Tag: Website

How many times have you opened your Google Analytics dashboard only to become flustered and confused by the numbers? You sit there asking yourself, “what does bounce rate mean, and is a 62% good?” Sometimes numbers are confusing, but of ALL the numbers you track (ie: followers, reach, etc) the numbers associated with your website are the most important!

But what does it all mean!? Why track these numbers? The answer is simple; the more you know about your site’s performance, the more capable you become in making informed content decisions that propel your success. Simply put, once you know what your audience likes, you can create a better experience for them! And we all want our visitors to enjoy their time on our site, right?

In an attempt to make this as painless as possible, I’ve created the following Google Analytics 101 guide. I suggest you start using Google Analytics by taking a look at these four sections in order to gain a better understanding of your audience. Here are the sections and here is what you should look for:

Audience Overview Google Analytics 101

AUDIENCE OVERVIEW // This is the most basic report; it gives a very general outline of what happened on your site over a specified period of time.

Sessions: This number tells you the total number of times your site was visited (within the specified time period). This number includes all visitor types (new + returning).
Users: This is the total number of people that visited your site (within the specified time period).
Pageviews: This number represents the total number of pages that were visited by users (within the specified time period). For example, you can see here 21,323 users looked at 56,490 pages (which means the average user looked at 2.36 pages – which is good because it shows they looked around).
Avg. Session Duration: The average length of time a user remained on your site. Anything over 60 seconds is ideal!
Bounce Rate: The percentage of people who land on your site and then leave after only looking at one page. As a rule of thumb, a bounce rate in the range of 26-40% is excellent (this means people find your site and continue to browse). 41-55% is average. 56-70% is higher than average, but should not cause alarm as it really depends on the content of the site. Anything over 70% might signal a need for a content re-write.
% of New Sessions: The percentage of people who visit your site for the first time.

Audience Geography Google Analytics 101

LOCATION // This report tells you where in the world your visitors are coming from (within the specified time period). You can drill down by country, province, and city by clicking the list below the map. Regardless of the nature of your business, it’s important to understand where your site visitors are coming from.

New and Returning Visits Google Analytics 101

NEW VS. RETURNING // The percentage of people who visit your site for the first time (within the specified time period). This number is important to note because while you always want to be acquiring new visitors, it’s important to always be enticing visitors to return to your site.

Visitor Acquisition Google Analytics 101

ACQUISITION OVERVIEW // This report shows you where your site’s traffic is coming from (within the specified time period), and breaks it down into six categories: Social, Direct, Referral, Organic Search, Other and Email.

Social: The number of click-throughs to your site from social media. If you click on “social” it will break the numbers out into all the individual networks (note: Instagram does not allow live-linking within posts, so it will not show here).
Direct: The number of visitors who simply type your URL directly into their browser (or have your site bookmarked) and are taken to your site.
Referral: Referrals are visitors that come to you from another site. If you click on “referral” it will show you the top referring sites.
Organic Search: This report shows you some of the search terms people have used to find you via Google. (note: not all keywords that drive traffic to your site are listed here, as seen in the “not provided” section.)
Email: This is the number or visitors that have come to your site after clicking a link within an email client.
Other: If you are setting up UTM parameters for custom campaigns the numbers will appear in this section (<< a little too advanced for this 101 email!).

With this very basic understanding of Google Analytics and the goldmine of data it shows you, I hope you are able to understand your visitors and take a deeper look into their actions on your site. There is definitely a lot more to Google Analytics, but this 101 should get you started!

And for those of you who check everything from their mobile device (like me!), there is a handy Google Analytics app which you can download! It’s perfect for getting a snapshot while on the go!

Google updates come and go often in the dark of night. Unless you are an SEO wizz, most website owners go on with their day unaware of a recent Google update or algorithm change. April 21st’s algorithm update however, has marketers, bloggers, and website owners scrambling to stay ahead. Why should you be concerned? Because this update could severely affect traffic sent to your website via search.

With 80% of Internet users using smartphones to search online, Google is putting the steps in place to make searches made from mobile devices more functional, friendly and relevant. Starting April 21st Google will begin calling out websites that are “mobile-friendly” in search results. But it doesn’t stop there. Google will now take mobile responsiveness into consideration when ranking your site.

Here’s what Google had to say about the upcoming algorithm changes:

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

So while you might be sitting pretty at the top of the first page today, if your website isn’t mobile friendly by April 21st, you could come crashing down!

So what can you do to stay on top? The first step is to ensure your site is mobile friendly. If you are unsure whether or not your website is mobile friendly, you can use Google’s Mobile Test Tool. Simply type in your website URL and click analyze. If the results say “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly” you are going to be a-ok! If not, you may want to consider investing in a mobile-friendly (or responsive) website upgrade.

I understand how overwhelming this information might be, and you’re probably thinking “how and where do I start!?” I’ve pulled together some frequently asked questions that will help guide you through this update.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why should I make my website mobile friendly?
A mobile friendly site is just that: mobile friendly. This means any visitor who lands on your site while on a mobile device, such as a phone or tablet, will be able to easily navigate your site without pinching, zooming or squinting. The focus is providing the visitor with a seamless and positive experience.

How do I know if my site is mobile friendly?
You can try visiting your own site on a mobile device to see if it is responsive, or you can use Google’s new Mobile Test Tool.

Is this something I can do myself?
It really depends on how web-savvy and confident you are. While some content management systems and blogging platforms (such as Blogger and WordPress) make it easy to implement a mobile-friendly site, some websites that don’t use a CMS may require help from a developer.

How much does this type of upgrade cost?
I wish I had a more concrete answer for this, but it all depends on your website.

Where can I find a mobile friendly theme for WordPress?
If you were considering a website refresh, then now would be a great time to do it! There are hundreds of thousands of new WordPress themes created every day that have responsiveness built in (bonus!), it’s just a matter of picking one that works for you. I like to use ThemeForest to source my WordPress themes.

Where can I find a mobile friendly theme for Blogger?
If you are using the Blogger platform (which I know a lot of my blogger friends are!), you are in luck! Blogger has a simple “on-click” mobile template built right in, you just need to activate it. To turn your mobile template on, log into your Blogger account, navigate to “Template,” and click the “Gear” icon under “Mobile.” In the pop-up select “Yes. Show mobile template on mobile devices,” choose a mobile template from the dropdown, and click “Save.” Done!

Need more guidance and advice? Please feel free to shoot me an email!

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