Using Google Analytics To Better Understand Your Website

Google Analytics

A sample of the data available by using Google Analytics

Sports fans quote player & team statistics all the time. Wall street & stock market followers turn to monthly charts to get a better understanding of how their stocks are performing. And smart web marketers rely on Google Analytics to help them understand visitor activities that transpire on their websites daily, weekly and monthly. This important information enables better planning and Internet marketing. Do you know what’s happening on the pages of your website?

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about the visitor’s activities on a website. It is the most widely used website statistics service, currently in use on around 57% of the 10,000 most popular websites. GA can track visitors from all referrers, including search engines, display advertising, pay-per-click networks, e-mail marketing and digital collateral such as links within PDF documents. Some of the data that the Analytics reports shows:

  • how many visitors your site attracts each day, week and month
  • the actual pages a visitor looked at
  • how long they looked at that page
  • whether the visitor is a new or returning reader
  • what keywords they used to find your site
  • what content they spent time reading
  • what city or geography the visitor came from

The reports even show how many visitors arrived at your site and immediately left (called the bounce rate). This data over time illustrates visitor trends that you as the website and business owner can use to adjust your site content to better serve the interests and needs of your potential web based customers. For example, let’s assume a law firm reviews three months of Analytics data and finds that one particular practice area content page has received very little traffic. Using this data you could then determine to delete that page as it appears to be of little interest to those searching on the web. Or perhaps you could embellish your content on that practice area page to test if more and deeper content would get a better result. In either case you are now using accrued data to improve your web marketing and enhance the user experience. Google Analytics is implemented by including what is known as a “page tag” in the “head” section of the source files of each page on your site. This is referred to as the Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) and is a snippet of JavaScript code that the user adds onto every page of his or her website. This code collects visitor data and sends it to a Google data collection server as part of a request for a web beacon. You may have to ask your webmaster to implement these tags. Once in place they need never be changed. Any new content pages however will need the tags placed so that the new content can be tracked. If you are now using Analytics on your site… congratulations! If you are not then it may be time you did so. Once Analytics are properly set up, it is a free and incredibly useful marketing tool that can help you increase the benefits of having a website. We provide monthly Analytics reports as well as analysis for our clients and would be happy to review your website and show how we can help you fully understand what’s going on within the pages of your company’s site. Just call us at 516 238 5252 today.