Google Analytics – How to Track – And Repeat – Success
Google Analytics helps you measure where your visitors are coming from, and how they interact with your site. By measuring the proper metrics you are able to discover which traffic streams are profitable, and which ones are costing you money. There's so much to know about Google Analytics that I could write a book on this topic; however, once you grasp the basic concepts you can begin improving your advertising campaigns right away. Here are the metrics I swear by:
o Unique page views: the number of pages viewed by a new visitor (this is a much more important metric than page views). For example, if 10 people visit your site and all 10 of them returned three times, your page views would be 40 while your unique page views would still be 10.
o Goals: a desired income on your website; This could be reaching a thank you page for newsletter sign-ups, a purchase confirmation page or any other page on your site that you feel is especially valuable. Keep in mind at this time Google only allows you to place four goals on your site.
AdWords and Analytics: Two Sides of the Same Coin
For clarification, AdWords is Google's advertising program, and Analytics is their tracking program. If you have both, make sure they are linked together so you can access all your Analytics data from the AdWords interface.
Sometimes the two overlap. In AdWords you can add conversion tracking to your sites, which measure the effectiveness of your specific ads. In Analytics, you can do the same thing by setting up a Goal. My advice is to add both to your site, and use one over the other when appropriate.
At a glance, you will be able to tell how much each ad group costs-per-click (CPC) versus its return-per-click (RPC). When you've let your AdWords campaign run and collected enough data, it is simply a matter of eliminating the unprofitable ad groups and keeping the profitable ones in order to improve your return on investment.
Make sure to remove your own website activity from the reports. To do this, add your IP address as a filter under the Analytics settings page. If you do not know your IP address, go to the website whatismyipaddress to find out.
In order to use Analytics, you must first sign up for a free account their website. The most important thing to do is add the Google Analytics code to ALL your webpages. Over time, you'll have many questions about your campaigns such as:
o "Which keywords convert best for sign ups and purchases? Do some only convert for signups?"
o "Which positions are my ads on the content network? If they're first, am I paying too much for each click?"
o "Which landing pages are costing me money? which ones are making money hand over fist?"
Google Analytics is a great tool, and should be one of the first things you add to your site. It measures not only your AdWords traffic, but also traffic you receive from the search engines. In order to increase traffic from the search, you need to improve your search engine optimization.