Google Analytics

A Quick Guide to the Basics
Version 1.05

by Michael Pastore Epublishers Weekly www.EpublishersWeekly.com
Copyright © 2008 by Michael Pastore

What is Google Analytics?

What is Google Analytics?
A free service from Google that performs “Web Analytics”

What is Google Analytics?
A free service from Google that performs “Web Analytics” Web Analytics is “the study of the behavior of website visitors.”

What is Google Analytics?
A free service from Google that performs “Web Analytics” Web Analytics is “the study of the behavior of website visitors.” Businesses use this data, collected from their websites, to design websites that maximize their profits.

by any other name ...

Note: In Europe, “Web Analytics” is called “Web Metrics.”

G.A. is not for businesses only ....
Individuals and non-profit organizations with websites can use this data to: increase the amount of web visitors improve the quality of the visits

Before You Use Google Analytics ...

Before You Use Google Analytics ...
1 Create a Google Account (or: use your existing Gmail account)

Before You Use Google Analytics ...
1 ) Create a Google Account (or: use your existing Gmail account) 2) Configure (Set up) Google Analytics* *(not covered in this Quick Guide)

Before You Use Google Analytics ...
1 ) Create a Google Account (or: use your existing Gmail account) 2) Configure (Set up) Google Analytics* *(not covered in this Quick Guide) 3) Make your website “Standards compliant”

7 Benefits of a StandardsCompliant Website
1. Higher Rankings in Search Engines 2. More Users Can View Your Site 3. Faster Download Time and Reduced Bandwidth Usage 4. Compatible with the Newest Browsing Technologies 5. Persons with Disabilities Can Use Your Site 6. Your Site can be accessed with many devices, including handheld PDAs and cell phones 7. Website maintenance and upgrades are easier

How can I see my website’s stats?

How can I see my website’s stats?
1. Log in to Google Analytics: www.google.com/analytics

How can I see my website’s stats?
1. Log in to Google Analytics: www.google.com/analytics

2. After logging in, you reach your Home Page. 3. Now click “View Reports”.

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Welcome to your Dashboard !

Take a few minutes to get to know your Dashboard ...

The Dashboard is made of 6 sections ...
The top section is called (by me) the Time-Graph ...

Here, you can change the settings to show the time range for your website statistics. The graph above shows the number of visits from January 10 to February 9, 2008.

Note to Skeptics: Why don’t we see millions of page views here? Because this is a new website, unlaunched, still under development.

The Dashboard
the Time-Graph ...

Click here to change the time range ... Changing the time range here effects the time range in all the other sections of your report.

The Dashboard
the Time-Graph ...

By clicking the Export button, you can export this information as a PDF file, or an XML file. If you choose PDF, then a PDF file will be created and then downloaded immediately to your desktop.

The Dashboard
the Time-Graph ...

By clicking the Email button, you can export this information as an attached file, and then email it to yourself or others. The data can be exported in any of 4 formats: PDF, XML, CSV*, or TSV.*
*CSV (or TSV) = a text file containing data that is separated by commas (or tabs).

Before continuing, we need to learn some webmaster jargon: definitions of essential terms ...

Hits
Back in the days before Google Analytics, webmasters used the term ‘hits’. But the term ‘hits’ has become outmoded, and deservedly so. When a user would look at one web page that had 20 images on it, the old-fangled reporting systems would report this as “21 hits”. The term “hits” has been replaced by more accurate terms such as “page views” and “visits”.

Essential Jargon

Page View
A page view is an instance of a web page being loaded by a web browser. ... If a user looks at 7 of your web pages, that is counted as 7 page views.

Essential Jargon

Visit
A visit is recorded whenever someone comes to your web page, and looks at one or more pages. If a user looks at 100 of your web pages, without leaving the site, that is still counted as 1 visit. The visit ends when this user leaves your site.

