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Google Analytics: The Navigation

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google-analytics-understanding-navigation

Google Analytics: The Navigation

This is an overview of the original Google Analytics Dashboard and Navigation on the upper left hand corner of the page. They have a new version that is out, but it is not widely used, and in my opinion, is much less user friendly than it’s original version. You do have the option to toggle between the two version when logged in to Google Analytics.

google-analytics-main
Google Analytics Overview


Dashboard

google-analyticsThe dashboard tab is basically an overview of your website’s analytics. It is a redundant link also listed under the “Visitors” tab. The overview allows you to alter what is shown on the dashboard, but the default shows you the visits for the date range, site usage numbers, a visitor overview, traffic sources overview, and a content overview. Nearly every option listed in the Google Analytics Dashboard can be clicked to further drill down to data. There are also drop-down boxes that allow you to filter and sort the results of your data based on more specific criteria.


Intelligence

google-analytics-intelligenceThese are basic alerts that you can setup to receive reports via PDF, Excel or XML.

Daily Alerts:
Allows you to receive automatic daily updates via email.

Weekly Alerts:
Allows you to receive automatic weekly updates via email.

Monthly Alerts:
Allows you to receive automatic monthly updates via email.


Visitors

google-analytics-visitorsOverview:
This is the redundant overview tab discussed earlier.

Map Overlay:
Allows you to view an interactive world map. The map’s countries, states and cities can be clicked to drill down and view the data according to your choice. You can view which countries, states and cities provide the most traffic, and even drill down to page views, content, sources, and other data for each geographical location. This also displays in a text list under the map. This can greatly benefit how you plan your marketing by showing you where your clients/visitors are located.

New vs Returning:
This shows the amount of new visitors versus the amount of returning visitors to your website.

Languages:
This shows the language source of the IP for each visitor that visits your website.

Visitor Trending:
Visitor Trending is analytical data about your website’s visitors that includes visits, absolute unique visitors, pageviews, average pageviews, time on site, and bounce rate.

Visitor Loyalty:
Visitor Loyalty is analytical data about your website’s visitors that includes loyalty, recency, length of visit, and depth of visit.

Browser Capabilities:
This allows for you to see what browsers your visitors are using, along with what operating system (Vista Safari, Windows 7), screen colors, screen resolutions, and which update of Flash and Javascript they have installed on the computer that they made their visit from.

Network Properties:
This allows you to see the service providers (Mediacom, AT&T, Comcast, etc.). and hostnames that your visitors use.

Mobile:
This gives you insight on which mobile devices and which mobile carriers were used to visit your website.


Traffic Sources

google-analytics-traffic-sourcesThis is probably the most important feature of Google Analytics in regards to analyzing your marketing efforts. The Traffic Sources page will give you information about how visitors found your website, which search engines they used, what keywords they typed in, and much more.

Overview: This is an overview the traffic sources related to your website.

Direct Traffic:
Direct traffic refers to a visitor that typed your website domain name in directly into their search engine. They did not use Google, or click on a sponsor ad. They simply typed in your website address and became “direct traffic.”

Referring Sites:
A referring site is another website that has a link to your website on it. For example, if you own http://www.yourwebsite.com and you have a link to your website on http://www.myotherwebsite.com, if someone clicks that link, then http://www.myotherwebsite.com is going to be a referring website.

Search Engines:
This displays the search engines that your visitors have used to find your website. The current trend has Google being the number one search engine generating about 85% of all searches. Yahoo, Bing, AOL, and Ask follow far behind.

All Traffic Sources:
This is basically a pointless navigation option as it displays redundant information that can be found in the overview.

Adwords:
If you use Google Adwords, then this tab will be beneficial for you. You can view which of your Adwords campaigns are working the best, along with all of the more detailed data that is provided on your regular traffic reports.

Keywords:
This provides you with a list of actual keywords that your visitors typed in to get to your website. When a user goes to Google and types in “find your website” and then clicks on the link to your website, then that keyword phrase would show up on your keyword list. You can also see keyword trends to find out what popular searches are being used to find your website.

Campaigns:
This allows you to view information regarding any custom campaigns that you might have running. This is most likely used by advanced users.

Ad Versions:
This allows you to view specific ad versions. This is most likely used by advanced users.


