GOOGLE ANALYTICS – Am I doing it right?
It’s all very well taking all these elaborate measures to entice people to visit your site and invest all the time, love and care you can spare but at the end of the day how do you actually, I mean really know that you aren’t completely wasting your time? This blog post will discuss the ins and outs of Google Analytics and how to make some sense of it.
You could take comfort in the number of sales or enquiries coming in but an increase in traffic to your website doesn’t always result in epic sales figures and the need for a second secretary. It’s also about getting your name out there and making sure the right people are finding you instead of stumbling across those sneaky competitors of yours; the sly dogs. If your site is drawing in hordes of people then why aren’t they picking up the phone?
Never fear my friends. There is an answer. Hold onto your hats. This one’s going to be intense because we’re going to discuss how you can analyse your website. How you can scrutinise its efficiency, making it feel all self-conscious and vulnerable before fixing it up, slapping it on the back and pushing it back out into the big wide digital world for another crack at life. Like a real life, technological Cinderella.
GOOGLE ANALYTICS -The Big Daddy
I think most of us are aware of this feature that Google has provided us with free of charge. Most of us know a bit about it and might have even installed it into our websites. Some of us might even look at a couple of complex looking graphs and stroke our bearded chins, furrowing our wrinkly old brows making noises like “mmm” and “interesting.” However most of us then think “well that was nice” and get on with the rest of our day.
But no more! You don’t get any points here for taking an interest. It’s about using this information and turning it into better results.
Here’s a quick run through of Google Analytics.
So first of all you should know that Google Analytics is not designed to be used solely by computer geeks. It’s designed to be accessible and user friendly for everyone. So in that respect it’s relatively simple to install and especially simple if you have a friendly and willing developer to hand. It’s only a couple of minutes work so if you smile sweetly enough you’ll most likely get it done for free! Once you’re on there, most sections have helpful little guidelines in which everything is explained. Unfortunately it just takes a bit of time to wrap your head around it but some bits are more helpful than others and that’s what I’m writing this here blog for; to tell you the important bits.
Demographics: This bit shows you where all the traffic is coming from. Once you know where your audience is, you can make little tweaks to your site and maybe even your products to appeal to target them more accurately. The hopefully next time they’ll bring along their friends for the ride.
Mobile: How many people do you reckon are accessing your site using electronic mobile devices? Actually don’t answer that. It’s a lot. Even the most senior members of our society are jumping on the technological band wagon (my 96 year old Granny, bless her, bought herself an iPad last week . . . I know; impressive stuff.). Is your site a responsive one? Meaning, does it look good on your laptop and on a telephone screen? If not then it should be. No buts.
Real Time: This shows you who is on your site right NOW and . . . now . . . and now. This one’s pretty snazzy. It shows you your traffic sources. Where your audience are coming from and whether they found you using an organic search or a paid advert. Do you really need to be spending your life savings on that AdWords campaign? Perhaps not.
Acquisition > Channels > Audience: The “Audience” section shows you what the little tykes are getting up to on your website and which pages and links they are loitering. Where’s everyone heading to? These are the pages and links to focus your energy and resources on.
User Flow is a terrifying looking graph that illustrates how people are navigating through your site and where the concentration of traffic is. You can see any little blockages here, such as when some girl . . . let’s call her Jenny, failed to check out. Was she ravaged by hungry racoons or is there actually a problem with your checkout system?
Top Search Queries: Check out the CTR (Click Through Rate) percentage to see how many people have clicked on any ads you have running on AdWords (we will explore AdWords in a later blog) and also be sure to take note of the number of impressions your website has had (how many times it has come up in search results).
Index Status: Google is a seriously nosey robot. He likes to have a good old nose around on your page every so often just to check if you’ve made any changes. He’s also a bit OCD. He likes to make note of every little change you make to ensure he has indexed you to perfection. So basically the more regularly you update your website, the more often it will index your page and the better this looks for your SEO. Your index status shows you how often this index operation is happening.
Content Keywords: You want to pay close attention to this one. Content Keywords shows you how effective your keywords are on your website and their significance. This is handy because if certain keywords aren’t doing their job then it’s time for a serious rethink. Remember it’s about how your customers would describe your products or services not you. Google makes suggestions too so have a look at these and the guidance notes it’s all helpful stuff and free so take advantage of it.
Page Speed Insights: This tool allows you to see how quickly Google can access your pages. It indicates the efficiency and usability of your website. This tool also suggests ways in which you can improve this if it’s running a little bit slow. Let’s be honest we all get fired up when our internet is slow. It can even cause us to completely abandon what we are doing so if there’s a way to make your website speedier, then don’t hesitate.
So there’s my offering to you. Do with it what you will. I think the main thing is to just explore Google Analytics and see what you find. As I have said before, there is a lot of information there and it’s easy to get sucked in so try and conquer one section at a time.
Perhaps start off by spending half an hour a week exploring and see where you go from there.
Now scram! Go on, get outa here. Go analyse and utilise and let us know your thoughts on it; the parts you think are the most helpful and the bits which make your blood broil.
Written by: Jessica Anderson – Client Support Executive at Noisegate Media
Picture Sources: tumblr.com