How To Read Google Analytics

As far as website data tracking tools goes, Google Analytics is about the best thing out there for marketers. Google Analytics offers near full data telling you how many visitors went through your site, how long they stayed on each page, where they went and where they came from.

Reading a Google Analytics report can be confusing when you’re first starting out into digital marketing. So much data can make it easy to get lost and not know where to start, which is why we’ve created this post to point you at the best possible way to read Google Analytics and get the data you’re actually looking for.

READING GOOGLE ANALYTICS

First let’s go through the basics and start with all of the information found on your dashboard.

On the left side bar you’ll find all of the different sets of data and reports to run, each with its own set of categories, the more important being Audience, Acquisition, Behavior and Conversion.

Here in the dashboard you’ll be able to look at the date range, a simple but key tool to compare results from one week to another, monthly, daily and more, while also letting you compare between two different date ranges.

The eMail section allows you to eMail the report to whoever you wish. Clicking on Export allows you to directly export the data you’re looking at to an Excel chart or PDF. Finally, the Segments section allows you compare all of the different data sets.

IMPORTANT AREAS WITHIN GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Graph:

The Graph automatically maps your sessions or the data will change depending on the metric you want to see. You can also compare one metric to another and make annotations regarding important dates or changes on your website, like marking when your website was last revamped or the day a new AdWords campaign started running.

Compare Dates: 

Compare Dates allows you to compare your data from one time period to another. Here you can look at the page’s performance from one week to the other, compare this month’s data with the same month last year, and more. This basically lets you see the progress of your site over time.

Audience Overview:

Audience Overview gives you a high-level perspective of the traffic that comes into your website. Here you can look at:

  • Total sessions – where the green color represents an increase in sessions and the red for a decrease.
  • Total users – where you should aspire for an increase in numbers over time.
  • Page views, which depending on your strategy you’ll want to see more page views per session or less.
  • Average pages per session
  • Average session duration
  • Bounce rate – a number which you’ll always want to see decreasing in most cases, since a bounce is when a visitor comes into your website and leaves without looking at any other pages.
  • Percentage of new sessions – the more new sessions you get means there are more people coming into your website who have never been there before.

Acquisition:

This section lets you know how website visitors found your site. Was it a Google search? Did they type your URL directly into the address bar? Are they coming from social media? All of this data allows you to know what marketing initiatives are actually driving traffic to your site.

Go through Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. Here you’ll be looking at:

  • Organic search – shows the users who went into a search looking for a keyword, found your website amongst their search results and then clicked on it.
  • Direct – when a visitor types your website URL to go to it directly.
  • Social network – when the traffic is coming from one of your social

Device:

Knowing what device your users are mostly visiting your site from – whether it’s a mobile phone, a tablet or a desktop – will help you in ensuring everyone’s user experience is as positive as possible. You can access this data by going through the Audience > Mobile > Overview tab.

Most Visited Pages:

While looking at the most visited pages you can see where visitors are going. Since the most visited is usually the home page, depending on your business you should be looking at the second, third and top 10-25+ results.

By going to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages, you can look at the data and figure out how to best make the visitor travel through your site in order to land into a desired page to properly guide them to filling out the contact form, signing up for a newsletter or giving you a call.

Since Google Analyitcs is completely free and starts running from the minute you set up your account and add the Google Analytics Tracking Code to your website, knowing how to read Google Analytics allows you to go directly to the data that matters to you, handing you all of the info you need to make sure your digital marketing decisions are working in the best possible way.

 

 

5 Steps to a Faster Website

Today, the average adult has an attention span comparable to a goldfish. So, when it comes to your website, you’d better be sure you have everything in order. The first key to making your website faster:  page load speed.

page loading

Faster Page Load = Better

The amount of time it takes a web user to load your website is critical. This is especially true if you operate a retail or e-commerce business. Each second lost in page load time may be dollars lost in revenue. Take the following for example:

For e-commerce sites, web loading times are even more crucial than other sites. It has been found that a delay of microseconds can potentially cause a significant loss of revenue. Tests at Amazon revealed similar results: every 100 ms increase in load time of Amazon.com decreased sales by 1% (Kohavi and Longbotham 2007). Google discovered that a change in a 10-result page loading in 0.4 seconds to a 30-result page loading in 0.9 seconds decreased traffic and ad revenues by 20% (Linden 2006). [source]

One percent may not sound like a lot; however, when you consider how much business Amazon does every hour, every day, a one percent revenue loss is significant. The same can be said for smaller businesses or ‘mom n’ pop’ shops.

