Google Analytics 101: Man Your Battle Ship

By Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media on Thursday, April 21st, 2011

If you have a website, you probably understand the advantages of search engine optimization and are already using a SEO tool such as Google Analytics on a regular basis. If not, you aren’t leveraging the power of your website to its full advantage.  

Your website is your firm’s online flagship, and Google Analytics is its command center—a free and simple tool that arms you with the intelligence to position your brand, track your targets and deploy your most effective marketing weapons in concentrated places where they’ll have the greatest impact.  

Here are some basic features, metrics and website traffic insights that Google Analytics equips you with, and the advantages of having this intelligence:  

1) Visitors: Who is coming to your site?

  • The total number of visitors that come to your site, and how that number fluctuates over time

  • The number of new vs. returning visitors

  • The average time visitors spend on your site

Advantage:  Being able to assess the effectiveness of your website, monitor the growth of your business, and gauge the success of your marketing efforts.  In addition, using the knowledge of new vs. returning visitors to balance equal content for client acquisition and retention.  

2) Content: What are people doing on your site?  

  • The Number of times each page has been viewed

  • The Number of people that have viewed each page (unique views)

  • The percentage of visitors that exit or continue on from  each page

Advantage:  Seeing which pages get the highest traffic so you know where to put your best content and most important information that you want prospects to see. Also, understanding what types of content interests prospects the most so you can create more similar content, and avoid wasting time creating content that misses the mark.

3) Traffic Source: Where are they coming from?    

  • Direct Source- The numbers of visitors that come directly by typing the website URL

  • Referring Source- The number of visitors that come from other websites

  • Search Source- The number of visitors that come through a search engine

Advantage:  Knowing where to focus your promotions in order to drive more traffic and make it easier for prospects to find you online.  Also, seeing what search words or phrases people are using to find your site, so you can purchase ad words and appear high in search results.  

Having a website is only half the battle. If you want to win, you need the right technology. After all, knowledge is power. 

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