The Basics of Google Analytics, How to Track Your Website Traffic

BY digiTech - August 12, 2014
Web Design Austin

Google Analytics remains the king of traffic sources. Here are some of the things that are trackable by using this useful web software:

  • Learn what keywords “profitable visitors” are using while searching through Google.
  • Measure mobile ads to find out what works with Android/iPhone/iPad/Tablet users.
  • Are you running paid advertisement campaigns? You can use Google Analytics to measure the conversion rates among all platforms including, but not limited to: website, social media, and search advertisements.
  • Trace & track all purchases to their respective keywords, with this, one can understand buyer behavior.
  • Track the loading speed of all your webpages – remember, slow loading webpages not only frustrate visitors, they can ultimately hurt your search engine ranking – meaning less traffic and overall business for your company!

Now it’s time to dive into the basics of Google Analytics! Keep in mind that this is NOT a setup guide. If one wants to begin tracking their website traffic, they can simply go to the Google Analytics Get Started Guide, as this will take you step-by-step on how to get everything up and running today! It’s generally a simple code that can be installed either by you or a web developer.  Here are some quick tips when installing Google Analytics into your website:

  • It is recommended to put the code in the header of your website.  Traditionally, the header is present on every webpage.
  • Ensure that you filter “bot traffic”.
  • Do not worry about any advanced Google Analytics strategies, only increase your Google Analytic knowledge as your web traffic grows.

Easy Installation on WordPress:

WordPress is the most popular content management platform on the internet.  It’s wrong to call it simply a blogging tool because many people are creating full-fledged websites from it!  If you are using a WordPress website, Google Analytics for WordPress is our most recommended tool.

 

Google Analytics Overview:

The home page of Google Analytics simply lists all the websites (and webpage) that you may want to track.  We are going to delve into the most important portion of Google Analytics – the reporting!  This is where you will be able to track the fruits of all your labor.  A website owner will even be able to track individual sales if they choose to include conversion metrics.  Let’s go into detail:


As you can see, the initial look of Google Analytics can be quite overwhelming. However, once it is broken down into sections, it is very easy to navigate and use. For this reason, we are going to break some things down.

Shortcuts – This allows the website owner to view the most reviewed reports in a quick manner.

Intelligence Events – Do you want to know when you are experiencing traffic spikes, flatlines or goal achievements? A website can set it up with intelligence events.

Real Time – This is quite self-explanatory! One can see all of the traffic reports including traffic source, location based, intelligent event, and social media/content updates.

Audience – This will tell you the demographics of who is visiting your webpage. Not only that, you will also know your audience’s overall behavior and how they interact with your brand. Want an example? Simple go to the “Behavior” section under Audience, and here you will be able to see who is new and who is returning. Furthermore, here, you will be able to know the age, gender, and interests of the audience. Other information includes what browsers are being used the most to access your website.

Acquisition – This section not only identifies where the traffic is coming from. It also indicates their website sessions, bounce rate, keywords, Adwords, information, cost analysis, and overall search engine optimization statistics. If there is no other section that one observes – this should be the one chosen! The measurements are the basis of many internet marketing experts campaigns.

Time to Decrease the Bounce Rate


A visitor types in a keyword and accesses your website. They visit your homepage and leave without learning anything else about what you offer! This is referred as a bounce rate. If you have 100 visitors, and 20 of them leave after visiting one page of the website – then your bounce rate is 20 percent! A high bounce rate is essentially the kiss of death for your website. Even if a business owner has the most beautiful website on earth – if it has a nasty flaw (slow loading speed), not only will this owner not get business; Google will penalize their website and lower their rankings!

Here are some factors that can contribute to a higher bounce rate!

  • Poor website design – Poor, basic, or outdated web designs are an uphill battle. From this standpoint, Google Analytics would not affect much.
  • Pop-ups – These are intrusive and users tend to leave. Try removing the pop-up and track your results afterwards. Remember, each individual page will have their own bounce rate as well!
  • Responsiveness (the website should look great on all platforms) – This is going to require the help of a designer who is skilled in the art of responsive web design. However, one should expect their bounce rate to decrease!
  • Usability – When the user enters your website, do they know exactly what to do? Here’s an example with great usability!

Here are some things that a website owner can experiment with:

  • Your website visitor will be able to tell the difference between a stock image and professional photo. Try going for high quality photography, and track the bounce rate results.
  • Have a clearly defined call-to-action. In the above example, there is a green button that clearly illustrates the next step for the user. Simply changing the color, font, and contents of the call to action button can have a significant impact on bounce rate.
  • A catchy headline and a sharp subtitle that clearly defines the problem being solved can significantly reduce bounce rate as well. Try different headlines and combinations, then come back to Google Analytics to see how your metrics are affected.

In the end, Google Analytics may just be the most important online tool that any business owner can adapt. By knowing exactly what’s going on with your website, any website owner can ensure their success as long as they keep tweaking their web design on a consistent basis.

BY digiTech

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