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This is a guide, created by The Net Impact, a St. Louis MO based Internet Marketing and Web Design Firm, to assist you in accessing your Google Analytics account and utilizing popular reports and metrics available to help you gain insight into your website and improve your overall search engine optimization strategy.
Google Analytics 16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260 Better Management Through Measurement Chesterfield, MO 63017 888.629.4672 Understanding the traffic to and from your website is essential for creating a successful Internet marketing strategy as well as a successful 16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260 and user-friendly website. The importance of tracking site traffic applies Chesterfield, MO 63017 to corporate websites, personal or company blogs, social sites, one- 888.629.4672 page marketing sites, and any other platform in which traffic is directed. Tracking traffic to your site can help you answer questions such as: How are visitors finding my site? Where are my visitors coming from? Are my email campaigns, social networking activities, or other marketing campaigns driving targeted traffic to my website? Once visitors arrive at your site, it is critical to understand their behavior, Google Analytics is a free service interactions, and pathways though your site. This includes tracking how offered by Google that allows you visitors interact with your site. Configuring your analytics properly will to gain a greater understanding of allow you to include in your reporting video views, PDF downloads, or any how your web site is performing. specific actions that you desire visitors to take while on your site. Tracking traffic patterns once visitors are on your site can help you answer questions such as: Do visitors that come to my site from email campaigns, social networking activities, or other marketing campaigns interact with pages differently from those who find the same page through search results? Is there a bottleneck somewhere in my conversion funnel? What pages on my site are most valuable in terms of generating revenue? One method of obtaining these statistics about traffic to - and through - your website is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google that allows you to gain a greater understanding of how your web site is performing. Google Analytics has an abundance of reporting metrics and reports to help you in gaining this understanding. However, familiarizing yourself with these features may seem daunting in the beginning. Understanding the Google Analytics platform will allow you to identify the visitors that are currently arriving at your site, recognize additional traffic source opportunities to increase visitors, map out the paths visitors take when navigating through your site and make smarter marketing decisions. This is a guide to assist you in accessing your Google Analytics account and utilizing popular reports and metrics available to help you gain insight into your web site. 02 Common Terms 04 16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260 Getting Started 06 Chesterfield, MO 63017 Dashboard Tips 07 888.629.4672 Understanding Google Analytics Reports 08 Visitors Reports 09 Traffic Sources Reports 10 Content Reports 11 Goals Reports 12 E-commerce Reports 13 14 Conclusion Common Terms 4 Pageview: A pageview counts as a single view of any single page in your website. If your website visitor looks at your “home page”, then your “contact 16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260 us page”, then back to your “home page, that counts as two views of your Chesterfield, MO 63017 “home page” and one view of your “contact us page.” 888.629.4672 Bounce Rate: The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who arrive at your site and exit immediately. Rather than clicking through your pages they leave your site with only viewing the one page. The higher your bounce rate, the more visitors are immediately leaving your site. A good bounce rate for someone getting many visitors is 40% and lower. Traffic Sources: Traffic sources are the places your visitors are coming from. Your visitors are either coming from search engines, referral sites or by directly entering your website address (your www) into the browser. Referring Site: A referring site is another website that links to yours. So for example, if a visitor clicks on your website link in your Digg profile, Digg will be listed as a referral source on your Google Analytics report. Direct traffic: Direct traffic is any visit to your website that is a result of someone entering your website address directly into the browser bar. Example - you go to your browser and type in www.google.com - that counts as direct traffic to Google. Search (organic): Google Analytics differentiates between paid search listings - such as AdWords pay-per-click - and natural or “organic” search listings. When you see a visit in “search (organic)” that means your visitor found you by using a search engine. Search (paid): If you use Google AdWords, Google Analytics will track the visits to your site that result from paid clicks. Avg. Time: Google Analytics also tracks the amount of time a visitor spent on a page, as well as per visit. The more time spent, in theory, the better for you. In general, the longer you can keep someone’s attention on your site, the better. Absolute Unique Visitors: Google Analytics tracks visits to your website by geographic location and IP address. But, it counts every visit and click, even if it’s the same person constantly hitting the back and forth buttons, for example. So, you can use the Absolute Unique Visitors tool to discover precisely how many new visitors you’ve gotten within a given time period. 05 Getting Started 6 16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260 Chesterfield, MO 63017 888.629.4672 The first step to using Google Analytics is to log in and familiarize yourself with the Dashboard. Here are the easy steps to get started: • Log in to Analytics and you will see a list of any sites or blogs you are tracking as Google allows tracking of multiple sites within an account. Click on “View Reports” next to the site you wish to review and you’ll be taken to the Dashboard. • Once you log in you’ll see the dashboard, which contains snapshots of several reports generated by Google Analytics. • Your dashboard is completely customizable and allows you to select which reports are included. Simply click and drag reports around to the way that best suits you. If there is a report that you want that is not currently there, view the report and at the top of the page click “Add to Dashboard.” Dashboard tips: • You can easily export data from the dashboard into a PDF or Excel file. • You can also share the dashboard by emailing it to yourself or a contact. When viewing your dashboard, click “email” at the top of the page. • You can schedule the dashboard email to be sent daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. 