How Google Analytics Can Help Maintain & Improve Your Website:

By Shan Balasuriya Posted Date: 2014-03-07

Google Analytics

Website analytics in general is what the name suggests; it is an analysis and breakdown of data relating to your website. Website analytics provide you with very useful insights into the way your website runs. Information such as the number of people coming to your site, where they are coming from, how they found you, their locations, the search terms they used, what they are looking for on your site, which pages they look at, the path they take and at which point they leave.  

There are a variety of analytics software available on the market but the most popular one is Google Analytics. In addition to being a free software Google Analytics is also very reliable, accurate and quite user friendly. Initial set up of the software may require the expertise of a web developer, but once the analytics tracking is set up it's a matter of logging into the Google Analytics system online and monitoring your website statistics.

Analytics is the most effective way of identifying whether your website is performing its job correctly and at its optimum. To put it simply Google Analytics can be used to get more customers by monitoring how visitors react to your website and making changes accordingly to give them what they want.

Ways Google Analytics can help:

  • What's good and what's not: One of many useful pieces of information analytics can provide you with is to show you which parts of your website are currently performing the best - which pages visitors find most relevant and popular. This will help you emphasise more on the pages that people visit the most, if you are an ecommerce website this could identify which product people like. On the other hand if your website is for marketing services, this would tell you which service people are most interested in. It's vital for any business to play to its strengths and promote these strengths, Google analytics will help identify strengths in your business you may not know about. Not only can you identify the strengths of your business website, analytics also helps identify the weaknesses, this data will help you make improvements and tweaks where necessary.
  • Where are these visitors coming from: Being able to understand where visitors to your website are coming from will help give you a better idea as to what type of visitors you are getting on the site and what they are looking for. Knowing how visitors are being referred to your site is information that is very useful in helping you build a marketing strategy and make further improvements to the website. Knowing whether people are coming through paid advertising on Google, through Google organic results, through facebook or even another website that is linking to your site, is priceless information and will help you with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies, Online Advertising plans, and even social media marketing initiatives.  
  • Setting Up Goals: In Google Analytics you are given the option to set up a set of goals for your website, this could be the purchasing of a products, completion of a contact form, or even when users visit a specific page. When setting up goals you can specify a specific path you want the visitor to take and even give values to the goals. Over a certain period you can monitor how many successful goal completions you have received and even the reverse goal path, which is the path the visitor took from the time they first arrived on your site till the moment they completed the goal you've set.
  • Average duration, bounce rates & exit rates: The average duration is what it is, the time that visitors spend on your website, and the time they spend on each page. This will help you understand which pages on your website are the most engaging. The average duration is also used to calculate the bounce rates and exit rates on your site. The bounce rate is a measure of how many people left your website from the page they landed on without looking at any other page. A high bounce right (above 50%) would mean that there is something definitely wrong with your landing page and must be looked into immediately. The exit rate is basically a measure of the visitors who left your site from a particular page after viewing another page. (so exit rate is measured by the people that have viewed more than one page then left).

All this analytics data and statistics will give you an in-depth understanding of exactly how your website is performing. The insight you receive from Google Analytics will help you identify which parts of your website are weak and fix those as well as which parts are attractive to visitors so you can focus on those too.