Starting Out With Google Analytics

19th January 2011


Google Analytics is a free tracking tool that generates detailed website statistics. It’s easy to set up, easy to access and anyone can use at least its basic features. I integrate it with every website build, so here are a few practical ways of utilising its reports (other than simply checking how many hits you’ve had) for those who are just getting started.

  1. Select Traffic Sources > Referring Sites. This is an essential report for anyone running advertising campaigns. It will tell  you who is linking to your site and how much traffic they’re bringing in.
  2. Select Content > Content By Title. This will bring up a list of all your pages and how many times they’ve been viewed. Pay particular attention to the ‘Time on Page’ and ‘Bounce Rate’ because if a certain page has both a low time on page average and a high bounce rate, chances are there’s something on it that’s driving people away from your site.
  3. Select Visitors > Network Properties > Connection Speed. Find out how many of your visitors are still coming over dialup or ISDN. If its a significant percentage you might want to look at reducing the size of your pages so they can still be loaded in a reasonable time.
  4. Select Content > In-Page Analytics. It allows you to visualise how your users interact with your site. You can see which links they’re clicking and so this is a great tool in assessing whether your ‘call to actions’ are being answered. Are people clicking on your product features and adverts? Are they finding your navigation easily enough?
  5. Select Visitors > Map Overlay. This will give you a good idea where in the world your visitors are coming from. You may be surprised how far afield people are finding you from.

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Jo has been personable and efficient in setting up my website. She did a great job of understanding what I wanted and providing guidance from her wealth of experience. She has explained things in a non-technical way and has been very responsive, patient and flexible in working with me. In short, Jo is great value for money and easy to work with.

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Xan Rice (Journalist, Oxford)

I am not exactly a technophobe but due to previous experiences of pressing buttons that I have no business pressing I have shied away from doing thing to update or improve my site. I have called on Jo Cox’s expertise several times and she is always quick, efficient and gets you back on track whilst also calming you down. I can honestly say that there is no one else I would call on in an emergency to sort out problems with my website. I have never had a bad experience with Jo’s services or with Jo as the service provider.

Lisa Bentley (Writer, Liverpool)

Jo has been amazing. Through 1-2-1 training sessions she has helped me to make significant improvements to my website functionality. This has not only been cost effective but it also has empowered me to use the skills that I have gained to edit my website myself in the future. She has simplified what I thought would be tricky tasks. I will definitely continue to work with her in the future and I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.

Felicity Wood (Yoga Instructor, Bicester)

Jo took my simple brief outline of what I wanted and turned it into everything I wanted and more. Jo was very professional, efficient and she was patient and understanding with the fact that I was not knowledgeable about building websites or what’s involved. By the end of it Jo had given me and my team a training session around how to manage the website. I would highly recommend her!

Sharon Mulholland (Sandcastle Mortgages, Kidlington)

Jo was completely fantastic! I’d been struggling to make a WordPress blog design work and was completely stumped. I made an enquiry to Jo about some help, and she replied within 24 hours. It was easy to agree on a price for the things that needed to be done, and she had fixed everything within 48 hours of the original enquiry. I had thought my problem was too small for someone to help with it, but I was pleasantly surprised that Jo was happy to sort out the small issues with my site for an extremely reasonable fee. Throughout the process, Jo was efficient, effective and stayed in regular communication. She answered all of my questions, even the really idiotic ones, and nothing was too much trouble. The entire experience was great and I would recommend her in a heartbeat to anyone who needs help with a website project – big or small. She is, in short, superb at what she does.

Imogen Goold (Blogger, Oxfordshire)

I wish I had found Jo earlier. We wanted to progress from making simple text edits to getting more out of the CMS. After a very enjoyable training session, we can now design new pages and keep the website organised. Excellent.

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