A Beginner's Guide to Website Analytics

Get Started with Google Analytics™1

In this Internet-driven age, it's imperative to know how your website is performing. A successful company website keeps customers coming through the door, the phone ringing and business booming.

How is my website doing? Thanks to Google Analytics and other services, there's a lot of website data you can track to determine performance — everything from the number and type of visitors to how they are finding your site and how much time they spend there.

However, the amount of data can be overwhelming, especially at first. How do I know what to track and how to use that information to improve my website? Today, we'll show you how to get started with website analytics in a few simple steps.

1. Clearly Define Your Business Objectives and Goals: In "The Secret to Winning with Website Analytics? Starting Right," Google digital marketing guru Avinash Kaushik mentions the importance of defining your overall business goals so you know what website analytics to track and how to utilize the information.2 Before you dive into the data, answer a few key questions about your business and how the website fits into that plan:

2. Develop a Website Analytics Tracking Plan: Create a simple website analytics tracking plan that starts with a few key metrics: audience, traffic sources, engagement and site content. You can always add more metrics to your plan as you become more advanced at interpreting the information.

a. Audience: This metric is all about the visitors to your site, the number and type of visits, and if they return to your site. 

b. Traffic Sources: Now that you know who your visitors are, it's important to know where they are coming from. Traffic sources are user search engines and other channels, including:

c. Engagement: The amount of time visitors stay on your website and the number of pages they visit are indicators of engagement. This metric is helpful when determining the amount and type of content to include on your site. Are you keeping customers engaged on the website? Are you providing the information they are searching for? Is it easy to locate?

d. Site Content: This metric provides an overview of the most popular pages of your website. The site content report tracks the number of page views, average time on each page, bounce rate, etc. With this metric, you can easily determine if visitors are reaching the pages you want them to and adjust site content accordingly.

3. Getting Started with Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a good place to start tracking and analyzing your website metrics, especially as a beginner. Setting up your account is quick, easy and FREE.

Click here for more information on Google Analytics.

Get Started for Free on Google Analytics

If you're new to website analytics, hopefully we've provided a good starting point. Before you dive into the data, it's critical to have clear objectives and goals for your business and your website. Once you have a plan, logon to Google Analytics and begin collecting data. Start with a few key metrics, including your website audience, traffic sources, engagement and site content to get the ball rolling. Review the analytics frequently and continually improve your website to grow your business. Measure, analyze and adjust to become an online success!

1 Google Analytics is a trademark of Google Inc.
3 Google is a trademark of Google Inc.