Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on November 19th, 2009

Hello, My Name is Google Analytics

Whether you are running an SEO campaign yourself, or you are outsourcing to a search marketing firm, it is important to stay informed on every aspect of your website. Google Analytics provides it’s users a complete (and free) view of every aspect of activity on their site. Google Analytics will provide dynamic data types that, if you know how to analyze and implement them, can give you a significant edge over your competition. After all, if you don’t know what is happening with your site, how will you know the best way to navigate the search rankings? Here is a brief introduction to Google Analytics that will prepare you for the mission ahead:

Install Google Analytics

In order to install Google Analytics, you need to create an account and install tracking code on your site. The tracking code is what allows Analytics to collect and analyze the activities by your visitors. It is important to make sure that the tracking code is correctly placed on every page of your site. That way the data is as accurate as possible.

Set and Track Goals

By setting up goal tracking, You can track newsletter subscriptions, catalog requests, contact forms, or any other type of lead generation to gauge how successful your site is at creating you business. Any action taken toward your set goal can be tracked to the original source of the visitor. This allows you to determine what traffic sources are working best, and what keywords you should put your weight on. This is especially useful for SEO purposes.

Apply Filters

You may want to track user behavior differently in certain areas of your site, or exclude tracking all together. You to apply filters to your profile to so that your data is accurately portraying your goals. For instance, you can add a filter to exclude the internal traffic so that it doesn’t skew the performance of your site.

Track External Clicks

If you are hosting any affiliates on your site or regularly exchange links with other businesses, you should keep track of the traffic you send their way. If you are sending some significant traffic their way, this data can help you negotiate better link placement. If you are an affiliate, this will help you monitor the accuracy of an affiliate program’s reporting.

Automate Reporting

Setting up automatic e-mail reporting can be very useful, especially if you want a separate archive of your site’s progression. Automatic reporting allows you to specify what information you want on your report and the intervals between them. You can have them e-mailed to you or whoever is specified, in a PDF of CSV file. I don’t think I need to explain further how critical it is to have a resource of past data that you can quickly and easily reference when decisions are being made.
Track E-Commerce

If you sell products on your site, Google Analytics will track exactly what keyword created a sale and how much revenue each keyword is generating. When you know what keywords and sites are generating your traffic and sales, it makes it much easier to focus your SEM/SEO efforts.

Keyword Refinement

Google Analytics allows you to look through your traffic sources and determine what keywords are generating the most targeted traffic and sales. You can eliminate the terms that aren’t working and focus on the most competitive and productive.

Google Analytics is an essential source of data when you are implementing an SEO campaign. So now that you two have met, maybe you should get to know one another. Give Volacci a call if you are interested in learning more about how Google Analytics can turn your site into a lean, mean, conversion machine. Or contact us through our Get Started form now if you are the shy type.