07 Understanding Google Analytics Reports 8 Visitors Reports 16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260 The Visitors Reports allows you to break down how many users came to Chesterfield, MO 63017 your site and how they interacted with your site. Measuring this information 888.629.4672 is important in understanding how well your site is being promoted. There are numerous ways to promote your site, and as you implement these activities, such as optimizing your site, engaging in social marketing, manipulating the ads and keywords used to find your site, it is important to measure the success of these activities by how many people are visiting your site. Some of the most commonly used reports in the Visitors section include: Map Overlay: This map illustrates what geographic region your users came from, and breaks down activity based on location. You can choose the level of detail by city, country, subcontinent, or continent. New vs. Returning: This report compares the number of visitors that came to your site for the first time and returning visitors. A high number of new visitors indicates that you are successful at driving traffic to your site while a high number of return visitors indicates that your site connecting with users in a way that encourages them to return. Languages: This report identifies the preferred language of users that visited your site, and the differences in how visitors interact with your site broken down by the language configured on their computers. Knowing the preferred language of your users can help you to optimize your site and your marketing activities for your target audience. Visitor Trending: This section provides detailed information about your website visitors, and can provide insight into the peak traffic times for your site and allow you to target your advertising during these periods. There are several reports within Visitor Trending that allow you to drill down into visitor behavior, including the number of visits, the total number of unique visitors to your site, pageview information, time on site, and bounce rate. All of these reports can be broken down by hour, day, week, or month. 09 Visitor Loyalty: A loyal audience is an important part of creating an engaging brand and maintaining high customer or visitor retention. Knowing 16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260 whether your content is engaging enough to keep the attention of return Chesterfield, MO 63017 visitors is critical. A high number of new customers can indicate success in 888.629.4672 driving new visitors to your site and a high number of repeat customers can indicate success in engaging visitors in a manner that encourages them to return. Reports regarding how often returning visitors accessed your site and how they behaved on your site are available under this section, such as the number of days between visits, time on site, and the number of pages viewed. Mobile: This section allows you to gather information about visitors that are have accessed your site from a mobile device, including which device and carrier they are using. This information can provide insight into how to best optimize your mobile site based on what devices and carriers your visitors are using. Traffic Sources Reports The Traffic Sources Reports help you to determine where the traffic to your site is coming from. This is important in determining what sources are the most successful at sending visitors to your site. Understanding these sources allow you to optimize your site and your marketing strategy. Direct Traffic: This allows you to compare statistics between direct visitors (i.e. those that typed your URL into their browser or clicked a bookmark to get to your site) and the “average” visitor to your site. Referring Sites: This allows you to compare statistics between visitors from referring sites (i.e. visitors that came to your site via another site) and the “average” visitor to your site. The sites referring visitors to your site are listed, as well as user behavior categorized by referring site. From this you can determine which sites drive the most qualified traffic to your site. Search Engines: This allows you to compare statistics between visitors from search engines sites (i.e. visitors that came to your site from search engine results page) and the “average” visitor to your site. Which search engines drive the most traffic to your site and user behavior categorized by search engine is also available here. 10 All Traffic Sources: These numbers are the totals of all visitors to your site (from direct traffic, referrals and search engine results) and represent 16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260 the “average” visitor. The top sources driving traffic to your site and behavior Chesterfield, MO 63017 categorized by each are available here. 888.629.4672 AdWords: This section provides information regarding how your AdWords pay-per-click campaigns are driving visitors to your site. You can also compare statistics between visitors referred from your AdWords campaigns and the “average” visitor to your site. Content Reports This section of reports contains information regarding traffic patterns based on the content of your site. This information is critical in understanding how users navigate you site and which content is most effective in leading to conversions. Understanding how visitors navigate through your site can provide key insights into what is working and what is not. Having this information, will allow you to make necessary changes to your site. Top Content: This report includes how many times the pages on your site were viewed, time spent on a given page, and more. High bounce rates can indicate visitors are not finding the information they are looking for on a given page, therefore content may need to be revamped to reflect the navigation path a visitor used to arrive at that page. Conversely, a high time on a given page may indicate that page is engaging visitors. Content by Title: This report includes information regarding pages and how they were viewed categorized by the title of a page. Content Drilldown: This