While this article will focus on Google products, the logic and methodology of web analytics are largely the same regardless of the software package used.
Start by signing up for a Google Analytics account (www.google.com/analytics). This will take a few minutes, after which you will get a unique line of code that you or your organization’s webmaster will place in the HTML of your website. Once this line of code is on the website, within a few days (or even hours, with a very high-traffic site), you will start to learn the following information:
– See which pages drive the most page views on the site.
– See which pages users abandon most frequently (your “bounce rate”).
– See which landing pages (pages tailored to a specific marketing campaign) work best.
– See which traffic sources (search, pay per click, e-mail marketing, social media, etc.) are driving people and actions to your website.
– See how long people are spending on each page.
– See the location of your user base. You can see where people are coming from by country, state, and city.
– View conversion goals for your users. Different groups will have different desired actions they want visitors to take (buy, download, join, subscribe to free newsletter, donate, click on “About Us,” ask for a consultation, etc.). All desired actions can be measured.
– Incorporate e-commerce metrics (if e-commerce happens on your website) and measure traffic sources, key phrases searched, and online advertising down to the sales amount and products purchased.
– See which organic search terms people used to find your website.
– There are over 80 other reports you can get from your Google Analytics dashboard.