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Never Understood Your Website Google Analytics Stats?

I believe that almost every website on the Internet today has a Google Analytics account which helps to show all the Google Analytics stats. Most website developers create the GA account for the website owner and embeds the code snippet given by Google into the web page template.

The website owner feels great about owning a GA account and subsequently time stands still.

Google Analytics, delivers a bewildering amount of statistics absolutely Free for even the most experienced website owner. The information delivered by GA can be such that for a first time website owner it bounces right over the top of your head. As a result, after an initial login, the first time website owner never goes back to their GA account again.

Hence, to resolve this what’s important for any website owner is:

  • Knowing what sort of statistics to look for in the early days of your website
  • How to interpret the statistics delivered

And

  • How to convert dry statics into useful, leverageable, website information

In addition to the statistics delivered by Google Analytics, your website hosting company also delivers a ton of useful website statistics as well.

Let’s begin to understand the value that the analysis of website statistics brings to a website owner.

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Number Of Site Visitors

This is a statistic that is reported in-depth in both GA and by the hosting company. Both deliver statistics on the number of site visitors hitting your website on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

If you notice a significant growth in site visitor numbers, a website owner may believe that their website is performing well,regretfully, that may not really be the case.

In addition to the number of people hitting the website, what’s important, is what those people do when they hit your website.

Are the almost immediately bouncing off?
Are they staying a while browsing website content?
Do they happily subscribe to your website’s newsletter by passing you their Email ID?
What percentage of the newsletter subscribers are converting to paying customers?

So, while the actual increase in site visitors is exciting, what they do on the website is far more significant.

Hence, what must be extrapolated from the statistics delivered about the number of site visitors is exactly effectively or badly your website is working for the site visitor. This crucial block of information will help assure you that your website is indeed going to earn money for you or not.

Bounce Rate – From Google Analytics

A good way of figuring out whether your website is adding value to your site visitors is to check the Bounce Rate of your website. This is a statistic delivered by GA.  This is the average time that a site visitors spends on your website.

If your website Bounce Rate is high 75% or higher this is sure sign that site visitors are hitting your website alright but they are moving away from your website almost as soon as they hit it.A high bounce rate indicates a significant underlying problem with your website.

Let’s say for argument sake that the webpage which Sells your products or services has the highest bounce rate on your website, that website is just not going to earn you anything.  This must be fixed.

Then The Challenge Is To Figure Out What The Problem Really Is

Maybe The Key phrases, Keywords, chosen are bringing the wrong kind of site visitors for the kind of website content being delivered by the website.

The site visitors cannot locate what they want to quickly and succinctly.

The images do not fit with the content. Site visitors will normally react to the site visuals first before reading page content. If the images are a really bad fit with what the site visitor is looking for when they came to your website, they will not read page content, they will simply navigate away.

Site Visitor Exit Pages

All websites have specific Exit web pages. For example:

A website registration page
A final order (to payment gateway) page
A contact Us page

It’s perfectly all right for site visitors not to spend a lot of time on such pages.

Having said this, if a substantial number of site visitors are leaving your website via a web page not specifically designed as an exit page, then you have to figure out what’s the problem with the content of that page and fix it.

Often the minimum changes made to textual content, like font-size, color, line-height, images and so on may have a huge effect on keeping site visitors on the webpage rather than bouncing right off.

Analyzing Keywords And Key Phrases

Once you’ve finished tweaking web page content mapped to visitor Bounce Rate, it is time to focus of Keywords and Key Phrases used within webpage content.

Use GA statistics to identify which Keywords and Key phrases site visitors are using to reach your website. Make a list of the Keywords and Key phrases site visitors are using to access your website in an XL spread sheet and compare these to the Keywords and Key phrases used within web page content.

If there is a large gap, or worse not connect, between these, then it’s time to rethink the Keywords ad Key Phrases used within your webpage content.

If this is not done then a multiple site visitors will be misdirected to your website and bounce right off your website as it has nothing to offer them at all. Websites with a high bounce rate are eventually penalized by the search engines.

On the other hand if you find that most of the site visitors are using keywords and key phrases similar to the ones used within your webpage content then there is a pretty high percentage chance that these visitors will transact some business on your website and you will earn money via your website.

Keywords and phrases are essential in delivering high quality site visitors to your website. It’s these type of high quality site visitors who will be ready to do business with you. Close analysis of the keywords and phrases that your visitors utilize to locate your website will delivers an important understanding of the motivations of your site visitors and their needs.

If you notice that a modest percentage of site visitors are juts typing in your company name into Google then it’s really time to celebrate, as your website has developed great brand recall in minds of site visitors.

How To Choose The Right Keywords For Your Website

By now you’ve probably understood that choosing the Keywords and Key phrases, then blending these judiciously into your webpage content is probably the most important thing you can do to help drive focused site visitors to your website.

