Finding your Comfort Zone with Web Analytics

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Do you track your Web stats? If not, there’s no time like the present to get started!

Most people don’t track because they say they don’t know how or they don’t know what they’re looking for. Well, we can’t turn you into a Web stat pro overnight, but we can answer these basic questions for you so you can at least get started…

  • How do I track Web analytics? The short answer is Google Analytics. The longer answer is that you need to go get yourself a g-mail account. Just name it something like YourBusinessName@gmail.com. You must have a g-mail account to use Google Analytics, but there is no payment associated with this robust measuring tool. Once you have a g-mail account, go to www.googleanalytics.com. You just need to set up an account. This will include providing URLs for all the pages you want to track. This is as easy as copying and pasting links. You got this step covered.

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  • What analytics should I care about? Many people aren’t sure what to look for when it comes to measurement stats. With Google Analytics, the options are endless, but for now there are six things you can start tracking that will make sense and give you a basic understanding of what’s going on with your Website.
    • Unique visitors – How many NEW visitors is ¬†your site attracting? Good to measure daily or monthly. Either way, if you’re running a campaign, this will help you track where the spikes in new traffic are happening.
    • Referring Pages – Where did these unique visitors come from? How did they learn about your page? Was it from Facebook? Was it from a review on Yelp? Maybe it was from a Google Search? You’ll want to know how the new people are finding your site.
    • Bounce Rate – How many people immediately leave your site? You’ll never have a bounce rate of zero because sometimes people just land on the wrong site and leave, but if you have a high bounce rate, you’ll need to start looking at user paths and why you’re prospective customers are not finding what they need on your site.
    • Conversion Rate – This is super important as it measures a specific action you want your customers to take. Maybe you want them to make a purchase or fill out a request for more information. Maybe you just want them to view a specific Web page. Your conversion rate ultimately tells you how successful your site is at getting your customers to do what you want.
    • Top pages – Depending on the size of your site, you might want to know the top 10 pages or you might only want to know the top three pages. This will help you figure out which pages on your site are the most viewed. This information might help you to boost page views on other pages as well. Or maybe these are the pages you want to use to announce big news because you’ll hit the most people.
    • Stick Rate – How long are your visitors staying on your site?
Example of a Google Analytics Dashboard
Example of a Google Analytics Dashboard
  • How do I know what’s good and what’s not? It’s hard to look at a single number and try to figure out what is good. Instead we want to look at the changes in our numbers. Once you’ve hooked yourself up to Google Analytics, start looking at the above stats regularly (once a week or once a month). If you’re doing this on a regular basis, you can start to see the changes in your numbers…are they getting better or worse? Are they always constant? Were there unexplainable spikes in some stats? If so, you’ll want to go back and look at the data and what was happening around that time to figure out what caused it.

Keeping track of these analytics on a constant basis can feel daunting, but it’s a good start to figuring out what you can be doing better. Having this kind of information can even be quite helpful when you’re hiring vendors to redo your Website or set up marketing strategies.