Improving website performance: Using Google Analytics effectively

One of the questions we get asked a lot is “how can I improve the performance of my website” and there are quite a few different things you can do that will help your website to be found. We’ve discussed elements of this topic before and you can click here to read more.

It’s a valuable use of your time to look at all the things you can do and start implementing some of the tactics, but how will you know what’s really working?

We all know that anything in business that gets measured has a far greater chance of improving.

Fortunately for us there’s an application that we can use, for free, that can help us to get better at understanding how our website is performing.

It’s called Google Analytics.

Introducing Google Analytics

Google Analytics is free software provided by Google to provide detailed reports for your website on the traffic visiting your website. It’s the most widely used web analytics application used today.

If you have a website, and you don’t yet have access to Google Analytics, I suggest making this happen as quickly as possible. It might be that you have to get your web developer to set it up for you, but either way, make it happen.

The last thing you want is to be 6 months or years down the line and then discover that Google Analytics has not been set up on your website and you have no data – even if you don’t really need all the data right now, make sure it’s working on your website from as early on as possible.

Making the best use of Google Analytics

We’ve pulled together some of the best resources we could find to help you better understand what Google Analytics can do to help you understand how your website is performing.

One – How To Use Google Analytics: Getting Started from Social Media Examiner

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This article contains a quick glossary to help you get informed on the terminology used in google analytics, as well as simple instructions with useful screen shots on areas such as reports, customization, goals and custom campaigns.

Click here to read more

Two – 9 Awesome Things you can do with Google Analytics from Kissmetrics

“Here are nine awesome things you can do with Google Analytics that will help you get the most out of your analytics information and use it to improve your website’s content, conversions, and user experience”

Here is a condensed version of the 9 points made in this article.

  1. See your most important analytics data first – customize your dashboard to show the pieces of data you want to see the most.
  2. Find out which online campaigns bring the most traffic and conversations – this can be found through advanced segments.
  3. Determine where your best visitors are located – look under the Visitors menu to see the location demographics of your visitors.
  4. Learn what people are searching for on your site – under Site Search Settings, you can track site searches.
  5. Visualize what people click on the most – find information on the percentage of clicks that have happened on each internal link on your site.
  6. Uncover your top content – find which pages keep your visitors on your website the longest or have the lowest bounce rate.
  7. Identify your worst performing pages – a few items down in the Content menu from your top pages are your top exit pages.
  8. Determine where people abandon the shopping cart – this requires setting up a Goal Funnel in analytics, visit the article for more information on doing this.
  9. Discover if you need a mobile site – find out the percentage of your total visits that are from a mobile device.

To find out more click here

Three – How 3 Simple Google Analytics Reports will increase your Search Engine Traffic from Quick Sprout

“Through three simple reports within your Google Analytics interface, you can monitor your rankings and increase your traffic.”

These three reports are:

Queries – This Will show you all of the keywords you rank for, the number of clicks you are getting and your average ranking position.

Landing pages – The landing page report will show you your most popular pages first. The pages that have both the highest number of impressions and the lowest click-through rate are the pages you typically should be focusing on.

Geographical Summary – This is important because if your customers are all from one country, then you should only be targeting that one country. If your customers are from all around the world, then you should focus on targeting the world.

Click here to discover more

Four – Analytics Academy from Google Analytics

Google have created an introductory resource to help users understand and navigate google analytics with ease.

This resource comes in the form of:

  • Lessons from experts – watch lessons from Google’s digital analytics experts at your own pace.
  • Test your Knowledge – Apply what you learn by completing short quizzes and practice exercises.

To discover more click here

Five – Essential Google Analytics Resources for Marketers: A Complete Guide from Social Media Examiner

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Here you will find everything you will ever need to know about Google Analytics all in one place.

This is a curated list of all the Social Media Examiner articles on Google Analytics – there’s around 15 different articles covering:

  1. The basics
  2. Understanding your audience
  3. Refining your marketing
  4. Calculating ROI
  5. Time saving tips

Click here to dig in to this excellent resource

Your Turn

  1. What are your specific challenges with Google Analytics and website performance?
  2. What would you add to this list of Google Analytics resources?
  3. What’s your no.1 tip for understanding Google Analytics?

Don’t forget to be awesome!

Chris.

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About Chris Marr

Chris is the leading voice of the growing Content Marketing movement in the UK. His pioneering work has helped countless organisations grow through content marketing. His drive comes from a desire to help people break free from the world of interruption marketing.