaigns, keywords, destination URLs, placements, keyword positions, and more. These reports show you the number of visits generated, how many pages per visit, the average time spent on your site, the percentage of new visits, the bounce rate, your total goal completions, and the revenue generated from each. Clearly if you are spending money on AdWords you will want to be certain that the ads are generating enough revenue or conversions to make them worthwhile.
If you are not currently using Google Analytics on your site, I hope I convinced you that it is a super valuable free tool that is essential to the success of your website. I also hope I have showed you that you don’t have to enjoy analytics to love this free tool!