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Using Google Analytics


Until recently Web Analytic tools were quite a pricey investment for a new internet marketer, let alone having the time to learn how to use them. But all that has changed with Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is a free online analytics service provided by, of course, Google. You don't need to buy anything, download anything, and the only thing you have to learn how to do to use it is click!!

If you still don't feel like you have a great amount of time to invest in web analytics - think again, because all the work you are doing, the time your are spending may be a waste of time....and you are leaving golden opportunities untouched.

Google Analytics helps you KNOW what your traffic is interested in, rather than GUESSING. It can also tell you:

  • Where in the world they are coming from
  • The keywords they are using to get there
  • The search engines sending them
  • The landing pages they enter your site
  • The exit pages they leave your site
  • How many pages they look at whilst they are there

....and so much more.


Setting Up Google Analytics

Set up is a breeze. You simply:

Enter your website URL

Copy and paste the code it gives you [Warning: the code tracking is different for each site, so dont make the same mistake I did and copy the same code to every site - Duh!...and yes, I am blonde]

Paste this code into every page of your website - this is where using php includes is a life saver. Google say to paste it just above the closing body tag "</body>" but I have used in both in my side navigation bar php include file as well as at the base of my footer.php file....it worked in both places. On more thing I learnt though - you must leave a clear line space between the previous HTML code and the analytics script. I don't know why - but it just wouldn't pick it up if I didn't.

Upload the page to your webserver, then Click on the 'Check Status' link. Once the script has been detected, it will indicate so and the it is "awaiting data". Once traffic is flowing through, this status changes to "receiving data".

I am not sure of the delay, but I found that I could read data in my reports within a couple of hours...[I didn't check earlier than that, so it may have been available sooner].


5 Ways to Use Google Analytics

To get you started, just concentrate on the five most important things:

1. Bounce Rate - this represents the percentage of total visitors that leave on the page they entered - in other words, there was insufficent linking or compelling reason for them to look further. It may be that this is exactly what you want, the bounce rate lets you know. If that is not your aim, and your bounce rate is above 30%, you need to rework your pages and make it more interesting for them to look further. Google Page ranking is supposedly now factoring in time spent on your site as part of the algorithm, so you want to keep them there as long as you can.

2. Keywords - . Find out on what keywords customers are typing in to find you search engines. Go to Traffic > Search Engines> Enter SE in the search box. You can also change the drop down box to excluding, so you can see what smaller engines are being used to find you. A Segment box at the top of the page also lets you segment by keyword. This helps you pick good keywords for your PPC campaign. If you already use PPC, you can also go to Traffic > Keywords and select "unpaid" . In addition, click the blue link right below the graph to learn by language - this should give you some good themes for your paid search.

3. Entry And Exit - you can get the landing page by file name or page title, find out where they went afterwards or where they came from on your site to this page. With next page and previous page stats, you can see that adding these links at the bottom of each page can be worthwhile. You effectively get a view of the navigation through your site, and a really cool feature is the page overlay. This provides a map of all the links on the selected page, with a small bar graph over each link showing its popularity. Very interesting stuff!

4. Goals - this is where things get really interesting. Once you get the hang of the main features of the analytics site, you can set up 'Goals'. This is effectively campaign tracking and measurement. Once you have set your goals, you will be able to track conversion rates and the monetary value of the traffic you receive. You can also define a "funnel path" for each goal. This is the path you want visitors to take to reach a goal. This will indicate abandon rates and exactly where in the process they bailed out. You can also use Goals to track sign up pages etc.

5. Dashboard - we know time is valuable, and Google Analytics obviously knows it also, so it gives you the option of what measurements to include on your dashboard. Then using the drop down box at the top of the dashboard you can quickly scan through each of your sites, and using 'management by exception' only drill down on those that are no performing well.

Thats enough to get you started, but its only a portion of what Google Analytics can do - I promise you, take the time to set up your sites [ takes about 15 seconds per site] and you will not only learn a lot, it is very entertaining!! Bit like the old days, when you first started Google Adsense and couldn't help checking your earnings every two hours!!!

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