Know Your Site Visitors
Believe it or not, the best way –perhaps the only way-- to determine the value of your website is by knowing something about your visitors.
Unfortunately, there are many ag equipment dealers who do not have access to this information, and don’t know how to find it.
The good news is you CAN get this information, quickly and for free. All you need is Google Analytics.
A Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics
This is one of the most powerful web analytics applications available, and, like many Google offerings, entirely free.
Now, if you’ve never used Analytics before, it might not matter to you that Version 5 of Analytics is brand new. But it is easier to use than earlier versions, and you can access it once you’ve created and logged into a new Analytics account (or logged into your existing one) by clicking on the “New Version” link at the top of your page. Learning how to use this program – and then actually using it – is going to make a big difference in how you view your website and its success.
Why Use Analytics?
First of all, it’s the best way to track traffic patterns on your website. And because it’s entirely free and integrates with other Google programs (like AdSense and AdWords), it has tremendous power and value to website owners. It’s easy to use. And the information you gain from it can help you build your site traffic quickly.
The beauty of this program is that it lets you call up information about your ag equipment website, such as how many visitors you had in a given time period, where they were geographically, which pages they visited and how long they remained on the site. These are all very valuable clues about who is viewing your site. You can view the information as tables, charts, or other visual presentations.
On the chart, you can choose to create annotations for specific days. That means that if something important happens on the web you can see how it affected your traffic. Say, for example, a very positive review about a couple of the tractors that you sell appeared on a major industry site on the 6th of May. You could add an annotation to that day, so when you check back to see your traffic patterns during May, you’ll know why your site traffic spiked on May 6. Of course if you have a sudden drop in traffic (say your site goes down for a few hours) you can track that, as well.
On the same screen you’ll also find a main report navigation. Here you can view more detailed reports about your visitors, or you can switch to see overviews and detailed reports for traffic sources, content, and conversions. There’s also Help links for common issues you might encounter.
More About Visitors
The default screen you’ll see when you view the report for your site is The Visitors Overview. Here you’ll get the nitty gritty: the number of visitors, unique visitors, and page views, plus the average pages per visit.
You can also review the average time each visitor spent on your site, the bounce rate, and the percentage of new visits. This will give you a solid overview of how your site is doing. If visitors are spending a good number of minutes on your site and visiting a number of pages, it means they are finding your site useful. A low bounce rate also means they are staying on your site and not moving on to something else online.
Other Reports Analytics Provides
There are basic demographic, system, and mobile reports at the bottom of the overview screen. Here you can determine what country or city your visitors are coming from, their language preference, their browser and more. Are they accessing your site on mobile devices? This one is especially important if you have not yet had you site optimized for mobile viewing. Given that visitors are using mobile devices more and more to do online searches, a very low number of mobile viewers may reflect your lack of mobile optimization and the need to update your site.
Important Visitor Behavior
Another helpful report is about visitor behavior, which provides information about new vs. returning visitors and how often they are returning to your site. This information helps you see how many actual fans you have – those visitors you can more or less count on when asking for help in promoting a new product or otherwise getting the word out.
Your traffic sources overview, indicating where your traffic is coming from is an indicator of your SEO strength, the viability of your incoming links, and the strength of your AdWords and other advertising campaigns. Conversely, it also demonstrates where your weaknesses are.
In a well-balanced visitor profile, you’ll see traffic coming from a variety of sources. This can be very important, because if, for example, 70% of your traffic is coming from organic Google searches, and then Google suddenly changes the algorithm (and yes, that happens more frequently than you might expect), you might suddenly plummet from page one to page 7. On the other hand, if your traffic is nicely split between organic search, AdWords and link sources, that one algorithm change won’t devastate your numbers, and you can make changes to your marketing strategy to get back on an even keel.
And Then There’s Keywords
Keywords are what drive traffic to your site. Analytics can tell you
which keywords are drawing the most visitors. Detailed keyword reports will tell you which pages visitors are landing on most often, and which search engine they are coming from. Keywords change over time, and revisiting Analytics at least once a month will help you stay abreast of changes. You can review information for your organic searches and for your AdWords campaigns.
This is just the tip of the Analytics iceberg. Once you are comfortable with these basic reports, you can drill deeper for a great deal more information to help you build your traffic, increase conversion of visitors to buyers, and stay ahead of the competition.
Want a professional to handle this for you? Give us a call or contact us. Our SEO experts will be glad to help you build your business with quality Google Analytics reports.