Website Analysis and Reporting

Understanding Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about website visitors. It shows you how people find a site, how they explore it, and how visitor experience can be enhanced. With this information, a site owner can improve the site's return on investment, increase conversions, and make more money on the Web.

Today, it's not enough to simply have a website that you hope will automatically attract visitors. Without using analyzing and tracking software, you can’t know if your site is successful. Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of Internet data for the purpose of understanding and optimizing, website usage. The Internet is all about search engine optimization (SEO) and content relevancy.

Google Analytics is the largest, most familiar website statistics service available today. One of many free providers of valuable web analytics information, it's is armed with features that allow you to obtain detailed information, such as where website traffic originates; the rate at which those who open your home page leave your site without opening other pages (the "bounce rate"); which pages users open first and which they open subsequently; which pages are often used as exit pages; and much more. Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool that gives you insights into how people use your website.

This sample Google Analytics visits chart shows characteristics of different visitor segments, examining factors that make up visit quality.

  • Visits  How many visitors a site has gotten during a specified date range.
  • Pageviews  The total number and average of visited pages. This number should be higher than the number of visits because it calculates total accumulated pages per visit.
  • Pageviews per Visit  This is the average number of pages visitors view each time they visit a site.
  • Bounce Rate  The percentage of visitors who enter and exit the same page without visiting any other pages. The bounce rate helps identify pages needing to be improved to retain user interest.
  • New Visits  The percentage of recent visitors who are new, as opposed to those who return after a previous visit.

Google Analytics Can Reveal a Site's Traffic Sources

This chart categorizes traffic source results.

  • Direct Traffic  The percentage of users who visited a site by typing its URL in their browser.
  • Referring Sites  The percentage of users who arrived at a site after clicking links on other sites (such as social networks, blogs, and sites that include links to it).
  • Search Engines  The percentage of users who visited a site by typing keywords into search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, AOL Search, and others.

Be in the Right Place — Reach Thousands of Local Users Quickly

Google, the king of search engines, doesn't stop with its Analytics product. It can enable businesses and organizations to reach local and distant users quickly and easily by supplementing Analytics and its optimized Google Places business listing. If you have a business listing, it’s important to make sure it can easily be found at the top of search pages, with another of its essential offerings: Google Maps.

Ultimately, the top spot for any business looking for new traffic is on Google's first page of results; the very best place to be on page one is in the Google Places section, where such listings appear at the top of the screen, highlighted with red marker pins (shown at left).

Businesses and organizations listed on Google's first page have most likely invested in a website analysis and reporting service, in addition to an online marketing and promotion campaign. When used together, these tools can help business owners outrank their competitors. Once Google Maps and Google Places have been added to your site, Google Analytics tracks traffic to and from those two resources and your entire site. There's nothing quite like this ensemble.

Want a bigger return on your investment?  Try Google's AdWords Express. It's for local businesses looking for local customers, for business owners who want the benefits of a targeted online ad campaign without having to spend time managing it. Although it isn't free, you can manage your costs; what you spend on your ad is completely up to you. According to Google, AdWords Express is the easiest way to advertise on Google.

"Creating your AdWords Express ad takes just a few minutes, and that's it," says Google. "Everything else is managed automatically, ensuring your ad will be shown only to people looking for what you have to offer. You're advertising to an audience that's already interested in you. When people search your area for products or services you provide, an ad for your business should appear above or beside their search results." Your business will be marked with a distinctive blue marker pin (shown at left) on Google Maps, helping it stand out to potential customers.

It takes two to optimize  As you can see, Google Analytics can teach you a lot about your site’s traffic; Google Places, Maps, and AdWords can collectively maximize your site's Web presence. Essential to maintaining a successful web presence is (1) a good site analysis program coupled with (2) an experienced professional who can translate your web activity data and suggest ways to maximize performance. Warren Camp Design has the years of experience necessary to implement, track, analyze, and report on websites using Google Analytics and other traffic analysis programs.

You can or call him directly at 209-795-7661. Let WCD begin today to help you improve your website's performance and significantly increase its traffic.

Check out Warren's web-specific pages:

Web Design  |  Web Development

Examples of Effective Website Basics

Informational Q & A  |  Search Engine Optimization

Improving SEO Rankings  |  Tracking Site Performance

Evaluating Google Analytics  | Marketing and Promotion

Analyzing and Improving Your Existing Site

If your website doesn't stand out and do a lot of things right, chances are it's not going to achieve your goals. If you need a new site, discuss the possibilities with Warren to get a feel for the effort and cost involved. If you want to renovate an existing site, Warren can examine it to see what you're doing right and wrong and what you're forgetting to do. New or existing, his insights and recommendations can help make a difference in the success or failure of your site.

If you'd like Warren Camp Design to create a new site, redesign or freshen up your existing site, or evaluate your site objectively, or call WCD at 209-795-7661.