Basically it’s the selection of Keywords and Key phrases, appropriate to your website, which decides which type of site visitor will find your website when they use a search engine to locate information they are interested in.

Therefore selection of the right Keywords and Key phrases for your website becomes the cornerstone of your websites SEO strategy.

In turn your choice of Keywords and Key phrases, shapes the content of your web pages because these must be judiciously blended (very naturally blended) into webpage content.

Here are five specific things I did to choose the right Keywords and Key phrases for my website.

I went for long-tail keywords (Key phrases)

Truthfully, these may drive less visitors to the website, but the ones that are driven to the website are a ton more focused than the ones drive by more the generic type of keywords. Focused site visitors are often at the end of their buying cycle.

Site visitors that land on your website using long tailed keywords are more likely to convert because they know exactly what they want and your website has been optimized for exactly the very same thing(s).

I Created My Own Keywords

Inbound marketing is not a standard keyword type. This was pretty much created by Hubspot. In doing so, over a period of time Hubspot created a niche for themselves. Today they are the undisputed leaders in that niche.

Hence, one way to build your niche / brand is to create your own keywords that reflect your products and services like no other can.  Do remember though that these keywords are not going to become used by information seekers worldwide, overnight.  If you have great website, whose content adds measurable value to your site visitors, over some time your keyword will become your brand like it did in the case of Hubspot.

Once a manufactured keyword / Keyphrase catches the fancy of the seekers of information, it generally sticks around for a very long time.A great example is Google, everyone one says Google it, which is universally understood, but not a standard keyword at all.

I Used Industry Specific Keywords

Some keywords are industry specific that you cannot afford to ignore them. These keywords would likely bring little or no traffic to your website, but by eliminating them, you are going to create doubts in the minds of the site visitor, which is going to have a negative impact on the business that your website does.

An illustrative example could be your company name.  Even if no one searches for your website using your company name it’s a great idea to incorporate your company name into your webpage content.

If you do not, a lot of site visitors will wonder if they have reached the correct website some will definitely bounce off almost immediately assuming that they have arrived at an incorrect website.

I Kept A Sharp Eye On My Website’s Google Analytics Stats

Your GA account delivers a ton of very valuable website information. You can check each of your webpages and read what keywords site visitors have been typing into Google to land on them.

I created an XL sheet which held all the keywords I focused on within my webpage content in one column. In an adjacent column I loaded the keywords that site visitors are using to land on that webpage.

I then figure out if there are any keywords that I had not specifically targeted within my webpage content that were bringing in a good number of site visitors. I flagged those in a bright color in the XL spreadsheet.

Then I checked to see if I could use these to replace some of the keywords used within my webpage content that were not being used by site visitors when they are searching for the type of information delivered by my website.

Then I rewrote my webpage content carefully and blended these keywords in naturally. I must have re-written each webpage content several times over until I was satisfied that the keywords I changed blended naturally into my webpage content and then released the updated webpage on my website.

In Conclusion

I was amazed at the impact that had on driving focused site visitors to my website. The results were awesome. My site visitors went up, my bounce rate went down and (probably most importantly) my sales climbed up. You should try the same approach. It works.

On A Final Note

I’ve actually added this as a bit of an after thought as it involves spending money. There are times when as website owner you’d like to test the efficacy of specific keywords.

Using a PPC campaign is a really quick and accurate way if testing how much value the keyword(s) are bringing to the website.A PPC campaign will deliver swifter results when checking the effect of the keywords you’ve chosen than checking the effect of the keywords chosen for the website using an SEO strategy and Google Analytics stats alone.

Unfortunately, running a PPC campaign in Google means spending money, but it’s often money very well spent.

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Ivan Bayross
Digital Marketing Evangelist, International Author & Business Mentor
I've been an entrepreneur for more than 33 years.

I've taught marketing and finance at a few MBA schools in Mumbai, India. These subjects are like a horse and carriage. You can't have one without the other.

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I've been working in digital marketing for around 24+ years. I love to teach the subject, plus define, execute, and tweak digital marketing strategies for my own websites and my clients.

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2 responses on "Never Understood Your Website Google Analytics Stats?"

  1. I wonder why no two stats reports the same results..

    AWStats / Google Analytics / Stat Counter, they all report different numbers for the same website !!

    Why ?? Any Idea ??

    • The truth be told, I’d be a bit shocked if all these stat programs reported exactly the same results. I’d suspect that each of the are then taking their results from some sort of common pool. My take is that each product has a different algorithm or set of algorithms checking a website. Each product will have different configuration parameters. Maybe the user has just left the configuration parameters set to their – default – setting. Maybe each product is sampling the website at different moments in time and thus will not give you exactly the same results.

      Like I said I’d be shocked if all these products gave exactly the same results.

      That said, I’d hope that the results delivered are really not hugely different.

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