Why to use Google Analytics?
For every new business venture, be it big or small, it is essential in today’s fast paced world to have your own website. All you want to do once you’ve created a website for your line of work is to reach out to the public. This is where you will have to wind up using Google Analytics.
This is the time when you want to know the ways to draw people to your site. Further, you will want to know if they like it or not and in case they do like it – what is the most popular topic/post? And for all this, what is it that you can do to improve reaching out to people in a way that they like the most and you benefit the most from.
Google Analytics gives answers to all your queries by gathering all the traffic data of your website and presenting you with the statistics. It also analyses the traffic and it’s communication with your website to provide you with suggestions that may help optimize your site.
Track the Browser Size with Google Analytics
Google Analytics reports the “screen resolution” of the visitor’s computer but skips the other important metric which is the size of the browser window. These two numbers will be approximately similar if the browser window is kept in maximized state but not otherwise.
Take a look at the example below. The screen resolution of the desktop is 1920×1080 (this is the number recorded by Google Analytics) but the actual browser window size (where your website is displayed) is a little over 900×600 pixels.
The screen resolution is a less-useful metric and what you really need to know is the actual size (or range) of the browser window of your visitors. This data can be easily gathered through Google Analytics – simply copy-paste the following code snippet just before the closing </body> tag of your website template.
How you can use Google Analytics to monitor your organic traffic
Monitoring your organic traffic is a key part of any SEO professional’s job. There are a thousand metrics you can look at, but here’s a brief introduction to how you can use Google Analytics to help you.
Google Analytics is one of the web’s most popular analytics tools. It’s a free service, so you should set up an account now if you haven’t already done so.
1) Organic search traffic section
Google Analytics lets you see the keywords people searched for when they arrived at your site via the organic search results. To check this traffic, click ‘Traffic Sources’, ‘Sources’, ‘Search’, then ‘Organic’ on the left hand side of the navigation bar.
3 Hidden Optimization Tips in Google Analytics
It’s no accident that Google Analytics is the most widely used analytics platform on the web. According to W3Techs, and cited by TechCrunch, GA has an overwhelming market share among web analytics platforms at 81.9%, and is used by more than 55% of the top 10,000 sites.
Beloved for its intuitive format and multi-dimensional reporting abilities, Google Analytics not only provides basic metrics like visits, time on site, bounce rates and conversions, it can also provide valuable insights for any web marketing manager looking to take their business’ online presence to the next level.
Below are three advanced tips that will help you unearth hidden optimization opportunities with Google Analytics.
Optimization #1 – Increase Conversions from Organic Search
You’re well-versed in the importance of content to organic search. You’ve done keyword research, tracked your rankings, and obsessed over getting more visits from your top non-branded terms. But that’s only part of the equation.
How To Use The New Google Analytics Cost Data Import Feature
Google Analytics has just released the newest weapon in their arsenal for online marketers. This new feature allows users to import cost data from any advertising platform directly into Google Analytics reports. With this data, users can quickly and easily determine ROI of marketing campaigns right in GA. We have been lucky enough to work with this feature on one of our clients, and the new insight this data provided was quite impressive.
Using this feature is quite simple. There are 3 steps you will need to take to get this feature working for you:
- Create the cost data import source(s)
- Import the data
- Create your reports
I’ll go through these steps in more detail, and point out some of the things to watch out for along the way.
Google Analytics In-Page Analytics Gets Link Attribution Reporting
The In-Page Analytics reports provide, in a page basis, the percentage of clicks from page to page in a website. The reports are a great way to analyze patterns of behavior, and can provide important insights to web designers and UX professionals. For example, they can be used to understand if specific links on a page are used or not and by which segments of visitors. A great case would be to check how often mobile users click on specific links as opposed to non-mobile users. As we can see below, by using Advanced segments we would see for each link the percentage of mobile vs. non-mobile clicks (learn more about advanced segments and how to create them).
Setting up Goals in Google Analytics
There is a lot of confusion around goal tracking and funnels in Google Analytics. True, these can get fairly complex, but the most common website goals are actually very easy to track (if you already have Google Analytics tracking all of your pages). All you are doing is counting your “thank you”s.
The most common, most important goals to track are typically
- Newsletter signups
- Other contact forms
All of these typically take people to a “thank you” page after completion. This is a good practice to let the visitor know their action was successfully competed on the back end. This also makes it very easy to track how many people complete these actions by tracking how many unique visitors arrive at the thank you page. (We can assume that if someone made it to a page thanking them for their donation that means they made a donation.)
Four Important Website Redesign Questions Google Analytics Can Help You Answer
When you think about redesigning your website, you need to have a plan. To come up with a plan, you need to know what’s going on. Web analytics can be an invaluable tool to help you decide what to do with your website, and to do it better this time.
Analytics data can show you where your website was doing well before, so you can continue doing the same things well, and it can show you where your website was struggling, so you can find ways to make sure you correct those issues this time. While any web analytics tool can help you get the sort of information you need to redesign your website the smart way, we’re going to be using Google Analytics as an example.
Here are four questions, among many, that web analytics data can help you answer, and that can give you a lot of insight into how you can make sure your next website is better than the last.
Merging Google Analytics and Adwords Data is Essential
In early October, Google made available a feature which enabled advertisers to combine Google Analytics data directly within Adwords accounts. If you haven’t done that yet then you should – it has been a virtual blessing for those seeking ways to improve their campaigns and achieve an ever more elusive return on advertising spend.
Advertisers that set up their Adwords account to import Google Analytics data now have access to metrics including bounce rate, pages per visit and average visit duration. Why are these metrics important to a paid search advertiser? Two reasons: one, they are determining forces in quality score (which influences how much advertisers pay and where they are positioned on the sponsored SERPs), and two, they serve as foolproof indicators of how well advertisers are engaging users arriving to their sites from paid search ads.
Google Analytics and China
Google Analytics is blocked more than you think. For most webmasters, while annoying, this is fine as China might not represent a large portion of traffic. Nevertheless, for international sites or brands, the loss of this data can be huge. Honestly, I did not realize until this week how much Google Analytics is blocked. According to GreatFire.org , a website that tracks the blocking of sites in China, Google Analytics website is restricted 11% of the time and blocked 22% in the last 30 days.
What can I do if I only use Google Analytics?
The reality is Google Analytics is a powerful tool. I am not suggesting you remove it, but you need to consider alternatives. Two really come to my mind that are low cost. The criteria for me is the likeliness of them being blocked in the future, and the low cost. One is Baidu Analytics, the other is Piwik Analytics. Let’s review them both.