Google Site Analytics – Do You Measure UP?

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By Kim Harris

Like many “regular folks” on the internet, I was not a big fan of metrics when I first started my online adventures.  However, I have discovered that Google site analytics to be a very powerful tool in my online success, and I will explain how later.

First, let’s explore why Google has become the online authority for search engine optimization and website metrics.  The host of tools that are offered for measuring your website’s success is as many as there are websites, in the millions to gazillions!  But, the novice and pro seem to gravitate toward the Google site analytics tools.

Features of Google Site Analytics

The most beneficial feature of Google site analytics is the Dashboard that shows the overall performance of your website.  There are two important pieces of information that I use to instantly see how my site is performing, the Unique Visitors, and Avg. Visit Duration.  The first number tells me that there are first-time visitors in the community, the second tells me that length of time they spent on my site.  Now, their duration on my site could signal me that they are bored with my content or they love and stayed to read more.  Currently, I am pleased with the duration of my visitors and will continue to find out what they want to read more of and get it out there for them.  The longer your visitor’s stay, they are more inclined to buy from you and come back in the future for more information.

One of the newest features is the Real-Time Overview, watching your site’s performance while visitors are on the site.  Google’s new analytics show the number of visitors that come from mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.  This trend has been growing steadily and will continue to do so.  Using Google’s AdSense for mobile devices is a wise position to take if you haven’t already jumped into the mobile game.

Another great feature is the social traffic reports.  If you have engaged fans and followers through social media, then you can now view these statistics to see your traffic flow.  This is great for creating new campaigns or even tweaking what is not producing results.

Now that you understand how to use Google Site Analytics, you can create an effective strategy for your marketing efforts for your site or blog.

Here are some very important Google analytic tips and tools posted by Social Media Examiner that will help you to get the best out of Google Analytics:

#1: Add Google Analytics to WordPress

You can easily add Google Analytics to your self-hosted WordPress website using the Google Analytics by YOAST plugin.  The plugin lets you configure advanced features such as tracking outbound clicks, downloads and internal links that redirect to external websites.

#2: Integrate All Analytics Platforms

If you want to combine Google Analytics data with additional analytics tools and platforms to gain insights about your traffic, try Segment. The platform allows you to manage data from over 100 different advertising, analytics, developer, marketing, sales, support and user testing platforms in one place.

#3: Visualize Google Analytics Data

It’s possible to view and compare data from multiple websites at the same time in Google Analytics with a tool like Cyfe.  Use Cyfe dashboards to show an overview of all of your websites’ page views, sessions and users.

#4: Learn About Email Marketing Traffic

Want to link your email marketing efforts to the traffic in Google Analytics? Email marketing platforms such as MailChimp, GetResponse, Constant Contact and Vertical Response allow you to track traffic from links in your emails to your email campaigns.

#5: Link Social and Website Engagement

If you use social media management tools like Buffer, Hootsuite and Oktopost to publish and schedule updates to your top social media networks, you’ll benefit from linking them to Google Analytics.

#6: Find Out if Google Updates Affect Your Website

Add the Fruition Google Penalty Checker to analyze data from your Google Analytics account and determine if your website has been affected positively or negatively by Google updates.

#7: Discover Your (Not Provided) Keywords

For search engine marketers, the loss of keyword data in Google Analytics was a tragedy. Various tools like AuthorityLabs are trying to recapture that data again.  AuthorityLabs not only monitors your search engine rankings, it now integrates with Google Analytics and other data points to determine what keywords are driving visitors to your website.

#8: Get Insights From Split Testing

You can integrate split testing tools like Visual Website Optimizer or Optimizely with Google Analytics to track the traffic you receive to your campaigns. For example, Visual Website Optimizer shows reports like this for your split testing campaigns.

#9: Link Ecommerce Sales Data

Ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento and Bigcommerce offer detailed instructions on how to integrate with Google Analytics to get insights from ecommerce tracking reports.

Conclusion

Google Analytics has the ability to be integrated with several tools that enhance its core function. Do a Google search for other tools or platforms you may use and add “Google Analytics.” (i.e., [search term]+Google Analytics) and you will discover hundreds, if not thousands of integrations you can use.

Here are a few resources that will allow you to integrate for maximum analytics:

Tapstream
Usabilla
Freshdesk
Zendesk
Formstack

harrisAbout the Author

Kim Harris, Creator/Visionary – Stiletto Business Strategies™.  She empowers women entrepreneurs with information that transforms business. Recipient of SBA’s Women in Business Champion of the Year Award and published author.  Follow on Twitter @MsKHarris or #StilettoWBO for business strategies. Visit Facebook Group or StilettoWBO to learn, connect, collaborate.  Schedule private VIP Consult with Kim