Yesterday, we held a Google Analytics webinar presented by Analytics expert Tobin Lehman. The webinar was designed for organizations with Google Analytics already set up on their website. We learned a lot, and we hope those that attended the session did as well!
Here are some highlights from the session:
- Google Analytics tells you what has happened to your site; it’s not a crystal ball to say what may happen in the future.
- A bounce is when a visitor’s entrance page is the same as their exit page. They could have spent 30 seconds or 20 minutes on the page, but if they only visited that page on your website then left from it, they “bounced.”
- An exit is when a visitor leaves your website in general. Maybe they clicked a link, or closed their browser — the bottom line is, they left your site on this particular page. (Exit rates DO include bounces; bounces are just a special kind of exit.)
- 7 common metrics you may want to pay attention to: browsers/devices, traffic sources, referrers, keywords, top content, exit/bounce rates, goals/events.
- One size doesn’t fit all. The most important metrics depend on your goals for your website. Do you want people to register for your events to buy tickets? Do you want people to play your online game, or view pictures?
- High bounce & exit rates get a bad rap, but you might want high rates if you want your visitors to click links and leave your site (like we want for our DOandGO.org calendar).
- Setting up goals and custom reports is like riding a bike: you have to learn how to do it, but once you do, set it and forget it! (Okay, maybe that’s not the best analogy, but it works…right?) Setting them up is also a time-saver: you can spent hours browsing through Analytics, but setting up reports that tell you what you need to know is best.
- Tag your URLs with Google URL Builder. It’s worth it, we promise. All you have to do is generate tagged URLs and use them — the data generated will automatically show up in your Google Analytics, no set-up required.
Tips & Tricks
- Tagged URLs have to be provided to your ad vendor in order to track them. It is extra work, but it’s worth it: you get an wealth of information back. For example, you can discern that the 125 visitors who clicked your web ad on WashingtonPost.com viewed an average of 4.45 pages and spent an average of 6 minutes on your site, and that 85% of them bought tickets and loaded the “thank you for purchasing tickets” page. Chances are, you’ll want to buy ads there again.
- If you have your custom reports emailed to you, have them sent as a PDF — your reports will look just like the Analytics website.
- Viewing Top Content by Title might be the way to go if the titles of your pages are more descriptive and easier to decipher than your URLs (for example, a webpage titled Programs & Services vs. http://website.com/pageid=554).
- You might not care what operating systems your visitors have, but you might care if they’re accessing it on their mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc.). You can see this information in Visitors>Browsers>Operating Systems.
If you missed it, view the slides below or contact Tobin Lehman to see what he can do for you.