Finally! I’m part of the group that checks my web site statistics with Google Analytics. It’s time to dive in and check out what the big hoo haa is all about. And I must say, my first impression is – Wow, this is a free web site statistics program taken to a new level.
I signed up for Google Analytics a few months ago but at the time Google was no longer accepting new accounts. I completely forgot about it until a few days ago when I logged into my AdWords account, I decided to click on the ‘Analytics’ tab. And was excited to find thatmy account had been activated. Not sure when it happened but it did.
Before this, I was quite happy using the free web site statistics software offered by my web host, HostGator. If you have a Cpanel based web host, chances are you’re also using the same software.
While Google Analytics offer quite a series of features, I’ll just go through those that I find extra useful and not available with my previous web stats software.
Goal Conversion Tracking
An interesting part of Google Analytics is its goal conversion tracking feature. With this feature you can set goals and see how your visitors convert. For example, you could set a goal to have been achieved if the visitor reaches your ‘Thank you for subscribing’ web page.
Even more impressive is how Analytics allows you to track the steps towards that goal. Let’s say there are a couple of steps that your visitor needs to go through before they reach your goal page (e.g. subscription successful page), you can set the steps up in Analytics and you can see where along the lines your visitor decides to abandon their decision to subscribe. This can help you to refine your strategy.
Web Design Parameters
This is another one of my favourite features. One reason is because my site contains video tutorials. The web design parameters gives me an idea of my visitors’ computer abilities. Whether they’re using IE vs Firefox, what their screen resolutions are, screen color, Flash version, connection speed …
With this information at my disposal, I can tweak my video tutorials to meet the those specifications.
I especially like the ability to see popular content on my site. Analytics not only lets me see the URLs but I can also change it to “Content by Title” which will list the URLs but show the titles of the content instead.
Okay, now this one will only be useful to you if you have Adwords campaign running. You can see an overview of how your campaigns are running. You can also see how your PPC campaigns are performing compared to organic search engine traffic.
I haven’t quite finished playing around with Analytics, so I haven’t really covered every feature that they have but let me just mention one more that I find particularly interesting – site overlay. When you click on site overlay, your web site will appear in the stats window with yellow boxes under your link. When you click on the box, you will some useful stats for that link.
Do you use Google Analytics to check your web site statistics? Why not share with us your favourite features.