This is part 2 of Shannon Steffen’s series on SEO. Part 1 is here.
I am excited to be back on Jodi’s blog this week. We are again tackling the nebulous topic of SEO and what we can do to improve our website rankings. Today I am going to talk about Google Analytics. This is a free tool that will give you more information then you ever thought about your web site visitors. You can learn what browser they use, what type of connection they use and how they found your web site (web search, direct url or referral from another site). All this information can be used to determine what key words to use on your metadata, what marketing ideas are working or didn’t work, and finally how many visitors you have to your web site.
Today I am going to cover what information you can get from setting up Google Analytics – next week I will show you how to use sitemaps to increase the information you can get from Google Analytics.
This is the basic screen – it shows you all the url’s that you have set up with Google Analytics. I have both my blog and my website set up, so I can track visits to both places.
Today’s topic started out to be a quick and easy discussion about Google Anaylitcs, but I quickly realized that there is so much more to Analytics and how we can make the most of this FANTASTIC tool. I learned so much about my visitors, I can now tell you what browser they use, if they came to the site via a Google search or a direct link, the type of monitor they have, well the list goes on an on. I will use information going forward to improve my web rankings along with designing my site. To be honest I found myself getting lost in all the information I have available to me.
Today I am just going to keep the discussion to the basics, explaining a few of the terms that are listed along with showing you some of the information you can get from Google Analytics.
Visitors/Visits: It is good to watch this number, but you will get more detail on the visitor tab. It is the data located there that really gives you a better idea of how your site is doing. It will even tell you what search terms are used for clients coming to your site via web searches, which in turn can help you determine what key words to use for your metadata.
See the images below for some of the information found under the Vistors tab. We are going to be using this again in the coming weeks.
Bounce Rate: This is a big thing, in short this is the number of people who come to your website and leave right away. This number is hard to get under 25% and a great bounce rate is considered anything under 50%. If the bounce rate is high you need to look at your home page and make sure that your both your site and landing page get the point across to your clients. As you can clearly see I need to work on this issue. Monday did not have a sitemap listed with Google. I have an all flash site with only two pages that I can index with Google Anaylitcs. Using a sitemap (more on this next time) I am hoping to improve this number.
Pages/Visit: This number is another way you can tell if your site is pulling in potential clients. This number will be only “1” if you have an all flash website. If you have a Flash site with a landing page, like a splash page this will be “2”.
Avg. Time on Site: This tells you, like the bounce rate if people are spending time on your website. This number is rather low, but I am not sure if it is because I did not have my entire site mapped. I am hoping to see different numbers when I get my blog stats going.
% New Visits: This is the number of people visiting your website that have not been there before.
Now that I have told you why you what Google Analytics can do for you the next step is for you to add it to your web site.
Google has great directions and wonderful help tools, but if you get stuck just post here and I will respond.
To add it to your blog use the following application. It was very easy to install and use:
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