You already know why it’s important to look at your trends in analytics. But which trends are important? In a word, it depends on what type of site you are running, but there are certain trends that should be important to every webmaster. Bounce rate is generally thought of as an important metric. That is true for the most part but if your site is an AdSense site then you’d expect that your traffic is going to show up, click and ad and leave. Bounce rate might not necessarily reflect the important details for your site in that case so understand that there are exceptions to every rule. High qualityTheme for your magazine websites.
Nevertheless, there are some important metrics to follow. I recommend that, for most websites, you should pay attention to the following metrics:
- Visitors and Unique Visitors
- Pages Per Visit
- Bounce Rate (very important for e-commerce sites)
- Average Time On Site
- Most Popular Pages
- Traffic Sources
- Keywords Trending
- Establish some goals and track how close you to get to achieving them
If possible, check these stats for both your organic search engine optimization results and paid search campaigns. Create custom reports to help you drill down the stats for analyzing metrical data that is unique to your site. Every webmaster has information that is important for their site but that might not be important for someone else’s site. Don’t be afraid to identify those and focus on those trends as well.
What’s Really Important, And Why?
If you do business online at all then you will have to face the fact that analytics is an important part of conducting that business. Whether you rely completely on organic search results and search engine optimization, pay per click, or a combination, you’ll have to measure your performance against results and that requires some form of analytics package. But what should you measure?
First, before getting into specifics about what you should measure, how about a little discussion on why you should measure. In essence, you want to look at the trends. Individual numbers by themselves don’t really tell the story. Numbers over time are the story.
Here’s what I mean: Let’s say you know that you had 1,000 visitors last month of which 899 were unique. Of those, you saw 200 page views on your most important landing page and 5 conversions. That’s great, but how do you interpret that data?
Those statistics exist in a vacuum. They mean nothing until you measure them against previous months. If the six months prior to last month you saw more than 2,000 visitors each with more than 1,500 being unique and that most important landing page saw more than 500 page views with more than 10 conversions – last month doesn’t look so good now, does it? You may have seen a profit last month, but that profit was a decline from your history so that’s not good. Now you must discover what caused the decline and how to fix it. That’s why you engage in analytics tracking and trend analysis.
This afternoon we’ll discuss what you should measure. Go analytics!
Use Analytics To Improve
I specifically love Point #7: Search, Organic, Get Good At It.
This should be a gentle reminder that all web business begins with organic search. You may use analytics heavily for PPC, and you should, but how well do you use it for organic search? Here are three ways that you can use analytics to improve your organic search campaigns and search engine optimization efforts:
Learn and Know Your Top Search Queries (from Avinash): This is actually a Webmaster Tools metric, but you can use it alongside your analytics program and you should. By knowing what your top search queries are, you know full well how your users are using your website. By extension, you also know how they are not using it. Focus your monetization efforts on those top queries and you can’t go wrong.
What Are Your Top Traffic Sources?: This is very telling. Is your traffic coming from Google? From social media sites? From third party sites? Use this information to leverage your SEO and PPC combined efforts or to better your organic SEO campaigns. Knowing where your traffic comes from is useful in segmentation efforts as well (Avinash’s No. 1 point).
Bounce Rates: Bounce rates are very important. Avinash says this is your only true analytics BFF (point No. 3). Your bounce rates tell you the quality of your pages. If you have a high number of bounces then you need to improve your pages. Low number of bounces then you’re doing fine. But what about conversions? Know how to analyze your bounce rates.
There is a lot more to learn about analytics than this, but these three points are a starter for newbies and if you really want to learn about analytics, I suggest learning from the master himself. If you need help in using analytics to improve your organic SEO campaigns then try hiring a professional to give you the basics.
Download Your Free Sitemap Generator
Sitemaps are very important if you want all of the pages on your website to be indexed by the search engines. They are particularly important if you have a large website. Small sites with five or six pages don’t need them most of the time. But sites larger than 25 pages should have a sitemap as part of your search engine optimization strategy.
Google has recently introduced its Google Sitemap Generator. While I haven’t tested the tool, I can’t imagine that Google would roll out a product of this nature without it being suitable enough to handle the task. After all, Google relies heavily on sitemaps for all kinds of websites. Its own reputation is at stake.
The sitemap generator is in beta. That means there may be some bugs, but it is open source so you can tweak to it meet your specific needs. Keep in mind that Google supports sitemap formats that other search engines do not support, but the primary file types (XML, TXT, and HTML) are supported by all the search engines that support sitemaps so you can submit your generated sitemaps to all of the search engines. This looks like a tool worth having.