Using Google Analytics

vinpay

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Google Analytics is an indispensable part of search marketing.You simply cant succeed without
it. But dont make the mistake of taking the data it provides at face value. In fact,my experience
has shown me that most of the data provided by Google Analytics and other analytics
packages can be inaccurate or even downright wrong at times.
The data is inaccurate for a variety of reasons: users delete cookies, tracking scripts get
removed or modified, and sometimes the data just gets lost in transmission. (Dont believe
me? Just try matching up your orders as reported by Google Analytics with your in-house
order tracking system. Consider yourself lucky if the two come within 10% of each other.)
But this doesnt make it useless. Far from it! Instead, consider the reporting data you get
from Google Analytics as directional. It tells a story that a smart marketer (you!) can use to
figure out how to drive more traffic, deepen your relationship with your site’s visitors, and
increase sales.

In this thread, I’ll give you a whirlwind tour through the most important reporting features
of Google Analytics as well as a few of my techniques for turning this data into a story that you
can act on.

THE DASHBOARD
The very first screen you’ll see when you log in to Google Analytics is the dashboard. It should
look something like the screenshot shown in

image002.gif
The Google Analytics dashboard

On this page are a number of key statistics:
- The primary charting area - the number of visits to your site over time is displayed here by
default, but you can also plot other statistics by clicking on the dropdown at the upper left
of the graph.
- Visits is the most important statistic on this page. It tells you the number of unique sessions
initiated by visitors to your site. A session is considered to be a series of page requests
from the same uniquely identified visitor that occur near each other. After 30 minutes of
inactivity, the session is considered to be over.You will most likely want your visits counter
to increase over time.

Pageviews indicates the number of pages on your site that were loaded by your visitors. A
visit always consists of at least one pageview, so this figure will always be higher than the
visits statistic. Only pages tagged with the Google Analytics script will be counted in this
figure.
Pages/Visit is calculated by dividing pageviews by visits. This figure is interesting in that it
tells you how “sticky” your site is. Generally speaking, the longer visitors hang around your
site, the easier it is to get them to engage in your desired action. The best way to do this is
to provide high-value content and plenty of cross-linking. For most commercial sites, I
consider a value of two to be low, while three or higher is quite good. Your mileage may
vary!
Bounce Rate indicates the percentage of visitors who enter and exit at the same page without
visiting any other pages on the site. The overall statistic presented on this page isnt
particularly useful, but there are some excellent uses for it which I’ll discuss in more detail
below.

The “Visits” Graph Can Tell You When Your Tracking Is Broken
Sudden drops in site traffic are unusual, so if you see one, your first thought should be to look for broken
Google Analytics tracking scripts. If you’re using a CMS system to publish your website, it is usually a good
idea to lock down any template files containing this tracking script to eliminate the possibility of someone deleting
them

image004.gif
Sudden drops in site traffic such as this are usually the result of broken or mangled Google Analytics
tracking scripts.


- Avg. Time on Site attempts to measure the average period of time that each session lasts.
This is complicated by the fact that Google Analytics cannot determine the length of time
the visitor spent on the final page.
- % New Visits measures first-time visits as a percentage of total visits. For brand-new sites,
this statistic will be very high. It tends to decline as sites age and accumulate repeat visitors
 

KeywordMarketingPro

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Hi Vinpay,

Awesome tutorial, thanks for putting it together. Quick question. In your opinion why do the different tracking systems when everything is working correctly still differ so vastly in reported numbers? What are the causes for the skews in data from one reporting software to another? Thanks for your help as this is a very interesting topic to me as I just started using Google Analytics and have found it to be a pretty valuable tool so far.
 

BlackWoods

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Google Analytic is vey useful to all webmaster to analyse their website performance.
Combine it with Google Webmaster tools for more information insights.
 

srijit92

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What type of website are you running? Is it a wordpress blog or a forum. There are specific ways you can block traffic based on user's geolocation which depends on the scripts you are running.
 

Prabha Yadav

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Google analytic tool help us to measure traffic activities and search static. We can estimate that how much traffic is coming on daily basis and from where it is coming.
 

david rajan

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Google analytics is the tool to identify how many visitors to view websites mentioning with date and time.
 

Novakin

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I had a bad experience with google analytics, so, im paying alexa for certified metrics, also, using google webmasters tools and im very satisfied for now...
 

subin

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Google Analytics is the best tool to calculate, how much average time to spend for visit each and every page of websites
 

imenuglobal

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Google analytics is the tool to identify how many visitors to view websites mentioning with date and time with city country.
 

kodai

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Google analytics is the tool to view under websites statistic details based on country wise.
 
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