Ten Best Features of Google Analytics

Analytics are something that every website/blog should have. I have tried several, but have come back to the best, which is Google Analytics. (Bonus: It's also free). But once glance at all the pie charts, squiggly lines and numbers can turn you away. So here's a break down of ten best features of Google Analytics.

1.Dashboard
The dashboard is great because it gives you an overview of the analytics for your site. If you are unsure about analytics, this front page can give you a sampling of all the information you need from the top content, to the number of visits.

2. Visitors: New versus Returning
Under the visitors tab on the left hand side, there is a list of different information relating to the vistors from your site. New versus returning is great because it lets you know how many people are actually returning to your site. If you have a lot of one time hits, but not alot of returns, it's time to think up ways to get people to return.

3. Visitors: Loyalty
Visitor loyalty expands on this by showing off how many times a user has visited your site and the length of their visit.

4. Visitors: Browser Capabilities
This is a great tool. With so many people using a variety of browsers, it is important that your site is compatible to all.

5. Traffic Sources: Direct Traffic
Direct Traffic means those who came directly to your site, by typing in the name of your website in their browser. This is a great way to gauge how many people know about you.

6. Traffic Sources: Referring Sites
This is important to know as well. If you are posting links to your site on Twitter, Facebook, other blogs, etc, seeing the results of that work will help determine whether you use those tools in the future.

7. Traffic Sources: Search Engines
This is a great way to determine your brand awareness. How many people are searching for your name? Are they getting to your site via other keywords that you hadn't thought of?

8. Traffic Sources: Keywords
This lets you discover what keywords people are using to search for you. You may find ones you expected, but I guarantee you will find some unusual ones as well.

9. Content: Top Content
The top content section lets you know what is most popular. This is great for blogs because it basically gives you audience feedback regarding what they liked and what they didn't.

10. Content: Site Overlay
Site overlay is a neat tool that shows what areas people have been clicking on your website. This is a useful tool to determine what is most popular.

There you have it. Although it may seem confusing, analytics are a great way to really assess what is working and what isn't on your website.

2 comments:

John Lepp said...

Thanks Lindsey. That was very helpful. I love analytics and ensure we have it plugged into every site we design for our clients.

Anonymous said...

I think what is most concerning here are the ownership rights of the data made accessible by this tool. Also of concern are the privacy implications of mapping search queries to Ip addresses and what backend manipulations are being used to then map those IP addreses to the indentities of individuals. I use Google analytics as well but there are some very very concerning issues that have yet to be made clear as to what google is doing wiht the data flowing across the network each web site helps them build.

I view my sites data as my property and not googles

I view the ip adresses of my visitors as their data not mine or googles

were on the cusp of a privacy bubble

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