Feb 082011

Using Google Analytics is an important skill for any webmaster. Using Google Analytics is a little tricky, but very helpful for determining what is working and what is not. Most of my Google Analytics experience is from an eCommerce perspective. We used Analytics to drill down on Keywords we were bidding on in PPC (Pay Per Click) ad campaigns. We actually focused on Micro-targeted keywords. In fact, with many products we were selling we were bidding on exact product descriptions and sending searchers directly from the ad to the product they searched for. This was helpful for conversion rates as eliminating clicks someone has to make before making a purchase is important in any eCommerce strategy. We actually did very little by way of SEO so I didn’t spend much time analyzing organic traffic. I’ve been learning more about using Google Analytics to drill down on issues like where your traffic is coming from, what keywords they are searching, looking at bounce rate based on which page they land on, and seeing which pages are top performers. You can do all sorts of things like comparing date ranges, bounce rate, set goals and track your performance.

(image from Tampere, Finland – these locks are put on this fence by couples in love)

The amount of data provided by Google Analytics is pretty staggering and it can be confusing. Observing trends and capitalizing on what is working should be the goal of any website. You may be getting traffic for Keywords you weren’t even targeting. Those people, you might find, are actually spending more time on your site than the people who enter using the keywords you thought were most relevant. If this is the case, it is time to adjust your strategy. Give the people what they want!

This post is not going to be very long since I think the videos below are really going to be more helpful then I could ever be trying to explain in words. Google actually shares LOTs and lots of information on how to use Google Analytics. If you are unfamiliar entirely, start with the first video. Then move on to the more advanced videos. Take some time to familiarize yourself with this powerful tool Google has to offer. Data is becoming more and more crucial in making business decisions, so make sure you understand how to use yours. There is SO much data available, learn how to interpret it properly, as it’s very easy to waste time looking at data and not getting anything useful out of your time.

This is a good look at the overall interface of Google Analytics:

Here’s a pretty easy look at basic interpretation of your Google Analytics account:

Here’s some tips on using Google Analytics for more advanced users:

Here’s a VERY in-depth look at Web Analytics – this is more general, and showcased by Google analytics, but not necessarily only applicable to Google Analytics – it’s over 1 hour but I recommend taking a look as it’s full of great information:

One more interesting video about internal site analysis:

If you have any good resources to share about analytics, or have any tips you use, please COMMENT!