#2 Google Analytics - Important Tools to Know and Use

Author -  Vaughan Reed - Managing Director & Web Strategist

Following on from Key Website Stats to Understand and Monitor, I’m going to introduce you to some great tools within Google Analytics that will really extend your visitor tracking capabilities.

Google Analytics Real-Time Tool

Click on Real Time > Overview

Real-Time is a great tool that does exactly what it states – allowing you to visualize your website traffic in ‘real-time’ – and understand how many viewers are currently on your website and what pages they are viewing. If you have dual computer monitors, I suggest you leave this page open on your secondary monitor for a day. Monitor your site visitors and get a feel for which pages they are viewing, which paths they take and how long they are spending on each page. It’s an effective way of doing your own website user-testing!

Another great use for this tool is checking the response to offline campaigns through TVC or Radio campaign. Check your production schedule and jump into this tool to see the immediate response and watch the flow of traffic through your site. This will tell you how effective your campaign is at driving an online response.

In-page Analytics

Click on Content > In-page Analytics

I use this tool to see how people are moving through the website, which is great for understanding the overall flow of traffic between pages.

Click on the ‘Show Color’ option to easily see which links are receiving the most and least amount of ‘clicks’. If traffic is not flowing well to the key areas of your website, look at the following:

  • Menu Labels – are these clear and concise?
  • Call to Actions – do you have clear ‘Call to Actions’ on the page? Also, are the positioned well to drive people through to the appropriate next pages?

Important Note: This tool does not tell you where (on the page) people are clicking (i.e. the hot spots). The percentage and No. of clicks shown on the page are an accumulation of all the identical links on the page.

Experiments

Experiments has been recently integrated into Analytics, this used to be a standalone A-B Testing tool. It allows you to present different versions of a page to see what drives the best results or higher conversion. However, this is quite a specialized tool so I’d recommend you work with your website provider in implementing the ‘Experiments’ tool.

A couple of examples of where you could use this tool would be:

  1. Home page - setup two differently designed versions of your home page and see which one achieves the best ‘stickability’ and drives traffic through to the appropriate areas of the website.
  2. Campaign Landing page – try differently designed versions of campaign landing pages to see which achieves a higher conversion rate.

Using Advance Segments

Advance Segments are used to isolate traffic so you can view stats based on a defined criteria or compare isolated traffic with your overall traffic. Advance Segments are similar to filters but easier to implement and allows you to compare against your overall traffic.

In the article Key Website Visitor Stats to Understand and Monitor, I demonstrated how to isolate mobile phone (excluding tablet) traffic using a custom segment. I’ll now step-through how to exclude all “Bounced” traffic so you can isolate your stats to only show information from a “relevant” visitor perspective.

To view all non-bounced traffic, follow these steps:

  1. Click on ‘Advanced Segments’, just below the section title.
  2. From the default segments list, scroll down and select ‘Non-bounce Visits’
  3. Click Apply

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What you can measure with Advanced Segments

If you go back to Audience > Overview with the Advanced Segment enabled, have a look at your 3 key stats we spoke about in Article 1 and see how this compares to the ‘Magic number’ - click here »

Next, go into Traffic Sources > All Traffic and see where your quality traffic is originating from.

 

Conclusion

I highly recommend getting familiar using these tools on a regular basis for your website, as they can really extend the depth of information you can obtain from Google Analytics.

Be sure to read the next article in this series, which I consider to be the most important feature in Google Analytics!... Google Funnel and Google Goal Flow to track and monitor your website conversions.

 

More in this series - Read your Google Analytics like a pro!

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