Tag Archives: google analytics

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A Short Guide to Google Analytics

Category:Websites Tags : 

Some of you may have heard me say that having a website without some kind of statistics is like trying to drive with your eyes closed. Without data how do you know whether your website is doing what you need it to? If you are actively marketing your business you want to be able to see your visitor numbers increasing.

Analytics can also give you great data on things like, your most popular pages, the most popular days of the week and times that your website is accessed and even whether people are using your website more on desktop computers or mobile.

Checking your data can also help you find out if too many people are ‘bouncing’, this means leaving your website as soon as they find it.

I tend to recommend Google Analytics because it is free. There are lots of other statistics packages out there and some can give really detailed information. If you are a large B2B company there are packages that can identify what company has visited your website!

Setting Up Google Analytics

I have already written an FAQ on how to get Google Analytics on your website, so I won’t repeat myself…you can read about it here

What do I do now?

Ok so now you have it, unless you have a lovely digital agency who will send you a report on a regular basis you’ll need to login and check your stats. I find it useful to diarise this for the beginning of each month.

Easiest way to login is to Google ‘Google Analytics’ click the result and enter you username and password. You’ll start on the Dashboard which gives you very immediate data, including how many people are on your website right now and visitor trends for the past week. You can scroll down to see information like When do your users visit and What are your top devices.

Useful Data

Here are the most useful areas for me, on the right hand side you will see a menu which includes Audience. Click here and then click on Overview.

Select the date range in the top left, I like to view data by month (I also record this data outside of Google Analytics, but that’s up to you)

The data you can now see will tell you:

Users – how many individual people accessed your website during the month

Sessions – How many times people accessed your website during the month (a person may have accessed your website several times)

Number of Sessions per User

Page Views – How many pages in total your users viewed

Pages per Session

Average Session Duration

Bounce Rate – This is a figure which tells you how many of your users came to the site and left immediately. Anything under 50% is fine….unfortunately at least half of your ‘visitors’ will probably be ‘bots’ – these could be good bots (like Google bots) or bad bots (like Spam Bots), but there is nothing you can really do to stop them and you could spend a lot of time and money trying.

You will also see a pie chat showing New and Returning visitors. 80/20 would be a good split here to show your website is engaging current and new customers.

I now like to take a look at how visitors found my website. You can find this information again in the left hand menu under Acquisition, you may have to close the Audience menu to see it. Once again select overview and set the date period if you need to

Here you will find the source of your visitors displayed both as a pie chart and a table

Organic Search – this means people that found your website in the natural Google listings. In theory you could also find out what term people searched for, but most people have private browsing enabled, so this often does not yield helpful data

Direct – these are people who typed your website address into the address bar of their browser, they may have found it on your business card, email signature, an advert or flyer

Social – fairly self explanatory….these are visitors that came from social networks, clicking on this in the table will give you a breakdown of your most popular social networks

Referral – this is people who clicked on your website address on another website, unfortunately much of this data is often Spam bots, so if you see things like xyz.co.uk just ignore

You may see other sources too for example if you have run a recruitment advert on a large national site

Finally is you have run a PPC campaign you can see Paid Search data here, the number of people that came to your website after clicking on your Google Ad.

Google Analytics contains a huge volume of data about your site and your visitors, but if you can at least start by hooking it up to your website and keeping an eye on the above stats on a monthly basis it will give you a great insight into how your website and your marketing is working.


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Website Redesign – things to think about

Category:Websites Tags : 

A business connection recently asked “My website is two years old, do I need a new one?” You can read my answer to that question here, but if you have decided that you do indeed need a new website you’ll want to make sure you have thought of everything so you don’t need a new one again in a few years time! So here are my top 10 things to think about if you are redesigning your website

Check out the competition

Whatever marketing you are undertaking it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the competition. In this case you want to visit their websites (but as a rule make a List of your competitors on Twitter is a great way to keep an eye on them – read more about how to do this in my FAQ). Have a look at what they are doing that you think is good. I’m not saying copy them, but be inspired by great ideas. Also see if there is anything that you think doesn’t work so you can avoid it!

Does your current website have any particular problem areas

Are there any parts of your website that you are particularly concerned about, or that people have mentioned don’t work well. Perhaps your website isn’t mobile friendly (if you are not sure you can check here), maybe it takes too many clicks to get to important content. Whatever the issue keep this at the forefront of your mind as you consider your redesign

What about SEO

How does your current website perform in search engines? If the answer is ‘very well thanks’, then be sure what you do does not negatively effect your results. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the redesign – you are not coming up in search engines…in which case make sure you do your SEO research right at the start. Or maybe search engines just are not an important part of your marketing strategy – that’s fine, but be sure that is the case before you disregard them.

Take a look at your website statistics

Does your current site have analytics? Google Analytics is a great free tool that can help you find out which are your most popular pages, how long people spend on your site and whether or not they come back. If you have it, then have a look through the statistics to find out what works and what doesn’t. If you don’t have it then make sure that you install it in your new website – you can read more about Google Analytics in this FAQ

Ask your customers

By far the easiest way to find out what is good and bad about your existing website is to ask! If you have many customers you could set up a short survey and allow people visiting your website to fill it out, perhaps offering a reward to participants. If you clientele is more limited you could email a survey to selected clients. Survey Monkey is a great free tool for creating your own online surveys.

What is the goal of your website

It’s really important to have your website goal front and centre throughout the design process. Perhaps your website has more than one goal, in which case you can prioritise several goals. It might be to give information, to create enquiries or to sell products, but whatever it is keep it in mind at all times.

Do you know your target audience

It’s never too late to create your target audience persona…is it Rebecca the Stay at Home Mum? Lawrence the Lawyer? Margaret the Retiree? Perhaps you have more than one target audience persona. If you haven’t already thought this out now is the time! It will make your website redesign and all your marketing so much easier and more effective

Review your content

Have a good look through ALL of your website content. Is anything out of date? Is there anything that is surplus to requirements. Just like the shelves of a shop everything in your website should be useful and beautiful. Don’t keep anything that doesn’t have a purpose.

Make sure you are happy with your brand

If you are redesigning your website is it also time for a rebrand? If your reason for a website redesign is because your business or target audience has changed then it may also be time to think about a rebrand. You certainly don’t want to spend your valuable time and money redesigning your website only to realise in six months time that you need a new logo!

Draft your new structure and content before you get started

Once you have followed all of the above steps, you’ll be in a great position to create a website structure, this will list all of the planned pages for your website. Because you have done your SEO research you’ll know your keywords and be able to write your service content to reflect these. If you are having a blog you should get at least 3 ready for when you go live and also have all the case studies and testimonials prepared. Get all your images ready, resized for web and named sensibly. All this planning and organisation will make your redesign go much more smoothly

As ever if you are thinking about a website redesign and you need some help, drop me a line louise@inspirationagency.co.uk