Analyzing Google Analytics: a powerful tool for websites

Posted by Dave Miller on 09/02/2011

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for evaluating the content on your site, but some of our web design clients are not even aware that we offer Google Analytics as part of our standard web hosting package. Google Analytics is a free service which enables you, as a web site administrator, to collect very specific statistics about your website on a daily basis. The information which is collected can be very useful in understanding why visitors are coming to your website, and help you know what they are looking for once they arrive.

Google Analytics image

Some of the information which is captured by Google Analytics is:

Information about visitors to your site

You can easily see in-depth details about visitors who come to your site. You can also quantize the information into types of operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows 7 and Mac OS X, or web browsers (such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari). This is also the place where you can separate the traffic on your site between mobile and desktop browsers. This is especially useful if you need to decide whether a mobile site is an important addition to your standard desktop site design. You can also determine how effective and engaging content is by looking at bounce rates and time on page statistics.

Pages and content being viewed

Find out which pages on your site are the most popular, and discover which pages users entered on and left from your site. 

Search Engine and Referral Traffic Sources

It’s important to know where visitors to your website are coming from and how users are finding your site. Some users simply type the name of your website into their web browser, others use search engines to find your website. Search terms used to find your site and information about users who found your site by clicking on a direct link on another page are available in your statistics, also.

What do I need to get started?

All that you need to access your Google Analytics is a Google Account. It’s easy to determine if you have a Google Account:

  • Are you a Google Apps customer?
    All Google Apps accounts are also Google accounts.

or

  • Have you signed up for a free GMail Account or a YouTube Account?  
    All new GMail and YouTube accounts are Google Accounts.

If you are unsure if you have a Google Account, you can always go to https://www.google.com/accounts/NewAccount and enter your email address and see if you already have an account setup; if not, you can easily create your account on that page. Once you have set up a Google Account let us know and we will add you to the list of users that can begin viewing your Analytics information today.