- Everything viewed and viewable on the Internet is measurable so understandable and reliable web statistics are vitally important.
- To more you know, the better equipped you are to make decisions that will successfully improve your website.
- By using web analytics programs you can obtain some of the necessary information needed to make informed decisions regarding website design, development and marketing efforts.
- Every time a user visits your site, they are generating vital information: how they found you, where they came from, what they did, how long for, and when and where they left from.
- All of this information can be used to improve performance such as, improving SEO, and therefore increasing visitor numbers.
- It can be useful to improve the user’s experience and website content, optimising the sales order process and generally making your website work more effectively for your visitors and business.
- Testing how good your website is at converting visitors into customers is vitally important too.
Getting Your Web Statistics
- Works by page tagging where extra code is added and information is sent back to a remote system, which then processes the data into statistical reports
- Will capture spiders visits
- 85% of new people to your site will never be seen again!
- Basic stats are provided such as number of visitors in a period of time, number of pages viewed, referring websites, technology used to view site and keywords used in search engines to find the website
- In HTML site Java script code is used which generates cookies – telling you what did the person do?
Setting up Google Analytics
- Requires a Google account
- Requires access to back end of webpages or WordPress Plugin to add code
- Analytics checks code is working
- The thank you page / end goal must also have Analytics code added
- Can also relate to shopping cart on e-commerce
- You can view the number of visitors each search engine sent to your website.
- By clicking on one of the search engines in the list, Analytics will display all the keywords [search term] that have been used to find your website, in order of popularity. You can also access this information using the Keywords option in the main menu, which will also display keyword popularity across all the search engines.
- Information on visitor behaviour is displayed [bounce rate, time on site etc] and various dimensions are available, including technical information and geographic location. Notice that whenever you see a table like, you can click on a column heading to re-order the table by those criteria.
Google Analytics Code
- Code to go above the body tag <-/body-> tag at the top of every page
- On a WordPress website, you can place the code in a plugin
Checking the code works
- Once the code has been added to the pages and uploaded to your web server, Google will check that this is in place and working
- If it is, you will see a tick and receiving data next to tracking status
Basic Statistics: Google Analytics
Your Google Analytics Dashboard
- Can choose custom reporting
- Takes about 6 months to get going – looking for about 200 visits per month – when optimised this can rise to 1,000
- There will be a 50% bounce rate
- You page is like marmite – people either love it or hate it
- Time on site = 2-3 minutes average
- 80-85% will be new visits
- News or blogs will have a high bounce rate – people then won’t go to the rest of the site, so never seeing your service
- Staff changing things will prove high in the rankings, so best to exclude these
- 30 days data can be displayed on the dashboard
It is important to understand some of the key metrics:
- Visits: the number of times your website has been visited in the time period, regardless of whether some people made multiple visits or haw many pages they saw
- Absolute unique visitors: the number of identifiably unique visitors your website had in the time period
- Page views: the total number of pages viewed by all visitors
- Average page views: number of page views divided by number of visits
- Time on site: the average length of time a visitor spent on the website before leaving
- Bounce rate: the percentage of visitors who only saw 1 page before leaving
- New visits: the percentage of visitors who hadn’t visited the website before
- Shows where visitors have come from around the world
- Displayed as both a map and a table listing the countries in order of number of visitors
- You can ‘zoom in’ for more detail
- Most countries can be broken down into towns and cities
- This report can be used to identify countries that are particularly interested in your product or service
- International hits however can skew figures
- Location can also bounce from a mobile site e.g. blackberry
New vs. Returning Visitors
- Used to compare behaviour of new visitors against people who have been to the website before
- A high bounce rate from here means that more needs to be done to get new visitors to stay
- Reports are available for bounce rate over longer period of time vs. actual time
- Data from this and other reports can be exported
- Shows the number of times visitors have visited the website as a percentage of all visits
- Similar reports available for regularity of visits (number of days since the last visit), length of visit, and depth of visit (number of pages viewed by visitors)
- Also length – will give time on your bounce rate
- Depth of visit: clicking from 1 page to the next – 3 pages and they are out!!
- This menu provides reports about the technical specifications of the machines visitors are using
- Screen resolutions help us to understand how to design websites accordingly: the ‘old’ 800 x 600 px is actually only used by 5% of users now (2010), so web pages can be designed wider
- Other stats include browsers being used and operating systems – We can see an uplift in mobile devices
- More technical information can be found under Network properties, including connection speed, a useful indicator of whether visitors are prepared for content that takes longer to download, such as video!
- Learn to check these less often to avoid being alarmed e.g. every 2 months
- Provides information about visitor activity – pages viewed, paths taken through the site, which pages arrived at (landing pages), the pages they leave from, and the links they clicked on each page
- Reports are available using the analyse menu
- Event tracking e.g. downloading eBooks
- Shows traffic that is sent to you, meaning that they must have a link to your website
- Can also see which countries they came from e.g. your American website sending traffic to UK site – lets you answer question as to whether you should be spending money on advertising etc
- The all traffic sources option in the main menu displays the same information for all traffic sources and indicates whether they are organic sources, PPC or referring
- For each type of traffic, you can see what the behaviour is:
- The average length of time they spend on the website
- Their bounce rate, the average number of pages per visit
- The percentage of traffic from that source who are new visitors.
- These statistics help identify the most valuable sources of traffic- people who spend longer on the website, with a lower bounce rate and higher number of pages per visit indicate that they are more likely to become customers. If you are keen to reach new customers, traffic sources that deliver a higher percentage of new visitors will be of particular interest.
Action Plan – What do you know?
- Do you know your average monthly number of visits?
- Do you now you new vs. returning visitor split?
- Do you know the most popular sources of traffic (Traffic sources e.g. Facebook etc) for your site?
- Do you know what the most popular pages of your site are?
- Do you know the most popular landing and exit pages on your site?
- Do you know what traffic behaviour looks like? g Direct traffic from recent email marketing campaign
Why don’t you??
- Spend time familiarising yourself with the Analytics layout
- Check visitor numbers and compare with past weeks / months
- Check traffic sources for unknown referrers
- Compare most popular pages with site navigation
- Check landing and exit page reports for unexpected activity
If you like what you have read, or are abit confused, or now need some tea and cake – Then get in touch! Use the Contact Me form on this website and I’ll get right back to you!