Google Analytics Explained

It’s important to not only look at how many visitors are coming to your site but also what they are doing when they get there. There are many metrics you can track via analytics, however some of the key ones are as follows:

Total Visits & Unique Visitors: Total visits let you know how many times your site is viewed, while unique visitors show how many individual people are actually viewing your site. When analysing this information it is important to look at the data over time to see if your site is increasing the number of visits/unique visitors on a monthly basis.

Bounce Rate, Pages per Visit and Time on Site: A ‘bounce’ is when a user hits your site then exits without viewing any other pages. A high bounce rate (greater than 30%) means you should probably look at changing some aspects of your site to engage users more. In addition to bounce rate it is important to focus on how long users are spending on your site and how many pages they are viewing.

A note of caution – if users are spending a lot of time on your site and looking at a high number of pages this is not always positive – users may find it difficult to find information, thus it is important to review your site in light of the data.

Top Content (see image below), Top Landing Page and Top Exit Pages: By using these reports you can see what the most popular pages are on your site, where users are entering your site and the pages that are making them leave. This will help you identify what works on your site and what doesn’t, and will allow you to make changes accordingly.

2. See what’s driving visitors to your site

Keeping track of what’s driving traffic to your website is a fundamental part of any online activity. This allows you to work out ways you can improve the flow of traffic to your website.

Within Google Analytics, the “traffic sources” tab provides three main traffic source categories to assist you in identifying where your traffic is coming from. These are:

Direct Traffic: This shows how many users are coming to your site directly through typing in your address, using bookmarks etc. Good for working out the percentage of people who are aware of your site.

Referring Sites: This shows which sites are driving traffic to your site as well as people visiting your site from emails.

Search: The search tab will show you how much traffic is being derived from the major search engines and also allows you to drill down and view traffic from organic search and paid search. Here you can find out what keywords are driving traffic to your site, work out which words are not driving traffic, and find out the percentage of brand vs generic terms driving traffic to your site.

3. Goals to track conversions

While online ‘conversions’ are rarely to do with dollar figures in online real estate, all sites can work out their goals and track them using analytics programs.

Having goals set up for your site is a key factor in keeping focus on what the objectives of your site are and tracking what is performing.

The primary goal of a property listing or agent website may be to get consumer enquiries or sales leads, but you may also like to know how many times users view properties and how many times brochures are printed for these properties, for example.

To set up goals in Google Analytics all you need to do is edit your analytics profile settings and select goals. Here you can add the URL for each goal you wish to track.

There are a large number of resources out there that will help you with Google Analytics, including:

http://www.google.com/intl/en/analytics/education.html
http://analytics.blogspot.com/
http://www.youtube.com/googleanalytics?hl=en
http://www.sitescanga.com/ (a useful tool to see if your analytics are set up correctly.)

Using some of these simple analytics techniques will enable you to drive even more value from your online presence and help your business grow.

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