Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Fast Look at the Awesome Power of Google Analytics

There’s a lot to know about Google Analytics, a powerful website analytics package available for free from the Google team. 

I’m a big proponent of teaming with SEO and Web experts when it comes to managing a business to business website and setting up Google Analytics tracking.  They know the ins and outs of this powerful, ever changing web analytics technology tool. 

That said, there’s a lot of power in knowing the basics about Google Analytics.

Quick! What’s Your Average Time on Site!
Any company’s web marketing team should know right off the bat these key metrics, tracked by Google Analytics:
  • most popular pages visited by your web visitors (top pages) by visitor type
  • how people get to the site (referring sources)
  • the number of pages visitors look at before leaving (page views)
  • how long visitors stay on the site (average time on site)
  • how many visitors fill out a form or download a report (conversion rate)
  • percentage of visitors who land on site and jump right off (bounce rate)

This is marketing-mission critical data to monitor weekly, monthly and quarterly, to see how successful the website is in achieving marketing goals. 
The data also provides a fairly accurate picture of your visitors and helps reveal where the site performs optimally, and where there’s a breakdown that needs improvement.
A Word About Social

A big advantage of setting up Google Analytics is measuring the impact on social marketing programs.
When set up appropriately (by somebody smarter than me!), Google Analytics Advanced Segments reveal:
  • which social media websites referred visitors (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc)j
  • how those visitors behaved once they got to your site (in terms of number of pages viewed, time on site, whether they “converted” or filled out a form, etc.
  • how social media visitors behave when compared against visitors who discovered your site through other  means (like paid search)

 There’s even the ability to measure which articles on your site are most commonly shared and which social buttons are being clicked to share them (for example, a Facebook Like).
Looking Deeper
We’re just skimming the surface here.
For a recent Google Analytics “primer” see this post from some well-respected folks I follow on Twitter.

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