5 Tips for Working With Google Analytics

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Like marketers, designers and developers depend on Google Analytics for insights that help them boost website performance. Unfortunately, navigating the ins and outs of Analytics can be tricky. To help you get started, we recommend a detailed Analytics guide. We’ve also provided you with our top five tips for a quick start to Analytics.

Working With Google Analytics

1. Watch that bounce rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who go to one page on your site and then leave – without going further into your site. For pages that serve as gateways to other parts of your site – service or product pages, landing pages, et al. – a high bounce rate can be quite problematic.

Knowing the bounce rate can tell you whether the page layout lends itself to high conversions or not. If it doesn’t, you might want to rethink the design. Beautiful isn’t always functional, unfortunately. Make sure your navigation is clear and that your content has calls to action.

2. Funnel conversion rate: Your most important KPI?

Let’s say your website conversion goal is to get people to sign up for memberships. Conversion funnels let you see the rate at which visitors move from various pages to the membership landing page. Then you can see what percentage of those visitors actually convert, or, in this case, sign up.

The conversion rate measures your website’s overall success, and is arguably the most important key performance indicator (KPI) you can track.

3. Take advantage of social reports

Social reports in Google Analytics help you determine the success of your site in terms of:
• Visits to your site from social networks,
• Conversions assisted by social media referrals, and
• Which social networks send the most – and the least– traffic.
In addition to these straightforward tools, using Google Analytics alongside the Bit.ly API (to determine how many clicks your links are getting) is a powerful way to see how much traction your creations enjoy in the social sphere.

4. Set goals

A goal, simply put, is a method of tracking visitors. What you’re tracking is the percentage of visitors who “hit” your goal. What percentage of visitors actually fills out your contact form? By setting your post-contact form “thank you” page as a goal, you’ll be able to find out in no time. Funnels, in turn, help you drill down into each goal you set.

5. Got reports? You’d better

If you thought social reports were where Google Analytics reporting began and ended, think again. You can also pull such beautiful info as:
• Link analysis,
• Ecommerce traffic,
• Keyword analysis, and
• Content efficiency.
As a designer, these are reports you should share with clients or encourage them to run themselves. After deploying a new website, the data in these reports can deliver insights that not only help your customers take advantage of their new designs, but also help you improve creations going forward.

Author Bio

Luke Clum is a graphic designer and developer from Seattle who is crazy about UI design, alpine climbing and earl grey ice cream. You can follow him on Twitter @lukeclum

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