Back to Basics – Analytics from Google

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Google Analytics is a free application that provides website visit statistics, designed to help marketers track and optimize online advertising and search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns. If you are interested in analyzing where your website visitors came from, page navigation, how long they stayed on your site, and geographic location, Google Analytics can certainly help you.

Google Analytics Features:

  • Keyword Campaign Comparison – all online advertisements, email newsletters, affiliate campaigns, referrals, paid links, unpaid links, and keywords are tracked so you can evaluate across campaigns and mediums.
  • Executive Summaries – reports on traffic, e-commerce, and conversion trends are provided within an executive dashboard. There are three dashboards to choose from (Executive, Marketer, Webmaster) that provide the ability to quickly view & compare revenue, conversions, and campaigns.
  • Google AdWord Integration – Google Analytics is accessible directly from the AdWords interface, and automatically populates all keyword & cost data.
  • Trend Reporting – the Google Analytics interface provides reporting that compares metrics across time, to guide proactive decision-making.
  • E-commerce & Funnel Visualization – if you are running an e-commerce site, Google Analytics traces all transactions to campaigns and keywords, helps identify loyalty & latency metrics, and report revenue sources. The funnel visualization feature helps marketers understand bottlenecks in the checkout process so they can increase their chances of successful conversion.
  • GeoTargeting – this feature provides a visual map which highlights where your visitors are geographically located.

What are the Benefits of Google Analytics?

  • Free – the top benefit to organizations is the pricing structure; Google Analytics is a free application that will not tie up internal resources.
  • Tight Integration – if you are already experimenting with Google AdWords, you will enjoy the seamless integration that Google Analytics provides. ROI metrics are automatically calculated from existing imported AdWord cost and keyword tracking data.
  • Solid Analytics – Google Analytics provides an excellent web analytics product, which contains most features available in high-end solutions.
  • Scalability – since Google Analytics is a hosted solution, it doesn’t require any internal hardware resources. This solution works well for both large and small organizations.

Action Plan:

  1.  Discuss Analytics with Webmaster – have a meeting with your Webmaster to identify whether this data is already available from another internal analytics solution. If not, suggest that they sign-up and download the free code.
  2. Beware of Ad Filtering – many ad filtering programs and extensions prevent Google Analytics from tracking website statistics. While there are a relatively low percentage of users who have these programs installed, be aware that there may be some holes in your data sets.
  3. Start Tracking Campaigns – once you have inserted the code into your website pages, start analyzing the traffic reports. Look for channels that are producing a high amount of visits and conversions. Additionally, identify any channels and campaigns that are not generating increased web activity.

Bottom-Line:

Google Analytics is a simple method for piloting a web analytics program. As it is free to install and use, be sure to add this application to your portfolio.

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