Google Analytics Help 2

Now you have installed Google Analytics, what does it actually do for you? How can Google Analytics help you to get more, targeted, traffic visitors to your site? Admitted, it is great fun to see how your visitor numbers are climbing (hopefully!) but the data provided about your web site can also help you to cater better for your visitors. Google has an extensive help section that explains very well how the data is collected and what everything means. For an introduction from Google itself, see the video below.
I will concentrate in showing you how to use this data to create a better web site for your visitors. And hopefully a more profitable web site for you! First lets have a look at the main dashboard:

Visits: Shows you the overall development of people looking at your site. You obviously want this graph to climb 😉

Page Views: Is the overall number of web pages your visitors are looking at. The more pages they look at, the better, because they stay longer. This can be different for the so-called mini sites, where you actually want people to come to your site, read a bit and then to leave via an ad or an affiliate link. But mini or niche sites are material for another blog post. Back to Google Analytics.

Pages/Visit: Is the average of pages each visitor looks at, and hopefully also reads. Blogs have a lower average as for example “cute photo sites”, where people click through to see as one cute image after the other.

Bounce Rate: Is a term a lot of people are confused about, in short it means the percentage of  visitors that “bounce” away to another site before visiting another page on your site. Therefore this value is closely related to Pages Views and Pager per Visit.

Avg. Time on Site: Means how long the average visitor stays on your site. Remember that is an average value, if your bounce rate is high, the average time on site will be low.

New Visits
: Are exactly this, the percentage of people that are new to your site.

This is the video mentioned above, have a look what Google itself has to say! (Ignore things like paid keywords for the moment 😉

Still with me? Great! Now think of your site and what you want for it. You can now jot down the goals. For my own site Hospitalera’s Blog my goals would be:

Increase everything, less the bounce rate. I want more people come to my site and to stay longer and interact with others, either here on the blog or in the forums. If they use one of the ads or banners to exit, fine, but just an additional bonus, at the moment.

For one of my mini niche sites, it would be completely different:

Increase visits and new visits and don’t care about the rest. For a niche or mini site I am actually only interested to attract new visitors, to give them something to read and then let them go via the exit door I want, normally an ad or an affiliate or referral link.

You see, different types of sites, different goals. So, what are the goals for your site(s)? I plan to write more about how to use Google Analytics to help you to improve our sites. If there is something that interests you especially, just leave a question/ suggestion about Google Analytics Help in your comment.

If you like this blog post and found it helpful, why not share it with your preferred social network? Handy links and bookmarklets above ^^^ 😉

8 comments to Google Analytics Help 2

  • I hope another one in this series is planned soon. Bounce rate is really important, if I see a lot of traffic coming from some keywords with high bounce rates, it means I am probably targeting a wrong keywords or I am ranking for a generic keyword. Another thing that I like to note in analytics is effect of vacations and weekends on traffic.

  • This is an excellent video. I use analytics but up until now I’ve only really used it to monitor how much traffic I’m getting, and which keywords bring that traffic. I never thought of analysing bounce rate to establish which keywords I should be concentrating on. Just one question thought, is the bounce rate based on the number of people who click on the back button immediately, or does it also include clicking on an external link immediately?

  • hospitalera

    @Ste
    Like I said, it means “it means the percentage of visitors that “bounce” away to another site before visiting another page on your site”, it doesn’t matter for the bounce rate how they bounce away, by with method, it means they are just staying “one page long”. Perhaps it would be better to call then “one page visitors”. SY

  • OMG I have become obsessive in checking out my visitors on Google Analytics, especially because the bounce rate helps me to see what I may need to improve on my site.

  • hospitalera

    @Chuggin
    We all are obsessive about this 😉 SY

  • Yes, it’s easy to obsess over these analytical tools. Thanks for this overview of Analytics, very enlightening. I’m currently using statcounter, which I think is pretty good for a low volume site like mine. Has anyone used both Analytics and statcounter and know how they stack up?

  • I use Google Analytics for SEO Purposes.After i log into GA,in the overview page it shows by default the visits(% change)of the site.For our site it shows 471.81%up.what does that mean?
    On what basis is the percent calculated?Can anybody help me

  • hospitalera

    @Brock
    I use mainly Analytics, I have used others, but only for a short time, I am more comfortable with GA 😉 BUT I tried http://www.phpmyvisites.us/ on one site and it was really, really addictive! It is free, so try it out, it was just a bit of overkill for me. SY

    @Martin
    It means that your visitor numbers have gone up/ down by this percentage. You can change the time frame by clicking on Day/Week/Month/Year, hope that helps, SY