Building Customer Loyalty & Trust

According to Kissmetrics, nearly 50% of consumers expect a webpage to load in two seconds or less. Putting this into perspective, if an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year. [source]

In the time it takes your website to load (slowly), your would-be customer has already clicked off and found another online retailer to do business with. The impact of slow page load times that fail to meet customer expectations is far reaching. Not only can it create a lack of trust and loyalty; it can actually sully your brand and brandish your business as being unreliable.

Anatomy of a Webpage

website loading spinnerFiguring out why your webpage/website isn’t loading as fast as you’d like is a matter of thinking through the different components that make up your website. Each webpage is made up of the following:

  • 63% images
  • 16% javascripts
  • 3% HTML
  • 3% CSS
  • 16% other

If your website is loading slowly, it’s likely due to the fact that there is a large amount of content on the site, and that content isn’t structured properly. This is an important point to note as there are countless websites made up of thousands of webpages that function smoothly and load without issues.

How do you make a website faster? 5 Steps

So, how do you go about making your website faster? Consider the following tips [source]:

Make Your Website Faster By:

#1 – Optimizing Images

At 63 percent, images take up a huge chunk of room on most websites. Make sure you reduce the image file size before saving it or uploading it to your website. Photoshop, for example, has a “save for web” option to help you automatically reduce the file size. Otherwise, if you upload an image at its regular full size, the browser has to work hard to resize that image (hence the delays in page load time). There are also other online programs out there to help you reduce image file sizes.

#2 – Minifying Your Assets

Minifying your assets refers to the act of condensing the CSS code, which makes it quicker for web browsers to read the data on your website. This is a great thing as browsers will read the code with less gaps, which will help speed up the page load time. There are also plugins available to help you do this.

#3 – Combining Assets

Combining assets refers to the act of combining multiple files with a single file for CSS & JavaScript. Doing this will reduce the amount of times your computer needs to request and send data to from your a server to other devices.

#4 – Updating Your Web Browser

Technology moves fast, and it is important to keep up! One of the simplest things you can do is make sure that your web browser is up to date. There are various plugin available to help you out with this, and it is recommended that you let an experienced web developer handle this sort of update. On the plus side, an updated web browser can significantly improve site performance, and more.

#5 – Caching Your Website

When an individual web user visits your website, “caching” is what allows the visitor’s web browser to remember what files were used, and it will pull these files locally onto the user’s screen (versus having to make individual trips to the web server).

Effectively Manage Your Adwords Campaigns With These Quick Tips

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes, 12 seconds. Contains approximately 443 words.

Running an Adwords campaign is a great way to drive more traffic to your site, increase ROI or simply gain more visibility within your target audience. And while having a professional, certified PPC specialist can be a real advantage, there are some things you can do on your own to help keep things running as smoothly as possible.

The following are some quick tips to help you more effectively manage your ads and get more ‘bang’ for your ‘bucks’.

3 Quick Adwords Tips to Keep in Mind:

Set up your Adwords campaign(s) ahead of time.

Even if you’re not completely ready (budget-wise, or otherwise) to launch into your campaign full steam ahead, this doesn’t mean that you can’t at least set it up and have it waiting in the wings. Simply PAUSE the campaign as you are creating it.

Having your Adwords campaign set up ahead of time will ensure that no money is spent until you are ready to spend. It also keeps you one step ahead of the game because when you’re finally ready to execute, all you’ll have to do is click a button versus worry about inputting a ton of information. If you’re setting up a campaign for a client, this would also fall under best practices to help you stay organized.

Retrace Past Adwords Campaigns; Look for Patterns.

Sometimes you learn best from past mistakes or by simply seeing what worked in the past. If it’s not broken, why fix it? Retracing past steps that you took in successful Adwords campaigns can lend insight into what you may want to consider repeating or altering for future campaigns. Similarly, examining what went wrong in past campaigns can also lend insight into what NOT to do for future campaigns. You can also figure out where you went wrong and avoid making the same mistakes on your account or clients’ accounts.

