Relying on web metrics tools to start changes on your website is a daunting thing from the start. The first time I took a peek at one of our Google Analytics accounts, it floored me. Though I was interested in the data on the dashboard, it was just too much- just like brain freeze.
One thing that would keep anyone new to analytics sane would be to focus on the basic information you need to see how your site is doing. To be able to derive insights on a website, don’t let the numbers get your noodles knotted in bewilderment.
Web Analytics evangelist, Avinash Kaushik advices people new to analytics to get their feet wet with 3 reports that introduce you to your website visitors. Mind you, Visitors are the life blood of any website- no visits would mean no one is finding your website. Deriving information from your analytics account entails you to inquisitive and ask questions to be able to formulate a report that would answer that. In the tradition of Web analytics Ninjas, below are the Questions and the reports that will answer them:
How many visitors come to your website?
Customize Reports by drag dropping the Dimensions and Metrics on explained below:
Dimensions: Page Title
This tells you about the other “Home” pages where users have landed from. This dimension
is found on the left side of the report and will show the page titles most visited. Under the Page Title you will find the website title|page title alongside each other. This is one way of extracting insights about which pages need more information stuffing.
Sub-Dimension: Source / Medium
Once included in the Custom Report, each time you click at a Page Title, you get a break down on websites where the visits come from and the type of medium.
From this dimension you get a clue what is giving you the bulk of the visits. This is an important aspect of this report since you would want to see where your site is connected to and how this co-relates with the metrics that you’ve set.
This is a drop down option that is not a permanent feature of the report. This is an option to explore the report data as needed.
Metrics: Visits, Unique Visitors, Bounce Rate
The total of the data is found at the top of the reports while a break down of it is seen at the right-hand side columns of the tabled report.
When pieced together, this report tells you which Page Title people gravitate to from the sources. These are the pages that don’t need polish but updated once in a while. With each Bounce Rate, you see how many users are hooked with the content or how many decided that the page just didn’t interest as “advertised”.
Making this into a Custom Report helps you check on pages that perform well or in spotting trends the page goes through.
What did they search for to get to your page?
In fishing, getting the right bait for any fish you are aiming to catch means using seeing which works and what bombs. Keywords for a site may make sense to you, yet not many people may get too excited with the ones you are bidding on.
Your Google Analytics will record all search terms your website is associated with. This will be enumerated at the left column of the report. You may notice that there are keywords that you never dreamed of ranking or keywords you have bid on never crop up in the top 10.
*image should show only the metrics below the New Tab tab
Visits, Unique Visitors, Pages/ Visit and Bounce Rate numbers only
Metrics: Unique Visitors, Visits and Bounce Rate
These metrics tell you how many visits are drawn by particular keywords. You can also see how far the search has brought a user inside your site.
With these no frills data, you see what keywords work and what don’t. You can also see irrelevant keywords that you may rank for just because the word crops up several times; this would surely motivate you to take a closer look at your content.
Where did they come from?
Visits don’t come out of the works for no reason at all. If you are running a campaign, your ads are doing it’s work of getting people online to click. The question would be how effective are your ads and what ad medium give you most visits?
Effective Ads are the ones with your keywords on it- it is as simple as that.
Sub-Dimension: Ad Content
Content of your ad can be concentrated on a specific service or product you sell on your website.
When integrated with Google Adwords, your analytics account tracks a performance in terms of ad performance and keywords linked to the ads.
Never be contented with the knowledge that there are so and so amount of Visits to your website. The point of analytics is to be able to answer with insights with the use of data. If Google Analytics is only about just how many hits your website gets then it is only a more fancy blog counter and there would be no point for websites to be updated or improved.
Google Analytics enables website owners to quantify a website’s success or ferret out it’s misses.
Current average ratings.