This is the first of a two-part analytics posting. We are going to discuss analyzing the effectiveness of your website through the use of free tools provided by Google. Since these tools are free, they work great for small business owners who do not necessarily have thousands of dollars to pay marketing companies to provide professional analytics. AndPlus Design’s Small Business Website Blog will go into the details of using some of these features.
This post will deal mostly with user interaction in real-time, and will go into the following details:
- What do users do when they get to your site?
- How long are they staying?
- What pages are most popular?
- From which pages are they leaving?
The second post will go into the following details:
- Which pages are top “Exit Pages”
- How do we get users to stay?
- Expanding our traffic source through Google Adwords
Part 1 – Introduction
Google Analytics is a great way to gain visibility into who is visiting your website, what they are doing when they get there, how long they are staying on your site, and what the first and last pages viewed were.
- What do users do when they get to your site?Google analytics gives great insight into what users do when they get to your website. In your content link, Google Analytics will show you which pages are most popular, and give you a line-graph of traffic on a daily basis.
- How long are they staying?Google Analytics allows you to see the length of time users spend on your site, on a particular page, and how it compares to the average for both across all users.This number is the number you want to be maximized. The higher this number, the more interested the user presumably is in your content. If we are seeing very low numbers on a particular page which is designed to convey a large amount of content, we know that this content is boring the user and the user is losing interest in the content before he or she reads the page. This page needs redesign.On the same token, if we have designed a signup process or a payment entry system, and we are seeing that the time being spent on the page is abnormally large on average, we may consider removing some of the input fields, or adding an extra step to the process, so the user feels that there is more direct interaction with the site, and not so much data entry.
- What pages are most popular?In the content picture above, you will see that the pages are listed in order of popularity, and there is a percentage of total visits next to the page as well. You may find that a page that you didn’t think was important is actually very interesting to your clientbase.For instance, one of our clients found that one of the most popular pages on their site was the biography pages! Something that started so innocent as to give a “face” to the company ended up being visited a lot more than we had thought it would be.Gaining visibility into this piece of information caused us to put more emphasis on the bio’s page, and to add features to this page that would drive revenue for the company. A simple link below the biography page to show a person’s favorite product, as corny as it may be, kept users interested in the site, the products, and let us keep the traffic on the company’s site, which direct affected the sales numbers.
Google Analytics allows you to study ways of always driving your users to stay on your site. The ultimate goal of having a website is to have users come to your site, find value in the content you are offering, and to drive revenue from their visit. With the few points of interested discussed in this post, you have a great start in gaining visibility into what users do when they visit your site.
For more information on hiring AndPlus Design to install Google Analytics on your website, contact AndPlus Design Now!