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Thursday 27th January 2011 Understand Your Customers With Google Analytics

To understand your web traffic is to understand your customers. The information you can glean from your web traffic allows you to improve your conversion rate, your marketing efforts, and your search engine optimisation.
While many e-commerce systems will tell you about the level of web traffic coming to your website, there are often additional benefits to using a web analytics service like Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free service, so there is no excuse not to be tracking your web visitors, and much more.
Here is a selection of the things the Google Analytics will tell you about your website visitors.
Visitor Sources
Google Analytics provides detailed information about the source of your visitors. For example, if a visitor arrived at your website through a link from another site, it will tell you what site they came from. Using the knowledge of sites that are providing you with free traffic, you can build a relationship with those sites, allowing you to get more visitors and (most importantly) more sales!
If they found your website by using a search engine, Google Analytics will also tell you what they searched for to find your website. This pretty much tells you what main keywords you should optimise your site for, along with some long-tail keywords to target for even more free traffic.
Analytics can even tell you what country your visitors are from. If you found that most of your visitors were from Norway, for example, then you might decide to change your marketing strategy to target people from that region.
Conversion Goals
Another highly useful thing you can do with analytics is created conversion goals. This means you can identify, for example, what percentage of your visitors go on to sign up to your newsletter. 
You can also track the path of a visitor, as they move from your main page, to a product page, to your checkout page, and then to your thank-you page. You can see what visitors did at every stage, and therefore identify opportunities to increase your conversion rate. If lots of people are reaching your checkout page but not completing their purchase, then you'll know your checkout page needs improvement.
And that's not all. You can also track conversion goals for specific traffic sources. So if you are running a Google AdWords campaign with several different keywords, you can track the traffic from each keyword. This allows you to separate the keywords that are effective from those that are losing your money. By trimming the keywords that lose money from your campaign, your ROI receives an instantaneous boost.
Bounce Rate and Page Views per Visit
The bounce rate tells you the number of visitors that left your website from the same page they entered. Obviously, the lower the bounce rate the better. It is a great measure of how accommodating your store is to new visitors.
The number of page views per visit can help you determine the effectiveness of your store's navigation. Easier navigation will translate to more pages viewed per visitor.
Analytics Is a Must-Have
If you aren't already using an analytics product or service with your store, then you really should start tracking your visitors as soon as possible. 
Google analytics is a good choice, if only because it's free. It provides all the functionality that you need from an analytics service, and helps you spot improvements that you may have otherwise missed.

Posted on January 27th 2011 at 04:58pm
Labels: analytics

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