Want to know how your site is doing? Don’t guess at it. Instead, use one of the best free tools available today.
Google Analytics is a simple plug and play program that you can attach to your site or your blog, and will instantly give you information about how well your site is doing. It is simple enough that even the most novice of business owners can gain important information about their sites, and complex enough to give you sophisticated insight into how you can improve and grow your business even more.
You can find out where people are coming from, what they are doing once they get onto your site, and what was the outcome of people being on your site. You can build customized reports to gain the exact information you are looking for. You can track campaigns and keywords, and find out exactly what is motivating people to take action on your site. And so much more. There really are ways of tracking just about everything using this free tool.
Can you operate a website without Google Analytics? Of course. But with just a little insight into how efficiently your website is running, you can make changes and additions that will make it that much more effective.
Everyone knows that in order to succeed online, you have to gain traffic to your site. Analytics can help you track the type of traffic coming into your site and how effective it is. Let me give you some examples.
Quality versus Quantity
Are you getting thousands of hits per day on your site? Is that good?
If you sell 100 percent natural beef steaks and you have 100,000 hits per day, that sounds like great traffic. Unless all 100,000 of those visitors are vegan. With Analytics, you can see what your referring sites are, and track the number of people coming from each site. You can see how many people come in on a page, and how many leave without visiting any other place on your site. You can find out how many pages people click to after they enter your site, and the general direction they take – which pages have the highest view rates and which have the highest leaving rates. While this doesn’t provide exact information on a persons thought patterns, it can be insightful as to what material means the most. When patterns develop, you can quickly see what is missing and where you can fill in the blanks.
Visits Shouldn’t Have High Bounce Rates
Bounce rate is the ratio of people that come into your site, and once they get there, they click on nothing more. They read the page they entered on and immediately leave the site. This can signify to you a couple of things. First, you may have a confusing landing page, a page that does nothing to motivate people to take the next step. Or it can also mean that you are attracting the wrong type of people. If they enter and leave, they aren’t finding the information they are looking for. You can try changing things around, or realize you have to attract a different audience.
Keep in mind, there are no set rules when it comes to assuming a page is bouncing too high. If you have a 99 percent bounce rate, but only 5 visitors, you may not have enough data to determine if things are running smoothly. The key is to watch over time and tweak along the way. Always be looking for ways to improve.
Have A Goal In Mind
Sites are never built with one purpose in mind. They accomplish different things depending on why someone shows up to view your site. Some people come in for research and are just starting the process. Some are lookers – they have no interest now, but love looking. Some people are ready to buy, and have visited multiple times. Some people are referred, and have a higher interest level than the average searcher.
If your site is set up with different purposes, you should be having a variety of actions happening all the time. A percentage should be signing up for your free report, a percentage should be filling out your form for more information, a percentage should be purchasing your photography, and a percentage should be reading your current information. In other words, each page on your site has a purpose, and if you are doing things right, you should see results on each and every page. Analytics can tell you where the problems lie, and give you insight on how you should move forward to fix things.
Know Your Audience
Google Analytics also provides you with insight into who your visitors are. They can tell you what part of the world they are coming from, and what type of connection they are viewing your site from. If you are using a Flash site and you see a portion of your visitors are trying to access it via a mobile device, you know instantly you have a serious problem.
I love Analytics because its easy to access and easy to understand. They present everything in graphically rich ways, so you can quickly see what applies to you. And if you aren’t sure of what something is or what it means, head to their help section, or simply Google it. You’ll find a wealth of information, including in video format, and you should be able to find your solution quickly.