One of the biggest trends today is big data. It is a very important trend, one that will definitely stay within the web industry, unless we come up with an easier way to monitor traffic, behavior and web properties. The number one name when it comes to delivering data quickly, accurately and across multiple platforms is Google Analytics.
To start, it helps you put reason behind decisions when it comes to designing your website, where to put your photos and links, how to put them etc. up to the point where you should place ad spaces (which can be powered by Google’s Adsense).
It is a very easy to use tool, one that has tons of data in it and you just need to understand what the data means so that you can maximize it. Let’s start with understanding what sort of data do you get with Google Analytics and how can the data benefit your business.
Number one – you know exactly how many people go to your website at any given point in time. There is a live overview on how many people are on your site RIGHT NOW and there is also a recorded overview on how many people visited your site since your inclusion of the Google Analytics code.
You will get answers for these types of questions:
- How many people visited your site since it’s launch date?
- How many viewed your page when you presented a new product?
- What time do your viewers check your site the most?
- Which day of the week gets the most activity from your site?
Number two – you know where your traffic is coming from. Which state contributes the most traffic? Which site gives you the most referrals? Is it Facebook? Twitter? A third party new site? Is it from mostly desktop users or mobile users? What operating system are they using, Android or iOS?
Number three – you know which items are being clicked. From your home page, where do they go? How many people click on the BUY button, only to not push through with a purchase?
These are classic and extremely useful examples on how having the Google Analytics code can help you design a better web product.
You can get Google Analytics by getting your tracking code here. You need a Gmail account to push through with everything, so make sure you create one now from this page. Make sure that you use an account that you frequently open and if possible, link that to your mobile device for easy checking.
Google Analytics is 100% free, so any site claiming to set it up for you for a free is a fraud.
There is a checklist available for Google Analytics newbies that you can use to help you set up the whole thing. But the most basic requirements are:
- Copy your tracking code to your site as instructed
- Wait 24 hours for the code to take effect
- Log on to your Gmail account
- Go to www.google.com/analytics to view your account
It is really as easy as that. Now all you need to do is to study what these numbers mean. You can take it one tab at a time, so that you wont get overwhelmed. We recommend you start with the following sections:
- Real time overview – shows you how many people are on your site RIGHT NOW
- Audience > Demographics – shows you the age and gender of your visitors (with a nice pie chart ratio)
- Audience > Technology – shows you the browsers used to view your site so that you can optimize the look for your biggest traffic bringer
- Acquisition > All Referrals – shows you the site that brings in the most traffic to your site (inbound traffic)
- Acquisition > Keywords > Organic – shows you the keywords that users NATURALLY use when searching on Google, which eventually point to your site. You want to maximize these organic keywords and incorporate them properly to your text, images and campaigns.
Just from these 5 sections alone, you already get a mountain-full of information that you can use TODAY to make the necessary improvements for your site. This is a great tool to monitor changes on your site, will it bring in more traffic or not? This tool puts an end to guess work and allows you to really study the behavior of your users for the betterment of your service.