Google Analytics is a free web analytical tool that can help you create effective sites and increase ROI on marketing campaigns. It can help answer all the important questions about your site and marketing activities, such as:
• Where my customers are coming from
• How to make marketing campaigns move effective
• Where are visitors abandoning the site
• How to improve site navigation
And can help you:
• Help you make informed decisions
• Increase conversions
• Measure keyword and ad performance
• Track a wide variety of metrics
How Google Analytics works.
You will need to insert a Google tracking code into each page of your website. When a person visits your site the code is executed and produces a first party cookie that is stored on the visitor’s PC.
The webpage then sends information from this cookie as an invisible gift request containing all the data to Google Analytics server, where it is processed for you to read.
Analysing your traffic
When analysing traffic you need to compare several metrics together. You can not measure your websites performance on pageviews alone.
Comparing the pageviews data with the bounce rate will give a clearer picture of the sites performance.
Q. If your site received 1,600 page views in week one and 2,000 in week two can you tell which week had the better performance?
A. The answer is no. You have to compare it with the bounce rate.
Week one received 1,600 page views and the bounce rate was 50%
This means half of the people (800 people) who visited these pages left the site straight away.
Week two received 2,000 page views and the bounce rate was 80%
This means only 400 people actually stayed on the site
You can see from the above example the importance of comparing metrics together.
Google Analytics will let you drill down and explore metrics in detail and the information you can get is endless. You may want to investigate what pages the visitors navigated to, where did they go afterwards and where they came from.
Analysing Marketing Campaigns
Google Analytics can help you determine which marketing activity is driving the best traffic to your site. This can be anything from SEO campaigns, referrals, affiliate programs, PPC campaigns, email campaigns and banner ads.
There are two ways you can track your campaigns, auto tagging and manual tagging.
Google AdWords uses auto tagging and automatically populate your reports with click, cost and other data.
For all other campaigns including email, affiliate and banner ads you will have to manually tag your links with campaign identifying information.