Does Google Analytics Make Sense For The Average Joe?
I don't know about you, but IGoogle Analytics has been that way for me. I got really excited when I tried using it the first time.
After 3 or 4 attempts at placing the code, I started to feel like an idiot. All I could think is that "if it's made by Google, it has to be easy...". But that doesn't seem to be the case. I love statistics, graphs and lots of information.
Even though I love all that stuff, if you don't understand what it is saying, it is like trying to read a foreign language.
Once I got the code set, then I began to track my website. It was like going to statistical heaven, you can measure just about anything related to your website.
But it didn't take long to realize after an hour or two of analysis, that I didn't know anymore than before I started to use the program.
There is just simply WAY TOO much information, unless you really understand what your looking for.
What Is Google Analytics?
Ok, I thought I would take a moment, just in case you weren't on board with what Google Analytics is all about. Google Analytics is a free application that analyzes your site's performance.
For businesses who sell or market online, it's a must-have resource.
It's a reliable way to find out how your online efforts are paying off. The reports give you valuable data related to your site or blog. You can get lost just setting it up, and once you do get it set up, then your going to be flooded with LOTS of information.
How To Avoid "Analysis Paralysis" When Working With Google Analytics
While Google Analytics is an awesome product (...it is from Google you know!), it is easy to get lost in all the information. By the time you click through all the graphs and tabs, you realize a lot of time has gone by and you are no further ahead.
As a business owner, you don't really have time for that, so here is a quick guide to help you get a handle on what is important.
Here are 4 areas that you should be watching when utillizing Google analytics and tips for understanding what you should be measuring:
1. Learn About Visitor Area, Time, Sources
Area: The reports are broken down to give you geographical locations. This let's you know what countries and other geographical areas your visitors are coming from.
Time: It will give you timeframes. This is important because it let's you know what times your site gets the most visitors. Then, you know the best times to upload new content. And, if you're providing online chats or real-time responses, you'll know what the best times for you to be online are.
Sources: It tells you what sources linked them to your site. This helps you see which social networking sites and online marketing efforts are paying off the most.
2. What Pages Are Most Popular?
Your Google Analytics Page Views reports show you which pages on your site get the most visitors and click-thrus. This helps you to understand which pages are the most effective.
With this information, you can make important changes to pages that are the least effective. Pages with high bounce rates are an indication that these landing pages need to be redesigned.
It can also indicate that they need better content or the links that bring visitors there aren't relevant to that page.
3. Monitor Visitor Activity
Google Analytics reports tells you specific details on the activities of your visitors such as:
Visiting Time: It tells you how much time they spent on your site.
Pages: It will let you know exactly which pages they viewed once they reached your site.
Links: This shows you exactly which links they clicked on within your site.
Bounce Rate: This is a reflection of the amount of visitors that “bounced” back to the same page over and over. It will also show how many actually stayed on a specific page for a longer period of time.
Entry Pages: This let's you know which page they came to first when they arrived. Your Facebook page may link them to one page. One of your online banner ads may send them to another. And, each blog post will link to a page relevant to the post. This helps you understand which online marketing efforts are paying off the most.
Exit Pages: Understanding which pages are causing your visitors to leave your site altogether is important. These are the ones that need more relevant content, or maybe they load too slow.
4. Set Goals With Google Analytics
By setting up goals in your Google Analytics account, you'll be able to see which visitors actually turned into customers. It will also help you understand which ones took any type of action based on your site's content.
The most important goal is to get them to take action. Are they following your “call to action” requests?
Did they “read this post”, “join our Facebook page” or “buy now”?
With Google Analytics reports, you'll know for sure just how many did follow each request.
Need Assistance with Google Analytics?
These reports are not hard to understand at all. But, they can be a bit time consuming for busy business owners. You need to know how your online marketing efforts are paying off.
It is a lot to grasp. Most website's I review are using Google Analytics but yet the website owners are not getting any results from thier efforts. The best way to improve is to understand where you are today.
Afterall, you can't measure what you can't see. We can help you find your baseline and you can decide from there where to go next.
We do a Free assessment of your website to see where you are today. We should be able to leave you with 5-10 actionable items that you can change right away.
There is no obligation, so you can decide how or if you want to get better results from your online efforts. In the end it is up to you. .