report includes information regarding pages and how they are viewed categorized by the folder structure set up on your site. Top Landing Pages: Find out how successful your landing pages are in getting users to navigate further into your site and which landing pages result in conversion. Again, high bounce rates on a landing page can indicate that visitors are not finding the information they are seeking, therefore content may need to be revamped to reflect the navigation path a visitor used to find that page. Top Exit Pages: Find out from what pages visitors exited your site. This information can help you determine whether a page needs to be changed to hold visitors attention and prevent them from leaving your site. 11 Site Overlay: This feature helps you to visualize how a visitor navigated through your site, allowing you to view information such as clicks and 16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260 conversions for each link on your site. This visualization can help in Chesterfield, MO 63017 recognizing your most valuable links to be sure that your layout is designed to 888.629.4672 maximize the location of those links. You can customize the statistics that are shown and the date range at the top of the Site Overlay page. Site Search: If you have a Site Search feature on your site, you can use this section to view statistics regarding that feature. This section allows you to really understand how visitors are using site search, including information about how often the site search was used, what visitors are searching for, how many pages or search results were viewed, how many searches a visitor conducts before exiting your site, and much more. This report also allows you to compare between visitors that did use the site search and those that did not, along with what pages visitors are initiating their search from. Event Tracking: This feature allows you to track actions of visitors such as the downloading of a PDF or another type of file, or a user’s interaction with Adobe Flash objects, and other media. With event tracking you can gather data on the total number of your events that were performed (i.e. the number of times a particular video was viewed on your site), the number of visits to your site that resulted in an event, and the number of events per visit. You can also categorize events and label expected results. Goals Reports You are able to set up custom goals, or conversions for your website. For e-commerce sites, one type of conversion would be the purchasing of a product or service. However, you can choose many different goals that fit your business objectives, such as completing a survey or a contact form, or even reaching a particular page within your site. The Goals section contains information regarding total conversions, conversions rate and the percentage of goals that have been complete, as well as the following reports: Reverse Goal Path: This chart illustrates each path taken by a user to a goal conversion. This information can be useful in understanding what pages are leading to a conversion. Goal Value: This report provides the total revenue produced by each goal conversion you have created based on the monetary value you have assigned to each goal. 12 Goal Abandoned Funnels: This report includes the number of times a visitor came to your site, and began a conversion activity but did not 16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260 complete it. A high abandonment rate may indicate that your conversion Chesterfield, MO 63017 steps are not user-friendly and may be confusing or difficult to some visitors. 888.629.4672 Funnel Visualization: This illustration allows you to “see” at what stage in the conversion activity visitors tend to abandon the process. The center column illustrates the steps in your conversion process and the number (and percentage) of visitors who continued to the next step. The boxes on the right represent the number of visitors that abandoned at that step and where they went. The boxes on the left illustrate where visitors arrived from, how many came, and into which step they entered. E-commerce Reports This section of reports provides information regarding e-commerce activity on your site. Understanding how revenue statistics change over time can help understand what activities such as marketing efforts or website changes are working to increase conversions. The e-commerce section contains the following reports: Total Revenue: This graph illustrates the amount of revenue generated by time period (hour, day, week, or month). Revenue is calculated by multiplying the average purchase price by the number of sales. Conversion Rate: This graph illustrates the percentage of visits to your site that resulted in a purchase broken down by time period (hour, day, week, or month). Average Order Value: This graph illustrates the average value of orders broken down by time period (hour, day, week, or month). Product Performance: This set of reports let you understand more detailed information about the products that you have sold. You can view the number of items sold, the total revenue those products generated, average price, and average quantity sold by item description, SKU, or product category. You can also track the number of visits a customer made to your website before making a purchase and how many days after a user initially visited your site it took to make a purchase. This information is important in learning how long it after initially viewing a product it takes before a user chooses to make a purchase from your site. 13 Conclusion 16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260 Whether you have an e-commerce site or an informational site, Chesterfield, MO 63017 understanding the information available from Google Analytics and applying 888.629.4672 it to your online strategy is critical to a successful website. Visitor behavior and other metrics provided can help you customize your current online strategy; as well provide ongoing information and continuous data in near real time so you can keep your campaign relevant. While Google Analytics is free, it is not always easy to translate reports into actual changes to your site or marketing campaign. The Net Impact offers Google Analytics Consulting that includes training and monitoring of your Analytics account to make this wealth of information work for you. If you have any questions about Google Analytics, please contact a consultant at The Net Impact today by phone at 1-888-629-4672 or online at www.thenetimpact.com. 14
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