Those helpful emails sent to you each month with an overview of key Google Analytics statistics will END by June 30, 2012.
This is because, in their infinite wisdom, the folks at Google are stopping them and forcing you to use their new range of analytics reports.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then it seems you have not been opening the monthly PDF reports and can therefore choose to remain ignorantly blissful OR you can use this opportunity to get to know your Google Analytics account and start afresh.
However, it is most likely you are one of the many clients nervous about what the announcement from Google means and what you can do about it.
While you can shell out around $50 to have one of our team dive in and recreate your report for you, I encourage you to consider hopping under the bonnet to see if you can do this yourself.
After all, the more empowered you are regarding ALL things relating to your web presence, the better. That’s the Baker Marketing way!
Remember, most of our sites have analytics summaries in your admin Dashboard area – that is always worth a look too.
Why bother with analytics?
I plan to expand on this topic in future articles but for now, here are the most helpful elements of standard Google Analytics reporting that might help you monitor your online success.
- Unique visits and visitors give you some raw numbers on how many visiting sessions people held on your site over the previous 30 days and how many unique individuals visited (well, unique IP addresses/devices which means someone looking at your site from their mobile then from their office computer within 30 days would count as two unique visitors). The big thing with numbers like these is to primarily look at the trends rather than get hung up over specific numbers
- Bounce rate shows how many visits to your site resulted in the visitor leaving quickly without clicking on anything. The industry accepts around 20-30 per cent as a bearable number. If it is too high then you are attracting people with the wrong keywords/content or your content is missing the mark.
- Top referring sites shows you where traffic is coming from. If you are sharing links to blog posts through social media channels then this is where you can see how much traffic is coming to you from Facebook, Twitter, etc, along with other sites where links to you are being shared.
- Top keywords shows what terms people have beeen using in search engines to come to you. You might be surprised by what you find and learn about nuances in your market that you need to expand on further.
- Top landing pages shows the pages most people are entering your site by and similarly top exit pages shows the opposite. Both of these can be instructive.
- Top pages over all gives you a good leader board, if you will, of pages deemed most engaging or interesting by the market. It pays to analyse these pages to understand what is making them work (as long as they are pages important to your marketing mission and not simply bringing in traffic for their own sake due to a happy accidental use of a keyword term that is currently popular online).
While there are many reports of interest, these are some of the most helpful ones for building your performance measures around. Other measurements such as direct enquiries from your site or sales if it is an ecommerce site, are important to consider too. Again, whatever helps you measure movement towards your marketing goals.
There is very little point becoming the latest internet wonder if that is not geared closely to your marketing needs and yields some form of return. There are many fair weather friends online and if you spend your time chasing them you will wear yourself out with little gain. Focus on your audience and its influencers.
Some steps for setting up your email reporting of analytics again
For this article, I am going to direct you to a handy tutorial on setting up your email reports in Google Analytics, created by the folks at fiveminutelessons.com.
Later, I plan to share some extra finessing with these reports but today’s tutorial should get you started.
Here is the link: Get scheduled email reports from the new Google Analytics
Here are some main points.
Identifying the report you want to send is simply a matter of navigating to the specific report you want and clicking the Email Reports button. If you don’t see this button, that means that you aren’t viewing a report that can be emailed.
When you click to have a report emailed, I suggest you choose monthly reports in PDF format for 12 months (the longest period allowed).
PS Your Google Analytics account login details will be in your Cheat Sheet we gave you when handing over your website.