Content

google-analytics-contentOverview:
Here you can find all of the analytics regarding the content on your site. This means that the pages on your website will all provide a certain amount of data pertaining to the visits made to a particular page.

Top Content:
This is the most viewed pages on your website, how may views the pages have gotten, how many of them were unique, the time spent on that page, and the bounce rate for that page. The page is displayed on this list using the page’s URL.

Content by Title:
This shows the same information as the Top Content, but it displays it by the page’s meta title, rather than URL.

Content Drilldown:
This displays the page content on your site based on category or top level navigation. This is especially useful if you operate a blog because you can view your highest viewed categories and not just pages.

Top Landing Pages:
A landing page is simply the page in which a visitors lands on after a search.

Top Exit Pages:
An exit page is the page which people are on when they exit the website.

In-Page Analytics (Beta):
This allows you to view a first-hand view of your website with pageview traffic displaying on your actual website.


Goals

google-analytics-goalsGoogle says that Google Analytic Goals are “conversions are the primary metric for measuring how well your site fulfills business objectives. A goal is a website page which a visitor reaches once they have made a purchase or completed another desired action, such as a registration or download.”

How to Install Google Analytics Tracking Code

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Installing Google Analytics on your website is extremely easy and takes very little time to do.

When you first login to Google Analytics, you are presented with your current list of sites you are already tracking stats for. If you have already added the website in your Google Analytics account, then it will appear in this section.

Adding Code for Brand New Websites

  1. If you are adding a brand new site to your account, you’ll need to click the ‘Admin’ button in the top right of the page, which is located in the orange bar that expands across the page. After clicking the Admin button, you’ll need to choose which account you’ll want to add the website to. You can choose between an account that already exists, or create a new one. At VRoooom we use these accounts to sort between clients that are in our internet marketing program, and clients that aren’t in the program.
  2. After choosing which account to add the website to, click the ‘New Property’ button and fill out the information required. After you fill out the information, click the ‘Create Property’ button.
  3. You will be taken to a list of the websites in that specific analytics account. You’ll then need to go through this list and find the website you just added. After you find the website you just added, click the name of the website to go to it’s options menu.
  4. You should see three tabs that say “Profiles,” “Tracking Code,” and “Property Settings.” Click the Tracking Code tab.
  5. At the bottom of the Tracking Code tab page, you should see a large text box of Javascript coding. You may have to choose a few options before this code will display. Copy and past this code to your clipboard.
  6. How to Install the Google Analytics Tracking Code

  7. Now is the part where you actually add the code to your website’s code. If you have a website built from just .html pages, also known as a static site, you will have to copy and paste this code on every single page you want to track the stats for. If you have a website built in another language, such as PHP or .Net, you can simple paste the code inside the masterpage files that load for every page on the site.
  8. You will need to paste this code immediately before the tag in your code. Look at the image below for an example. Once you have pasted that code there, save and reupload your file to the server. Go back to the Google Analytics page you just received the code from and refresh your browser window. The ‘Tracking Status’ should now say that it is collecting data from your website.
  9. Inserting the Google Analytics Code into HTML

  10. That’s it! You have successfully added the tracking code to your website.

Google Analytics: The Basic Terminology

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google-analytics-terminology

Google Analytics: The Basic Terminology

Google Analytics can be confusing if you don’t understand the basic terminology that it uses. The good news is that you can be an expert in no time once you’ve learned what the basic terminology means. In this post we’re going to go over the basics of Google Analytics and understanding what things like “unique visitors” and “bounce rate” refers to.

what-is-Google-analytics-page-views-unique-visitors-bounce-rate

Basic Google Analytics Terminology

Visits vs Visitors – The easiest way to explain this is that visits is the number of times that a person visits your website and visitors is the number of people. There will typically be more visits than there are visitors because a visitor can make more than one visit. If I visit your website 10 times, then I would be considered one visitor, and there would be 10 visits recorded in the data.

Pages/Visit – This is the number of pages that are visited for every visitor. The above graphic shows that there is a pages/visit ratio of 1.60. That means that for every visit to this website, an average of 1.6 pages are viewed.

Pageviews – This lists the pages on your site and how many times that page was viewed based on the date range you have selected.

Bounce Rate – This one is somewhat tricky. I’ll try to keep it simple, and maybe do a more detailed post on this one down the road. Bounce Rate records people that land on a page on your site and then quickly leave your site from that same page. This might be due to two different scenarios. The first one being that someone came to your site and it was not what they were looking for, so they left quickly. The other being that they landed on your web page and quickly found what they were looking for and then left.

