Last updated: June 26th, 2013
The Google Analytics is a handy tool for webmasters to use in order to understand the performance of their website and to obtain valuable data that will help them in optimizing their ability to reach their marketing goals. While there is useful information that can be obtained from the Google Analytics tool, not all of its users are able to maximize the use of its great features, making them lose the opportunity to make their website more productive and optimized for SEO and traffic performance.
Here are some useful tips and tricks to learn in managing your Google Analytics data more effectively.
1. Is your website optimized for cross browser
Not all websites support the older browser versions. Google Analytics will tell you whether your website is optimized for cross browser viewing and whether it can support both the older and the modern web browsers used by your visitors. By going to the Analytics’ audience tab, click on technology > browser & OS tabs in order to display the browser related data about your website visitors such as the operating system of their device, web browser and version number, Flash and Java version as well as their screen resolution. Now, you will understand why some of your visitors quickly leave your site within the first few seconds which may be caused by browser incompatibility issue.
2. Find your audience locations
By going to the Google Analytics tabs audience > demographics > locations, you will find the different locations of your visitors through the map. This will give you an idea about the rank of your website for foreign searches. You will also learn whether your traffic is driven by another website which you can use in strengthening your market campaigns in these locations where more interested visitors will be likely found.
3. Understand your visitors’ behavior
Google Analytics will help you find out whether your website is good enough to make your visitors stay longer when visiting your site. The entrances, bounce rate and exit percentage parameters are useful when you are able to interpret them well. You will know the number of your visitors according to the entrances data while the bounce rate and the exit percentage will show how long your visitors stay when they land on a certain page. If your visitors don’t stay long enough, you should evaluate that perhaps you failed to offer them something enticing or useful content to keep their presence on your site longer.
4. Flow charts of your visitors
The flow chart will show you whether your visitors come from another website that sends them to your home page and whether your visitors then tried to visit the other posts or pages on your site. This indicates the activity flow on your site coming from external sources and their activities from the time they reach your site and started viewing your web pages.
5. Keyword searches that drive traffic to your website
Your visitors may have found your website through the search engine with the help of keywords. Google Analytics will give you an overview which keyword drives traffic to your site and lets you understand what they are doing on your website on each visit. You will receive valuable information such as what pages they visit, the number of web pages they visited and the length of time of their stay on a particular web page. This will help you to study the visiting trends of your website viewers. Go to Traffic sources > sources > search > organic in your Analytics setting to view this information.
6. Understanding your visit trends the long term
By default, Google Analytics only displays the metric values about your site performance within the past 30 days. This will provide you information about your website performance in the short term period. You can pick up a larger trend to view the long term performance of your website when you set up the tool to show the trends for a long number of months like 3 to 6 months in order to evaluate the stability of your website performance.
7. Understand your Adsense performance
To understand which ads on your website is making a good conversion rate, go to content > Adsense > overview in order to give you a more thorough analysis on which of the ad units within your website layout is performing well. This is a good information to use in analyzing which of the ad blocks work well in bringing conversion to your Adsense account.
8. In-page content analysis
This section of the Google Analytics metrics provides you a rich source of information about the entire layout of your home page. You will find a display of percentages of clicks through tooltips that are made in every section of your homepage which is represented with a visual graphic which is more pleasing to view than a mathematical graph plot. Go to content > In-page analytics section in order to view this information.
9. Goal conversion overview
Google Analytics provides valuable data that will make you see whether your website conversion is according to your goals. The conversion may not be necessary to convert income but it may be your goal in making visitors to sign up forms on your website. This feature is available in the conversions > goals > overview settings.
10. Understanding what drives traffic away from your site
The bounce page stat on the Google Analytics provides the information what drives traffic away from your website. This can be viewed on the content > site content > exit pages from the Google Analytics tool. It is also a valuable information of seeing what you are doing wrong why people don’t stick around to stay on your website.
11. Identifying repeat visitors on your site
By visiting the Google Analytics audience > behavior > frequency and recency, you will be able to track down the frequency of your visitors’ visit to your website. You will see whether returning visitors come back to view multiple pages and you will identify those who show a genuine interest in your niche.
12. Understand your mobile visitors
The number of mobile users is growing and you should not miss optimizing your website for mobile viewing. The Google Analytics tool will show the information on the average page views of your website using mobile and what kind of device used for accessing your website by your visitors. Use this data whether your website is optimized for viewing according to the device used by your frequent visitors. Go to audience > mobile > devices in order to view these metrics.
13. Page metrics
If you want to learn how a specific page is performing, the page metrics data and stats can be accessed through the content > site content > all pages. You can view the time of your visitors for staying on a particular page and the bounce rates. Use this information in understanding how you could improve your web page content in order to keep your visitors to keep using your site.
14. Real time tracking of your site
Google Analytics can actually track down your website performance and deliver the results in real time. Not all of its users know this but you can in fact see what is happening on your site at the time the activities are actually happening. Thus, you can see your visitors’ live interaction on your site at any time of the day or night. Just go to Real Time > Overview tabs to see the real time tracking report.
15. Understand the website traffic from social media sites
Is your site getting traffic from various social media sites? The Google Analytics tool can provide you the answer by going to traffic sources > social > network referrals in order to see which of your web pages has the most traffic and from where they come from. You can likewise view a flowchart activity that lands on your web page from social media sites by going to the traffic sources > social > visitors flow.
About the Author: Irina Webandyou is a web designer, guest blogger and video maker. She runs her own site and the team who make for Guest Posting Service UK clients.