Saturday, February 6, 2010

Google Analytics Tutorial

why web analytics is important?
Google Analytics is a free tool that you can start using it in just minutes to gain LASER like focus on what is making you money, and who your REAL customers are!While many people use some type of web analytics package to track site traffic...Most are watching page visits and not much more.

The truth is page visits is a nearly useless piece of data.Think of it this way... RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE THIS - I can visit every page of my site from three different computers and generate a boat load of visits that would show up on the server logs.What you really WANT to be tracking is "UNIQUE VISITORS" not "PAGE VISITS".One person could generate multiple "visits" - but that doesn't help you actually gauge your efforts to create traffic.Additionally you want to be able to see where people are coming from, what they are looking at, where they go after they leave... and if they didn't convert (purchase, or download, or sign up, etc) you'd like to be able to gain some insight as to why!A good web analytics package can also tell you which of your marketing efforts are performing the best.

Do ads with a certain headline result in more sales than another?
Do banner ads placed on site A perform better than site B?

Google gives you all of this... with ease... for free... and that's just the beginning.

What you'll see in Google Analytics' Basic Reports
Some of the standard Google Analytics metrics you'll use everyday...
Absolute Unique Visitors:
The number of unique individuals who've come to your site in a given time period. So, if your cousin comeas to your site 20 times in a month, they still only count as a single unique visitor.

The number of times people open your site in their browser.
If your cousin comes to your site 20 times in a month, they count as 20 visits.

Page Views:
This tells you how many pages of your site are viewed in a given period.
If your cousin come to your site 20 times in a month, viewing 3 pages each time, they count as 60 page views.

Referring Source:
This tells you where your visitors are coming from.
Setting up goals in Google Analytics.
What do you want your site to accomplish?
One of the important features available in Google Analytics is the ability to determine the ROI (return on investment) that your marketing efforts are generating.

To do that you set up GOALS in Google Analytics.
The concept of "goals" often scares people. It's really very simple.

Goals are just things you want your site visitors to do.
Maybe you want them to purchase something.
Or download a white paper.
Or sign up for a site membership.

These things that you want people to do are often times called "conversions".
When a visitor does one they "convert" from a visitor to a customer (or member).

To start tracking goals in Google Analytics all you have to do is tell Google which of your site pages indicate that a goal (or conversion) has been met.

If your goal is for a visitor to buy something this may be the "order confirmation page"

If your goal is a download or sign up form it may be the "Thank you page."

Once you clue Google Analytics into these important events it will automatically start tracking them for you!

Nice huh?
Monetizing your goals Google Analytics.
Determine your ROI
To figure out how much money your site is making, and thus how effective your marketing efforts are... you can assign monetary values to your goals.

If you are selling something ... it's easy.
Each conversion is worth the price of that item.

But what if you're not selling something directly.
what if your goal is just generating leads...people who may one day buy.
How can you assign a value to that goal?

Well lets assume that an average successful sale is worth $800 to you, and you know that about 1 in 10 leads eventually become a paying customer. All you have to do is divide the average sale by the total number of leads, and you get the goal value: $80.$800 / 10 = $80,So each time that goal is met it's worth about $80 to you.

Conversion Funnels in Google Analytics.
Now that you have goals in place you can ALSO set up what is called "conversion funnels".

These are really neat. Here's how they work.
You tell Google Analytics of a couple of pages that a visitor must hit in order to reach the goal page.

For instance before anyone can get to the "order confirmation" page they must go through the "billing information" page, and "shipping information" page.

Now that Google Analytics is aware of that it will track this too.
And you can see all sorts of great things like where in that process people drop out.

If 500 people start the check out process but only 3 get past the shipping page... you may want to revisit your shipping page and/or policies to make it easier for your visitors.

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