Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Importance of Google Analytics for your Website

I'm one of the least tecchie people on the planet, so I'm not going to pretend I know all the ins and outs of setting up Analytics, you'll find most of them here although I have always ducked the issue and cajoled my developer at e2esolutions to do it for me. So you can either battle your way through it or be a wuss like me.

The point of this is that every single website should be using analytics as without it (or some similar package which you will probably have to pay for) you are quite simply flying blind. I was slightly horrified at a meeting with a prestigious retailer last week when they mentioned that 'now they were using analytics they could see where their customers were coming from'. Sorry? What?

Google Analytics will tell you the following;

Where your traffic is coming from - ie: natural search/referrals from other websites/or direct to you.

How many people are visiting your site by whatever period you choose and you can compare against previous results.

What your bounce rate is - what percentage of your visitors are not staying on your site, but are leaving it almost instantly.

How much time people are spending on your site

Favourite places to browse (and least favourite)

Which keywords are bringing traffic to your site

And a whole host of other functionality and information from navigation to customised reports and advanced segmentation.

I use analytics for both www.thesiteguide.com, www.glamoursleuth.com and www.webhints.co.uk and I check a snapshot of each every day. For those like me with little time to 'tweak' their websites it's a goldmine of instant information, helping you to concentrate your efforts on the most popular areas of your site and improve those results quickly, and also to see which areas of your site your visitors are not that interested in which you can either drop, or improve.

If you do one thing to help your business this week (for those who aren't already doing it) install analytics for your website. It's an invaluable tool.

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