Google Analytics: 3 Features You’re Probably Not Using
You probably know that Google Analytics can be used to give a lot of statistics about your website. It lets you find out statistics about the number of visitors your site has had, which pages are most popular and where in the world people are.
Did you know there’s a lot more that Google Analytics can tell you? Here is a look at three features you may not know about.
Do you want to know the most common paths people take through your site?
Visitors Flow gives you a graphical view of the most common paths people take when viewing your site. You cans see where they entered your site, which pages were looked at and in what order, and where people exit your site.
By selecting an individual page you can also view the visitor flow though that page and the paths people took to get there and where they went afterwards. This can be useful if you have a call to action, you can see exactly how many people viewing the page went on to take the action you wanted them to.
Using Visitors Flow can also help identify problems with the site. For example if your site has a contact page with a form, and a thank you page that gets displayed whenever the form is submitted. You could look at all the people who viewed your contact page on a mobile device. If none of them went on to view the thank you page afterwards, it could indicate that the form is not displaying correctly on a mobile device and those users are unable to submit the form.
Do you want to know exactly what links users are clicking on each page?
Using In Page Analytics, you can view your website with an overlay showing a small bubble next to each link, these bubbles display the percentages of clicks on each of the links. You can then navigate the site in the usual way and the overlay will update for each page you visit.
You could use this to see if site visitors are missing a particular call to action. For example you might have a link right at the top of your homepage within a masthead but nobody is clicking on it, where as, a different call to action further down the page is getting significantly more clicks. It could be that visitors are not noticing the top call to action and by slightly changing the style of it would make it more obvious.
It is also possible to create segments in the statistics so you can compare the actions of one group of visitors with another (eg new vs. returning visitors or mobile vs. non-mobile browsers). When you hover over a percentage bubble you get a breakdown for each of the segments.
The one slight issue with the In Page Analytics is that it gives the total number of people going to the page linked to and not actually the total number of people clicking that link. So if you have a page with two links to the homepage on it, the bubbles next to each of these links will display the same percentages.
Do you want to know who’s looking at your site right now?
Real-Time statistics shows you who is currently viewing your site, whether they are new or returning and what pages they’re looking at. You can even see where about in the world they are and how they found the site in the first place.
Other then general interest I haven’t yet found a reason to use Real Time Stats. If you can think of a reason I’ve missed, let me know in the comments below.