How to use google analytics – a basic introduction

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The first step to making money from your website is driving traffic to it.   However if you’re not converting that traffic into sales, or ad clicks, you’re not making any money.  Google analytics can help you discover  who is coming to your site, which pages they are visiting, and what keywords they used to find you.   Essential information if you want your website to be successful!

Google analytics is simple to set up – it’s just a small piece of code at the foot of each of your webpages, within the closing body tag.  Its quick and free.

Traffic sources

The first thing to look at is the traffic sources. This will tell you how much traffic has come from search engines (Search traffic), links from other websites (Referral traffic) and how many people typed your URL directly (Direct Traffic).

On this page you’ll also find a list of keywords.  The overview page shows you the first ten, but you can click and get the whole report.  This shows you the keywords people are searching on to find your website.    These can give you ideas for more keywords to target, and also help you decide if your current efforts are working.

If you have been optimising for these keywords, then you’re doing well.  If these keywords are irrelevant, then you’re getting traffic that isn’t any use to you, and you need to address your content.

 Content – Entry and exit pages

Next, have a look at the entry and exit pages on the website.  Landing pages are the entry pages to your website.  The pages that people find in a search engine and click on.  These are the pages that are working well for you, and bringing traffic to your website.

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Top Exit Pages is where your visitors are leaving your site.  By analysing these pages you can see where things might be going wrong in your sales funnel.

For example, if your top exit page is your home page, and people aren’t staying very long you know they are not finding what they are looking for at your site.  Is the home page clear?  Does it state what you sell, or what you want the user to do?  Does the site engender trust?  .  I have recently improved the visual design of the pilates dvds website, so I’ll be watching these stats to see if the new visual design converts better.

By tracking how users move through your website, and which pages make them leave you can improve your content, and thereby sell more products.

Conversion goals and funnels.

Goals are the action that you want the user to take.  For I want them to make apurchase.  So my goal page would be my “thankyou for your purchase” page AFTER my customer has bought a dvd (or two!).

‘Funnel’ pages are the stages in your check out process.  Each page is a separate stage of the funnel.  Tracking where you are losing visitors, or where they are abandoning the purchase process, will help you streamline the process, and improve the buying experience for your customer.

I always check that the tracking is working, but doing a test purchase, then log into google analytics the next day, and make sure it has been tracked correctly.  Every order on your site should get tracked through google analytics.

And that’s the basics on how to user google analytics!  There is so much more information available with Google analytics, once you get started you’ll get hooked.  This is a good starting point though, to get familiar with the terms and the information that’s available.  It’s a valuable tool, so use it learn more about your visitors, what they want from your website, and how you can meet these needs better.  Good luck!

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