Lets say you’ve setup Google Analytics for your website or blog. You’ve skimmed through its features, maybe looked at overall page views or taken a look at your real time data. Now this is where it usually ends for most users as Analytics may be rather overwhelming if you aren’t 100% sure of what to look out for.
Lets take a look at 4 tips to help you utilize Google Analytics for small business owners.
1. Think of questions you want answered.
Many new Analytics users login to see what interesting things they may find out about their website or blog, but without having specific questions in mind how can Analytics assist? They then get a multitude of information coming in that they don’t actually need and usually don’t login to Analytics again.
The best way to interpret Analytics data is to think about your businesses top goals and objectives and how your website reflects them, from there develop questions related to said goals and objectives.
For example, lets say you’re an online publisher, one of your goals may be to increase pageviews as that will expose visitors to ads. You could then come up with questions such as: Where are your pageviews originating from? What are the top landing pages? Which pages are performing poorly? Etc.
2. Focus your attention on actionable data.
Pageviews and unique visits may tell you what you doing right or wrong, but that information is not “actionable”. Don’t spend too much time on non-actionable data as you will then simply be wasting your time.
Try focus your attention on these Analytics reports:
- Referrals and All Traffic (Traffic Sources > Overview > Sources)
- Organic Search (Traffic Sources > Overview > Search)
These reports can tell you which referrers and traffic sources are driving the most conversations, as well as which specific external assets are resulting in the highest ROI (Return on Investment).
For example, if one of your guest posts or infographics are bringing in more traffic and conversations than Miley’s VMA twerking stunt, then you have a perfect example of what type of content is best to help you reach your goals.
3. Activate your Intelligence Events alert.
Many Analytics users don’t bother with the “Intelligence Events” feature, which are automatic, customized alerts sent to an email address of your choosing. These alerts can tell you when something unexpected occurs on your site, whether it be a sudden spike or drop in traffic to your site.
Heres how to create a custom alert:
Intelligence Events > Overview > Custom Alerts > Manage Custom Alerts > Create new alert.
Once there you can select a number of aspects such as:
- The website (if you manage multiple sites)
- The time period the alert will cover (Anything from minutes to months)
- The Alert conditions you want (Maybe you would like an alert sent out when the visits to your site increase by more than 15%)
4. Focus on developing more effective content.
Information provided by Analytics can help Web publishers create content which will appeal to their target markets. To better understand the success of your content use the following Analytics reports:
- All Pages (Content > Site Content > All Pages), this report will show you the popularity of your pages based on some the following aspects: pageviews, unique pageviews, average time on page, and more.
- Landing Pages (Content > Site Content > Landing Pages), these are the first pages that visitors “land on” when arriving at your site. While these often times tend to overlap with All Pages, Landing Pages lets you know which content actually draws visitors.
- Content Drilldown (Content > Site Content > Content Drilldown), This can be helpful if, for example a news publisher with sections for sports, entertainment, health and other topics wants to see which types of content get the most pageviews.
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