Research the Competition.

It’s not enough to simply spout out a bunch of keywords and keyword phrases. Instead, your first step should be to see who the competition is and how their ads are performing. Where are they showing up in the search results and for what keyword phrases? How can you take their ads and make yours different or better? Perhaps it means more than simply coming up with a more creative ad. Perhaps it will involve improving the readability on your landing page or implementing an improved site design. It may take some investment of your time, but it will make the results that much more worth it.

Have any other tidbits of advice that you’d like to add? What’s worked for you in your campaigns? What sorts of difficulties have you faced? Leave your comments below!

Get your Google Adwords Campaign off the Ground

A Google Adwords campaign is a great way to bring targeted traffic straight to your Web site. If applied correctly, with just a little investment you can start to see real results in very little time. However, do it wrong and it will be a complete waste of your time and money.

Many people wrongly believe that Google Adwords is an easy way to advertise online. However, if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, then it can quickly turn into a costly mistake. To combat this, consider hiring a professional Google Adwords management service to do the job for you. Not only will it be easier, but it will be a lot more cost effective in the long term.

There is a simple reason why Google Adwords is the preferred choice of online advertising for millions of companies. Google is the biggest search engine, and therefore if you can make yourself here then you have a greater chance of being found. If carried out correctly, a Google Adwords campaign will have a higher return on investment than other forms of advertising.

Some companies regularly spend thousands of dollars a month on their Google Adwords campaigns, and that is not money that you can afford to throw away. The benefits are clear?you are reaching customers who are specifically looking for the products or services that you offer. All you have to do is make yourself visible.

There are many factors which make up a successful Google Adwords campaign, and each factor must be considered carefully to achieve results. Firstly, there is keyword research. Getting the right keywords takes time and effort, and if you go wrong here the rest of your campaign will be a waste of time.

But this is only the beginning. Once you’ve started your Google Adwords campaign, you’ll also need to create adverts that are powerful and effective and that get people to click on them. This is something that takes time and effort to get right, as numerous techniques are necessary to gear the campaign towards bringing in results. After that you will need to manage the campaign closely, to observe the results and statistics that will help you to improve your conversion rates.

Trying to do this all yourself is hard work, especially if you only have a little experience in the field. A professional management service will inform you on the progress of your campaign, explaining how it is performing and making the changes that are necessary to bring in the most clicks for you.

Don’t waste your time on a Google Adwords campaign that does not convert and ends up losing you money. Always go with a professional management service that will not only take charge of the whole campaign for you, but will provide you with a better return on investment. Professional services are often cheaper than you realize, and if you are making an investment then it is always worth getting it right from the start.

Google Adwords can really make a difference to your business, but don’t throw your money away. Hire a company with experience and a proven track record to match, and start seeing the conversions pick up today.

AdWords Bidding Stratagies

Google just released a new tutorial on bidding strategies. This is a great tutorial for anyone looking to learn more about how to maximize budget and profits. To view the tutorial visit Google AdWords Bidding Strategies tutorial.

One thing they did not show was how to figure out the value of a Lead. Here is some of my math:

Factors you must Know: How many leads you are getting, What percentage of the leads you are getting become NEW business, Average sale amount per NEW business,

Example: 100 leads, 40% close, $250 average Ticket sale,

Math: 40% x 100 Leads= 40 new customers x $250 average ticket sale= $10,000 NEW business / 100 leads = $100 value per lead

So as long as your CPA or Cost per lead does NOT exceed $100, you are in the black. Of course if you want to take it a step further you can replace Average Ticket Sale with Profit per ticket sale and find out the exact number for profitability not just breaking even on Revenue.

Hope this helps!

Proper AdWords Campaign Structure

Here are two great sources from the source on Proper AdWords Account Structure.

Following these guide lines will help your adwords account preform much better. This is one of the top 3 things I see wrong with consulting on Pay Per Click Mangement. Re-Structureing your campaign to better match the examples here will help bring up your Quality Score, Down Cost Per Click, and Up Position in most cases.

Google Example of Proper Campaign Structure