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Using Google Analytics to Better Your Site

July 31st, 2013 by

Using Google Analytics to Better Your SiteKeeping an eye on how your site is used is one of the best ways to ensure that it’s being used to its full potential. One of the content marketing tools you should be considering is Google Analytics. This free service from Google keeps track of many aspects of site usage that you may not have considered before.

Bushels of Data

When you take a look at the multitude of charts and graphs available through Google Analytics, it can be overwhelming. There is little that Google leaves out and some of it may not be necessary for your site.

You can get a real-time look at what’s going on with your visitor traffic. You can also take a look at how your traffic has behaved today, all week and all month. You can even see how many visitors you get per hour and per second. Do you need that kind of minute data? Probably not. Does it kick butt? Definitely. Watching the line move in real time as it shows you on a second-by-second basis how many people are on your site can be a great way to feel powerful and waste a lot of time. I suggest doing both before you move on to see the factors will really be useful. Here are some of the best features and how they can help you to fine-tune your website:

  • New visitor/returning visitor charts: When you see these charts, which are available in bar, pie and linear charts in various areas of your analytics data, you can see quickly how many new visitors you are bringing in. When you’re bringing in a lot of new visitors, you have traffic-attracting tools in place that are doing their jobs. When you have a lot of returning visitors coming in, you know that your site is a place worth returning to either because it has a wealth of information or it is updated often. If either of these numbers is out of whack, you know where you need to concentrate your attention.
  • All of the traffic sources data: There are several pages of traffic sources data. Among these are the search engine queries that brought people to your site, the trackbacks that are bringing in traffic and how much of your traffic is going directly to your site from a bookmark or memorized URL. With this info, you will have a better idea of what marketing methods are working well and which aren’t pulling their weight.
  • Average page load time: If you have slow pages, you need to know yesterday. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
  • Visitor engagement: How long are your visitors actually spending on the site? If you get a lot of traffic but none of your visitors stay for long, you need to beef up your content. If you have little traffic but they tend to stay on the site for long periods, marketing is your weakness.
  • Behavior flow: A large and colorful chart shows you how visitors are moving through your site. You may not need this one as badly, but it looks ridiculously cool.

Lizz S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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