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Analytics: What to look at to prepare for 2016

- Alex Karei, marketing director for Webspec Design, blogs about web strategy.

Google-analytics-logoWhen you work in marketing, reviewing analytics of various types (especially at the end of the year) is part of the job. There are website analytics, Facebook Insights and Mailchimp reports to evaluate a whole year.

It’s a lot to cover, and it can certainly make your head spin. And, if you don’t have someone at your company with the time to spend on it, thinking through these analytics can be overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact … I know some of you just aren’t doing it. It’s okay - you’re not alone!

That being said, there are a lot of benefits to reviewing even just a few of your analytics. After all, what better way to improve your website then to look at the cold, hard data? If you're limited on time, here's three things to start with. 

All of the following can be found within your Google Analytics. If you don’t have this free tool from Google installed, there’s a little legwork involved, but I promise it’s worth your time. You’ll notice that I’m not telling you how to look up your analytics. Don’t worry, if you’re unsure, there are plenty of resources out there that do that already.

List Your Top Visited Pages

Are your most frequented pages the ones you’d like them to be? If not, it could be for a couple of reasons. One, what Google is seeing might not be what you thought it would. In that case, you’ll want to find some assistance with your search engine optimization (SEO). Two, your navigation may not be optimally structured on your website. Are you helping your user find the pages you want them to find? If not, you may want to reevaluate!

Evaluate How Long Visitors Are Staying On Each Page

You’ve got visitors to your website - awesome! But, how long are they staying? Time on page is a feature that can be easily reviewed within the Site Content section of your Google Analytics. It can tell you two things:

  1. Are people spending enough time on a page to read or review your content? If not, maybe you should revisit your content or page design to better engage them.
  2. Are people spending too much time on that page? This might mean the content or action items are unclear.

Review Drop-off Points

This topic is a little more complex, but I know you can keep up, so bear with me! Under the “Behavior Flow” section of your analytics, you’ll find a horizontal flow chart. If you analyze this, you’ll be able to see where people are entering your site (this is the far left column), where they're going (following the grey lines to the next green box) and leaving it (which is represented by a red block). This can clue you in on why your conversions aren’t as high as you think they should be, or why visitors never seem to find a crucial piece of information you’d like them to see. If they are “dropping off” one page into your site (for example, on your “About Us” page) they may not find out what they really need to know to complete a purchase. Once you know where a visitor is dropping off, you can make an action plan for preventing that in the future.

 

Whew! Thanks for sticking with me guys. I know when you’re new to analytics, it can be tough. But with a little elbow grease, I think you’ll be excited to see what you can learn about your user behavior and how you can improve it in the new year.

Alex Karei_124Alex is the marketing director for Webspec Design, a website design and development and digital marketing agency in Urbandale. Connect with her on:

Email: alex@webspecdesign.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/alextriesitout
Instagram: www.instagram.com/alextriesitout
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alexandriakarei

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