Time on Site – This is the amount of time that was spent on your website.

Time On Page – This is the amount of time that was spent on a specific page.

Google Analytics: Introduction

By | Business Tips, Google Analytics Series, Internet Marketing, Marketing Tips, Website Design, Website Tips | No Comments

google-analytics-introduction

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free website tracking tool that can be installed on your website simply by creating a Google account and signing up for Google Analytics. The Google Analytics tool allows you to track virtually every important element and action that occurs on your website including visitors to your website, what pages have been viewed, how long a visitor stayed on that page, what keywords they types in, what search engine they used, what browser they use, what country they’re from, what state they’re from, what city they’re from, what page they landed on and MUCH MORE!

The data is almost endless, and there are very few questions that can’t be answered by analyzing your data from Google Analytics.

Do I Need Google Analytics?

If you don’t currently have Google Analytics installed on your website (or some form of website analytics), then you need to either hire an internet marketing company, fire your current one, or learn how to install and manage it yourself. One of the most beneficial reasons why internet marketing is so powerful and successful is due to the ability to precisely track it’s effectiveness using Google Analytics.

If you’re new to Google Analytics and are not sure exactly what everything means in the dashboard, how to understand it, or what the data means, then this series is just what you need. We’ll be discussing how to install it, how to use it, what everything means, and how to utilize the data to improve your website.

Piwik VS Google Analytics: A Battle of Website Statistic Software

By | Website Reviews, Website Tips, Website Tools | No Comments

A Battle of Website Statistic Software: Piwik VS Google Analytics

Recently we’ve came to the attention of a new (new to us anyway) website stats software by the name of Piwik. On the homepage of their site, Piwik claims it aims to be an “open source alternative to Google Analytics.” We currently use Google Analytics on our websites, so we were eager to give Piwik a try to see the differences of the two.

One of the biggest gripes to me with Google Analytics is the fact that once you add your site to the system, Google then has all your data available to them. While this isn’t a big deal to some people, I’m not too comfortable with Google knowing about all the sites I own, how many visitors they received, and the exact search terms visitors are searching to get there.

On the other hand, Google Analytics is extremely easy to install on a website. It takes very little time, and very little coding knowledge. You simply enter in your site information and paste a little snippet of code into your pages. After that you sit back and the visits start registering. All the stats and graphs within Google Analytics are also extremely professional and clean looking, and they aren’t hard to read at all.

Piwik itself had a very easy install, simple upload the files to your site and go through their easy installer (literally 5 minutes at the most!). On the first look, the dashboard layout is very similar to Google Analytics. The charts and features look a little more basic compared to Google Analytics, but they are still very easy to read and ultimately look neat. After using it for a while, Piwik seems to actually register data more accurate than Google Analytics does.

Piwk's Dashboard

Piwk's Website Analytics Dashboard

Anything that is in Google Analytics can pretty much be found within Piwik. Another plus side is that when you install Piwik on your server, every last bit of data is yours and yours only. But that also means that if your server goes down, so does your stats and your stat tracking. Google Analytics has the plus side of being hosted on Google’s servers, which have a very, very tiny amount of downtime, if any at all.

Piwik runs using PHP and MySQL, so a little knowledge of those languages may be needed, although definitely not required. I was able to set up Piwik without seeing a bit of PHP or MySQL coding at all. Knowing PHP or MySQL is really only required if you would like to make your own custom edits to the software. As far as setting up the tracking code, it just takes a tiny bit of HTML to input on the page you wish to track stats for.

Google Analytics Dashboard

Google Analytics Website Stats

Overall, I think Piwik can definitely be a contender in the web analytics world. It may take some more time for it to reach that point, although Piwik seems to have a much larger amount of support overseas. It may be a great alternative for Non-Profits and larger corporations that sometimes only use open-source, free software, even though Google Analytics is free.

It also may be a good alternative to those paying big bucks for web tracking analytics such as Omniture.

We plan to keep working with Piwik over the coming months to see which we prefer. We may even find a use for Piwik on some sites and Google Analytics on others. If you think you may enjoy using Piwik, definitely give it a go. You can always install it without messing up your Google Analytics stats if you ever decide to switch back.