Understanding Google analytics

When it comes to making the most of your online marketing campaign, it is important that you make use of all the tools that are available to you so that you can target the right sort of customer. Google Analytics is one of those tools and if you can understand how to use it and how to use the information you get from it, you will be well on your way.

Everything from how to setup your account to maximize your results, to what are the most important reports to pay attention to, and a number of advanced tactics as well. If you’re interested in Google Analytics you won’t want to miss it!

Traffic reports are required reading for any business looking to generate leads or make sales online. A good analytics program can quickly tell you what’s working and what’s not in your Web marketing campaign. Here at flyte we love Google Analytics, a free, powerful reporting tool.

What This Article Is…and Isn’t

This article is about how to read and utilize your Google Analytic (GA) reports.

This isn’t an installation guide, nor do we have the space to delve into every report GA can generate. However, if you’re looking to get comfortable with GA and gain a better understanding of how your prospects and customers are using your Web site, you’ve come to the right place.

Logging In

Visit http://www.google.com/analytics and login with your username and password. You’ll see a list of any Web site or blog you’re 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.

Exploring The Dashboard

Once you log in you’ll see the dashboard, which contains snapshots of several reports generated by GA. (All images can be enlarged by clicking on them.)

Google Analytics Dashboard

These reports may include visitors, traffic sources, map overlay and content. You can move them around, add new reports to the dashboard, or remove ones you don’t like with drag and drop simplicity.

Near the top you’ll see a section called Site Usage. It includes the following metrics:

  • Visits: The number of visits to your site during a given time period.
  • Pageviews: The number of pages these visitors viewed.
  • Pages/Visit: The average visit in terms of page views.
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of people who only visited one page on your site before they “bounced” somewhere else. (This can often seem deceptively high, but many people will get to your site and realize that it wasn’t what they were looking for, or you may have a popular image indexed by Google’s Image Search that generates a lot of “drive-by” traffic and skews your numbers. Alternatively, it may represent that your site is difficult to navigate or understand for new visitors.)
  • Avg. Time on Site: The average amount of time a visitor spends at your site.
  • % of New Visits: The percentage of new visitors to your site as compared to all visitors. Some businesses might want lots of new traffic, while others might want generate repeat visits, driving down this percentage.

By default, Google shows you the last 30 days of activity. However, you can change this setting, or even compare two different date ranges, for example August 2008 versus August 2007. Click here to continue

Further information

Seminars for success

The small business guide to Google analytics

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