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The Best Bits in Google Analytics

One of the first things that I look toward when either reviewing an existing website or launching one for the very first time is visitor tracking and how people are using a website, and more importantly – are they completing the objective of the site! There are hundreds of different interfaces, and plugins that can be installed to give you many weird and wonderful statistics, but here I have summarised a handful of features that I find second to none in Google’s own:

 

  • Traffic Sources. It’s relatively easy to decipher whether your traffic comes from a Paid source, Organically or from a Referral site for example. You can then see which and what terms have been entered to find your site, and from there which page they have landed on
  • Learning how to use Goals and Ecommerce tracking and the different data that they can yield can also be critical.  Which one to use will depend upon the purpose of your site; what action would you deem a ‘conversion’. If you have a simple data entry page or sign up form, then usually a Goal for the final success page will allow you to monitor how many of these are completed. If you are running an ecommerce platform, then integrating the commerce tracking will allow you to attribute a monetary value to completed sales, and thus pull back in to Analytics to correlate with other journey data.
  • Conversions – unfortunately, Google will attribute (whether it be a Goal or ecommerce) with the last point of interaction gaining the conversion value. So, for example, someone enters your website using the keyword “green apple” in a Google natural listing, they then leave the site, but come back in using your URL directly in a browser bar and go on to convert. This final interaction, entering directly, will show the goal value.
  • To delve further into the interaction paths, and to see how people found your website before converting, you can tailor the ‘Top Conversion Paths’ tab accordingly.
  • Many of our clients have a fantastic Social presence and following. As a result of this, we can use Google Analytics to see what levels of traffic come from other networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and then how they then interact with the site. Over time, we can monitor how well Social campaigns perform, and whether certain posts are more effective than others.
  • Content – an area within Analytics which can sometimes be overlooked, but is a wealth of information on what are the most popular areas of your site. You can then see if/what areas may need testing to reduce Bounce Rates or to drive traffic to another area of the site. A nifty little section, and one that will certainly have my eye on after posting this!

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts, and whether you use any of the above for any other analysis purposes.