Google Analytics for Small Businesses
Google Analytics is a free online tool that helps you easily view how your audience uses your web site. With a wide variety of reports available, you can observe your client’s behaviour, including:
- How they arrived at your web site;
- Search terms used;
- How long they stayed; and
- What they viewed while visiting.
It can also help identify potential problems with your web site’s usability.
Google Analytics has two main viewing approaches:
1. A high-level dashboard view for the casual user:
2. And a more in-depth view for users interested in detailed data reports:
|Unique Page Views:||A rough measure of how many people actually visit your web site.|
|Page View:||An instance of a page being loaded by a browser.|
|Average Page Views:||The average number of pages viewed per visitor.|
|Bounce Rate:||The percentage of single-page visits in which the person viewed just one page and left.|
|Average Time On Site:||The average time a user spends on the web site.|
|Direct Hits:||People who were not referred to the web site; they typed in ‘www.yourdomainname.com’ into the address bar or used a bookmark.|
|Hits:||A request to the web server for a file. This can be an HTML page or image (JPEG, GIF, etc.). An HTML page can account for several hits: the page itself, each image on the page, and any embedded sound or video clips. Therefore, the number of hits a web site receives is not a valid popularity gauge, but rather is an indication of server use and loading.|
|Repeat Traffic:||Anyone who has previously visited the site and not cleared any Google cookies.|
What can you track?
The ability to track your visitors and discover what pages they are viewing will allow you to adjust and modify your web site content as necessary to maximize the value of your site to the users of it. The ability to compare current statistics with historical statistics will give you an understanding of how your changes are attracting or not attracting visitors.
As an example, Triella discovered that our top content page, after our home page, was the search engine page. This might indicate that our visitors were not able to find what they were looking for on the Triella home page. As a result, we are in the process of making significant modifications to our web site to improve navigation. We were able to track the search terms used to get to our site and also the most common places that our visitors ended up. By reverse engineering that information, we hope that our new home page will deliver information to our viewers in a way that is better for them. We will use Google Analytics reports to verify if these changes improve our visitors experience on the Triella web site.
How do you Implement Google Analytics?
1. Sign up for an account at www.google.com/analytics/sign_up.html
3. Within 24 hours you should be able to view your basic web site data.
If you don’t have a web site statistics tool like Google Analytics working for you, you’re likely losing out on the opportunity to discover more about your customers and what they’re looking for. Beat your competition to the opportunity!