Essential Jargon

Pages per visit
Divide the number of pages that the user sees, by the number of visits, and you get the “pages per visit.” Thus, if 20 users visit your website, and the total number of pages they see is 300, then the “pages per visit” is 300 divided by 20, or 15 “pages per visit”.

Essential Jargon

Other terms ...
Webmasters are also interested in other terms, such as ...

Essential Jargon

Other terms ...

Average Time on Site ... (which means: the average time the user spends on your website)

and ...

Essential Jargon

Other terms ...

Percentage of New Visits (simply, the % of new visits -- by new visitors -- to your website)

and ...

Essential Jargon

Bounce Rate
A “bounce” happens when a user visits your website, stays to see one page only, and then leaves. The Bounce Rate is the percentage of “singlepage web visits.” For example: if 100 users visit your site and 20 of those 100 users stay to see one page only then your Bounce Rate is 20%.
☛ Later in this presentation, we will have a bit more to say about this important idea ➠ “Bounce Rates”.

Let’s go back to our Dashboard

Tricks of the Time-Graph

Slide your mouse-cursor along the bottom line of the Time-Graph.

Dashboard

Tricks of the Time-Graph

mouse-cursor A pop-up box will appear, that shows you, for each day, the number of visits to your website.

Dashboard

Tricks of the Time-Graph
Try this: Click the down-arrow to the right of the word “Visits”:

Dashboard

Tricks of the Time-Graph
Surprise! ... the Beta* “Graph Mode” appears

☛ * Google hopes that it will be “Beta” than the previous version! ☺

Dashboard

Tricks of the Time-Graph
the Beta “Graph Mode”

6 Radio Buttons

You can click any one of the 6 radio buttons. Click, for example, “Pageviews”, for example. Now as you slide your cursor along the timeline, you see the number of Pageviews (instead of Visits) on any given day.

Dashboard

Tricks of the Time-Graph
the Beta “Graph Mode” Now click on the label: “Compare Two Metrics” and then select another radio button ...

Dashboard

Tricks of the Time-Graph
the Beta “Graph Mode”

This reveals two graph lines, one for Visits, and the other for Pages/Visit.

Dashboard

Tricks of the Time-Graph
the Beta “Graph Mode” You may not believe what happens when you click “Compare to Site” ...

Belgian UFO

Dashboard

Tricks of the Time-Graph
the Beta “Graph Mode” “Compare to Site” ...

Nothing Happens. Nothing at all. Google is saving this feature for a future release.

Dashboard

Tricks of the Time-Graph
In sum: the Time-Graph at the top of your dashboard gives you a summary of the 6 key indicators: ☞ Visits

Dashboard

Tricks of the Time-Graph
In sum: the Time-Graph at the top of your dashboard gives you a summary of the 6 key indicators: ☞ Visits ☞ Page views

Tricks of the Time-Graph
In sum: the Time-Graph at the top of your dashboard gives you a summary of the 6 key indicators: ☞ Visits ☞ Page views ☞ Pages per Visit

Dashboard

Dashboard

Tricks of the Time-Graph
In sum: the Time-Graph at the top of your dashboard gives you a summary of the 6 key indicators: ☞ Visits ☞ Page views ☞ Pages per Visit ☞ Bounce Rate

Dashboard

Tricks of the Time-Graph
In sum: the Time-Graph at the top of your dashboard gives you a summary of the 6 key indicators: ☞ Visits ☞ Page views ☞ Pages per Visit ☞ Bounce Rate ☞ Average time on site

Dashboard

Tricks of the Time-Graph
In sum: the Time-Graph at the top of your dashboard gives you a summary of the 6 key indicators: ☞ Visits ☞ Page views ☞ Pages per Visit ☞ Bounce Rate ☞ Average time on site ☞ Percentage of New Visitors

Dashboard

Site Usage
When you want the vast, unending, and revelatory details about these 6 key indicators, then you jump down from the Time-Graph to the next module: Site Usage.

