Tips for using Google Analytics Effectively

Anyone who runs a website knows that data is everything. You need important information such as where your website’s visitors are coming from, what type of browser they’re using, as well as what pages they visit. To gather this data, the most popular and widely-used option is Google Analytics. Here are some great tips on how to use Google Analytics effectively with your website.

Getting Set Up

First things first, to even begin tracking website data, you need your own Google Analytics tracking code. This tiny piece of JavaScript can be copied and pasted into your source code and must be implemented before the <body> tag. Keep in mind that Google Analytics will only track the pages that have this code on it, so if you want it to track every page of your site, be sure to put it inside of the CSS file. After you have implemented the code for your site, you can go back to the settings panel of Google Analytics and check to be sure that you installed it correctly. It may take up to a day before Google actually recognizes that your code is installed correctly.

After your code has been installed and is working correctly, you can access the main dashboard which will show all of the reports that you can customize yourself, such as traffic sources or number of visitors. If you are ever unsure about what a certain report or statistic means, you can access the tons of tutorials that Google provides on how to interpret the different reports. Use these to your advantage.

If you own an eCommerce website, Google Analytics is one of the best ways to see who your customers are, ROI, as well as your site’s transaction history. These metrics can be extremely important to look at when determining which products should continue to be sold and which should be removed from your store.

One of the coolest features in Google Analytics that you can set up and use effectively is called “goal setting.” To Google Analytics, a goal is simply what a page view is worth to you, and you can customize it to your liking. For example, you could track a certain goal that is triggered each time a user subscribes to your e-mail list and purchases a certain product. Many website owners track goals such as new comments, new account creation, as well as file downloads. The possibilities to what you can track are seemingly endless.

Details to Look At

There are many details of your Google Analytics report that you shouldn’t overlook as they can help you in creating a better website for your visitors.

Your number of visitors is one of the biggest elements to look at. You can track the amount on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. By clicking on the Visitors tab, you are given even much information. A great piece of information to look at in this category is the percentage of unique visitors compared to returning visitors. This data can easily tell you how willing your visitors are to return and if they do, where they are being directed from, whether they are typing in your address directly or finding your site through a search engine.

The next important piece of data that you need to consider is the bounce rate. The bounce rate basically tells you the percentage of visitors who leave your site without visiting a second page. You want to get this number as low as possible. A good standard bounce rate for your site is around 20% and if it is ever over 50%, you may need to make some changes.

Use Google Analytics as a Strategy

Google Analytics should be used as your main website strategy, whether you want to gain more visitors, extra sales each month, or thousands of new subscribers to your list. You can’t accomplish any of these goals without having proper data to know what’s working and what isn’t. By utilizing these tips, you can be sure you’ll be using Google Analytics effectively, which will drastically help your website!


About the Author - This article was written by David Nance for the team at Center Networks.