What is Google Analytics?
There are so many stats out there that it can be a bit mind boggling. Any good web designer, once your website is live will have stats for you to see. Lots of businesses look at these avidly, but there are many who don’t even know they can see stats on their website. Google Analytics is a reporting system that Google gives you for free, where you can look at visitor information for your website. It doesn’t give you specifics as to who the visitors are but there is lots of valuable information that can really help to grow your business. Here are some easy ways on how to analyse your website’s performance:
A summary of what could help you
Google Analytics is basically all the information about visitors who come onto your website. Google used to give you more information and have gradually removed things like search terms – you have to pay for Google Adwords to get this precious info now. However, with Analytics, you can still see lots of valuable data. Here’s a quick rundown of things to look at:
- Unique Visitors — This represents the number of people that visited your site during a specific time period (last week, last month, last year or some other time frame). It can give you a sense of whether or not your marketing efforts (both online and offline) are attracting people to your website.
- Repeat Visitors — If the number of visitors returning to your site is growing, it is a good sign people are finding something of value there.
- Referral Traffic — These are the websites and individual pages that are sending visitors to your website. As users click on external links (on other blogs, websites, social media sites, online directories, etc.) that go to your site, they are tracked so you know how many visitors come from those external sources. This is powerful knowledge than can help you identify what marketing and outreach tactics are most effective at drawing traffic to your site.
- Mobile data — You can see here how people are looking at you. Probably the easiest way is to look at the overview, desktop, tablet and mobile. Compare it to last year’s figures and see what has changed. Mobile is always increasing, so if your site isn’t responsive then your bounce rate will probably be higher!
- Landing Pages — See what your potential customers land on first within your website. The home page is really popular but landing pages are great for specific search terms or perhaps blog posts. Here you can see how people have found you which is really useful for specific campaigns you may be running.
- Exit Pages — This metric identifies the specific pages from which visitors (who viewed multiple pages during their visits) leave your website. By seeing which pages have the higher number of exits, you can determine if that’s acceptable. For example, you’d expect customers to leave your site after completing orders and viewing your order confirmation page. But if other pages have a high incidence of exits, it may be because they’re not providing adequate information or because they’re difficult to navigate.
- Bounce Rate — When visitors “bounce,” they visit one page of your site and then leave without viewing any other pages. What’s an acceptable bounce rate can vary depending on the type of business you have and what you’re trying to accomplish with your website. Bounce rate could mean people found the information they needed right away, or people might have bookmarked your site to come back to it later, or it could mean they didn’t find what they were looking for and didn’t have an interest in going deeper into your site. Different sources have different ideas of what a “bad” bounce rate is. But as a general guideline, you might consider it worth investigating further if yours is over 55 percent.
- Conversion Rate — If you’ve established goals to track in your analytics (such as signing up for an e-newsletter, making a purchase, downloading a white paper, etc.), this metric can help you assess how well your copywriting and site layout are compelling visitors to take action.
So much of this may seem like we are talking in a foreign language and you wouldn’t dare to go and look at your stats. However, with Google Analytics you really cannot break anything, so have a play around, look more in depth, or perhaps just look through the really basic stuff. Compare your stats with a previous year so you can see how your website is growing. Tracking code needs to be added to your website to enable this, which your web guy should add, but once that has been done then you are good to go.
There is also Real-Time Data – where you can see how many are on your website right at this minute!
Please call us if you have any questions. Google Analytics may seem really complicated, but if you start looking at your stats then it can become fairly addictive.