In these blogs I have spoken (Okay, typed. Don’t split hairs.) alot about Adwords but not so much about Google Analytics.
A lot of people get a bit scared at the sight of Analytics. There’s lots of pie charts, lots of graphs and lots of percentages but much like the stock market, it can be your best friend if you understand it and use it to your advantage.
Google Analytics can give you the insight into what your site visitors are doing. If you ever notice a drop in traffic/sales/enquiries via SEO/PPC and you don’t understand why, Analytics should be your first port of call. As there is a lot to learn in Analytics, we’ll take it one step at a time. This blog details the basics of the stats you’ll find in Analytics. By understanding these and applying them to the digital marketing you are carrying out, you can work out which strategies are worthwhile. If an agency deals with your PPC management or you are working with an SEO company, they will be able to set up Google Analytics on your site for you.
Google Analytics runs thanks to a little bit of code that is pasted on every page of your website. If you manage your own site/PPC, you can sign up here.
Once you have Google Analytics and it has gathered some data, you need to know how to interpret your data. Terminology in Analytics is different to Adwords but don’t let that panic you – Here’s a little glossary of the terms you will find on the main dashboard:
Visits: If you can’t guess this I would give up now. This is the number of visits your website has received in the date range given in the top right of the page (just like Adwords)
Unique Visitors: Some of those visits might encompass three or four visits from the same user. Unique visitors is the number of people who visited, regardless of how many times.
Pageviews: How many pages on your site have been viewed during the date range
Pages/Vists: The average number of pages a user views during their visit to your site
Avg. Visit Duration: The average length of time a user stays on your site
Bounce Rate: This is the percentage of users who have left your site as soon as they have entered it. (E.g. Click a link, realise it’s not what you’re looking for and click the back button). Under 30% = Good. Over 70% = Bad.
% New Visits: The percentage of users in the selected date range who have visited your site for the first time
Now, let’s have a look at the menu so you can find what you need. Please note: I am using the NEW version of Analytics. You can switch to this using the ‘New Version’ link in the top right of the page.
You can’t ‘break’ Analytics, so have a look around and see which stats are more relevant to you. Google Analytics allows you to customise your own dashboard so you can have the stats that interest you the most on the first page you land on in the interface. The new version of Google Analytics also allows you to export reports in PDF which are BEAUTIFUL.
Disclaimer for agencies: For some reason, if I am logged into Analytics via our MCC and try to export a PDF report I somehow end up with a PDF of the sign in page. To remedy this issue, log into Analytics via the usual external log in page.
So. Have a look around Google Analytics and work out which stats are most useful for your type of site. For example, E Commerce sites will be more interested in goal tracking and E-commerce (Like, duh). Sites of companies which offer services (E.g. PPC management) may be more interested in how users are interacting with their site in terms of exit pages and the visit duration.
Next time, I will be discussing certain stats in Google Analytics and why these might be important to you. Stay tuned to discover:
- Why should I give a flying monkey’s about my visitors screen resolution?
- How can I stalk my users at the exact moment they are on my site and not be arrested?
- Why is everyone leaving my site on the same page, when they’re all over my other pages like a tramp on chips?