Making the Most of Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an amazing piece of the online marketing puzzle. This free service provided by Google provides invaluable insight into the behavior of millions of people online, and how they interact with your website.
Once registered with Google, a snippet of code is provided to insert on every page of a given website. When that page is accessed, Google is able to track the ‘session’ and provide information on how the page was used. Although there are hundreds of pieces of information that are mined from each session, there are two that stand out as the most important, expanded on below:
The User flow dashboard tracks how every user over a certain period of time navigated the full website. As an example, 100 users accessed a website over a given period of time. Of those 100 users, 50 didn’t continue after the landing page. This information could let us know that more engaging information should be included on the home page, since 50% of the website’s visitors immediately navigated away. If in another example, 50 of the 100 visitors followed up the initial page visit by navigating to a contact page, purchase page, or download page, this shows very strong customer initial interest, and implies that the landing page is performing as intended. For a final example, if a website has multiple avenues to reach a ‘concluding’ page, examining each route for consistency with maintaining visitor progression through the website could show weak points or areas for improvement; if you have a page that leaves a significant number of visitors navigating away from your website, the content of that page should be examined for consistency more closely.
The Acquisition tab on Google Analytics shows how visitors arrived at your website. It conveniently lists each inbound link that ultimately drove traffic to your site, as well as the number of visitors gained and the quality of their visit (pages viewed, time on site, etc). This is especially useful as a means to promote avenues that are large referrers to you. For example, a sports company advertised online with ESPN and Yahoo! Sports. After checking their analytics for the month, one of the advertisers was able to provide double the traffic to the site than the other; however, the other advertiser was responsible for 95% of traffic that resulted in purchases of the product. This could direct the company on which direction to go with valuable advertising budgetary resources in the future.
As you can see, Google Analytics is an invaluable tool that can provide real, personalized data that can make a huge difference in how your website performs. Sign up today at www.google.com/analytics
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