I. What is Google Analytics?
Using a free and robust tool such as Google Analytics enables you to quickly track everything from visits to sales online.
Learn both basic and advanced uses of Google analytics including:
- Key terminology for using analytics
- A tour of Google Analytics and its features
- A guide on how to set-up and start your Google Analytics account
- How to track sales through goals and funnels
Visits – the number of times someone comes to your site
Unique visitors – the number of distinct individuals the visit your site. One unique visitor could visit your site twice in one day for example.
Pageviews – a page on your site has a unique address such as yoursite.com/home or yoursite.com/contact. If a visitor views your homepage and your contact page, it would count as two page views. If your site has lots of short pageviews, the visitors may have trouble finding what they are looking for, but if you have numerous longer pageviews you have excellent content that visitors are reading.
Bounce rate - the percentage of visitors that come to the site and leave without clicking on any links on your site; this measures behavior and in general you want a low bounce rate. Additionally if someone is on your site and does not do anything for 29 minutes, it is counted as a bounce.
Average time on site – the length of time a visitor spends on your site; the time is calculated by looking at the time between clicks on your site, so if someone leaves your site, the length of time spent on the final page is not included
New visits – if someone has never been to your site or has deleted their cookies which track if they have been to your site, they are considered a new visit. You want new visits to your site but also want to see a high percentage of return visits to show customer loyalty.
Referral source – where visitors come from before entering your site; search engines include Google, Bing and Yahoo web searches, referral traffic includes links from other sites such as social media, links from other websites or Google maps entries, direct traffic refers to visitors who type your exact address in the URL bar
A tour of Google Analytics
This video provides a tour of the different sections of Google Analytics and the features that it provides for your business and website.
Setting up your Google Analytics account
Using Google Analytics is free. This video will help you set up your Google Analytics account.
To insert Google analytics to your site, you simply need to code your unique Google Analytics code (step 1) and paste it into your site above the /head tag (step 2)
Step 2: Paste your code above the /head section of your html code
Your site will have more code than this simplified example, but just look for the /head section of the code and paste your Analytics code from step one in front of it.
If your are using a site like WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger or sites that help you build sites, they may have a section to paste your Google Analytics code set up for you. Look for edit footer script or in WordPress install a plugin like Google Analyticator to easily add your code.
Tracking sales with Google Analytics
Goals and funnels are the most important use of Google Analytics for most businesses, but it is an often overlooked feature. This video helps you set-up goals and visualize the conversion of these goals through visualizations. By setting up goals you will be able to see how well your website converts visitors into sales and where you can improve this conversion to increase online sales.
If you do not already track website traffic and behavior, it is time to start. Install Google Analytics and decide what your goal is online. If it is to make sales, set up a goal and funnel. If it is to attract eyeballs, watch the number of visits. If it is to measure the effectiveness of ads online or offline, watch the referral sources. Whatever your goal is, Google Analytics will help you monitor the success and will make fixes easy to identify.