May 31, 2011 –
I’ve received a couple of requests for additional information on Google Analytics and decided the best way to illustrate what is available is to show you my own website’s charts.
The following information is from the very recently launched SteppingStoneStudios website. Since this site has only been up for a couple of days, it is difficult to analyze scant data, but at least we can examine what is provided.
This is a summary (text, not graphical) of the number of site visits, the pages viewed during the visits, the average time on the site, the % of new visits (vs. repeat) and the bounce rate. The “bounce rate” as by Google: “The percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page).”
From Google Analytics
8 people visited this site
- 10 Visits
- 51 Pageviews
- 5.10 Average Pageviews
- 00:01:37 Time on Site
- 30.00% Bounce Rate
- 80.00% New Visits
How this helps (or not)
The numbers tell me that Facebook – thus far – is providing 20% of my referral visits, and the vast majority – 80% – are directly entering the site, likely from typing the URL into their web browsers. These are probably friends, acquaintances, and any who may have heard about steppingstonestudios from another source. Again, it is very early in the site launch and analyzing these numbers is relatively meaningless.
Average time spent on a site is difficult to quantify and benchmark. “Average” is a poor statistic because some sites have very long visits that don’t pull the average up higher; the opposite is also true. Half your visitors could spend 40 seconds or less and yet the average remains at a high level. Median length of visit time is perhaps a better indicator. In addition, some sites will see much greater time spent (on average) than others. E-commerce sites such as Amazon and e-Bay are likely to have high numbers because of their sheer size, selection, and ordering process. All steps in a purchase are included in the average time, from entering the site to checking out.
Pages per visit is a little more helpful. It tells me that visitors have looked at 5 of my pages (see above), not bad considering the site currently only has 6 or 7 pages. This is relative to each site obviously, and the amount of content contained therein.
Other useful information from Google Analytics
Search sent 0 total visits via 0 keywords
This suggests that I may not be using the correct keywords to draw visitors from web browsers. If one is searching for pictures of Vienna, did I forget to include the term “Vienna” in my keywords? More on the importance of keywords here.
Google analytics goes on to provide in-depth geographic information about visitor origin (e.g. country, state) and type of browser, etc. Some of this data is quite helpful when considering what products to offer. A local dry cleaner isn’t likely to get clients that aren’t within a very limited radius. On the other hand those selling rare comic books may have a worldwide clientele.
Site analytics are very valuable, especially if used over time and as a baseline. If your site had consistent traffic and suddenly uptrends or downtrends over a few weeks, what changed? Don’t concern yourself with day-to-day fluctuations, especially for smaller and home businesses. Many factors will influence statistics: holidays, weather, and major events.
By Dion D Shaw
Dion Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs