May 31st, 2011
Tips, Tools and Tutorials
Focusing on an SEO campaign will improve your site’s traffic, but how valuable is this new traffic? Google Analytics can tell you, if you know where to look.
Last month we defended Google Analytics dashboard data, and while the dashboard provides useful information (time on site, bounce rate, page views and pages per visit), Analytics provides plenty of high-level analysis, too. Two examples are in-page analytics and goal tracking. Both shed light on how visitors are interacting with your site by letting you know how successful certain elements of your site are. Ultimately, knowing this information will allow you to focus your SEO and marketing approaches.
In-page analytics is found in the Content section and tracks the clicks on every page of your webpage. It’s a powerful tool that acts as a simplified (not to mention free) heat mapping alternative. Using a graphic overlay showing the percentage of the clicks each link on a single page receives, in-page analytics gives you a quick idea of where people are primarily navigating to (or where they are staying away from) as they browse your site.
The value in this information comes from the fact that you can quickly see which of your internal links are moving people deeper into your site. Because the majority of people I talk with are interested in conversions (sales, filling out contact forms, signing up for newsletters, etc.) I’ll look though the in-page analytics as a universal way to get inside the head of a website visitor. Thanks to the graphic overlay feature, in-page analytics gives you a clear picture of how you should focus your SEO and marketing approach to maximize conversions.
Goal tracking does not take nearly as much analysis as in-page analytics; rather, it’s a quick way for you to create conversion goals and track if people are filling out forms. You can set up at most 20 goals for a site and if you have a variety of ways for people to do something, such as fill out a contact form, you can know which are the most popular. Some other examples of goals include:
Setting up goal tracking is done through your settings menu and requires that you insert the URL from some type of finalized confirmation page. You can get granular and create goal funnels which track the progress your visitors make as they go through the process of completing one of your site’s call to actions. An example of a goal funnel for a contact page would be: yoursite.com/contact > yoursite.com/thankyou.
From a marketing standpoint, use goal tracking as a way to figure out if there is something causing people to abandon your call to action. You might find way to make a fix that will result in more conversions.
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