Dashboard

Site Usage
Click on “Visits” to find out the total visits, and the average visits per day (or per hour). At no extra charge, you can see a bar graph that shows the number of visits on each day.

Dashboard

Site Usage
Click on “Page Views” to find out the total page views. A bar graph shows the number of page views on each day.

Dashboard

Site Usage
Similar information is available for the other key indicators, whenever you click. Caution: the options that are offered under % New Visits are fascinating.*

☛ * fascinating (noun). Beyond the scope of this tutorial. ☺

Dashboard
There are 4 more realms of data for you to explore: Visitors Overview; Map Overlay; Traffic Sources Overview; and Content Overview. To access each one, click on the “View Reports” link on the bottom left of each module.

Click Here

Dashboard

Visitors Overview
Among other things, the Visitors Overview section contains a “Technical Profile.” Here you discover which web browsers are used to see your site, and the connection speeds of your users.

Dashboard

Map Overlay
Google designed the Map Overlay to be hours of fun for adults. Just run your mousecursor over any of the world’s nations, to see how many visitors from that nation have visited your website.

Dashboard

Traffic Sources Overview

The Traffic Sources Overview shows you where your traffic comes from.

☞ Direct Traffic is traffic from the user’s bookmarks, or from ☞ ☞
users who type a URL directly into the URL bar Referring Sites means users who come to your website from a link on another website Search Engines ... this is traffic that comes to your site when a user searches the web, and then finds your site, using a search engine, such as Google or Dogpile

Dashboard

Content Overview
Content Overview is like a popularity report for each of your most-often visited web pages. You can (and should) go deeper here, by clicking on the link (on the bottom left) that says: “view full report.”

Dashboard

Content Overview

Content Performance is now revealed. This shows profiles of each web page. Pay attention to your bounce rates. How do you evaluate a page’s bounce rate ?

Bounce Rate
The bounce rate, as you elephantinely recall, is the percentage of single-page web visits. When a user visits your website, then stays to see one page only — that evanescent transaction is deemed a “bounce.”

Dashboard

Bounce Rate
If the bounce rate of a web page is 30% or less then this web page is doing well. No action is needed. Bounce

Dashboard

Bounce Rate
If the bounce rate of a web page is around 50% then you should do something to improve the interest in this web page. Bounce

Dashboard

Bounce Rate
If the bounce rate of a web page is 70% or more then this web page is crying out for attention. Do something to bring it back to life. Bounce

Summary
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) said: “I am a great believer in luck. And I find that the harder I work, the more luck I have.”

Summary
“Anyone could discover a theory of relativity. But to improve the viability of a website takes true genius: hard work combined with knowledge.”

Summary
To attract more visitors to your website:

Summary
To attract more visitors to your website: Make your site compliant ✓ with W3C standards

Summary
To attract more visitors to your website: Make your site compliant ✓ with W3C standards ✓ Use Google Analytics to find the site’s strengths and weaknesses, then improve both

Summary
To attract more visitors to your website: Make your site compliant ✓ with W3C standards ✓ Use Google Analytics to find the site’s strengths and weaknesses, then improve both ✓ Learn more: start with our Resources on the following page ...

Resources Thank you for viewing

Google Analytics
A Quick Guide to the Basics Comments to: epubster @ gmail.com Learn more about Google Analytics:
Google Analytics home page www.Google.com/analytics Google Analytics Help Center http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/ Analytics Help (Google Group) http://groups.google.com/group/analytics-help Google Analytics Blog http://analytics.blogspot.com/ Wikipedia Article on Web Analytics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_analytics Blog of Avinash Kaushik www.kaushik.net/avinash Google Webmaster Central www.google.com/webmasters/ Epublishers Weekly (blog): www.EpublishersWeekly.com

Credits
Written, designed, and produced by: Michael Pastore
Thanks for the use of these image: ● Rodin photo from: Flickr by innoxiuss ● Elephant photo from: Flickr by nickandmel2006

✓ ✓

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