We’ve reached the end of summer and have arrived at the third and final article in a series describing the useful features of the free Google program, Google Analytics. This tool can be applied to any website, which will assist you in better understanding the usefulness of your traffic, usership patterns, and content. You can improve the value of your website with the goal of expanding a quality customer base.
In the previous weeks, I have discussed how to utilize the keyword tool as well as how to track and improve the quality of your visitors, improving your potential customer base, turning users into customers.
This week, I will focus on content: how to track your top landing and exit pages as well as how to utilize a unique site overlay tool. The overlay tool will provide you with a literal view of your website showing the percentage clicks to each of your pages.
We’ll continue to use our surf gear website example. As the leaves begin to change here in North America, we can look back over the summer with a good amount of data to review. As I mentioned at the beginning of this series, it is always best to have one fiscal quarter’s worth of data on Google Analytics, which will provide you with an accurate snapshot of how users are utilizing your site before you make changes to the content or layout.
Underneath the Content heading of Google Analytics, you will see a list of tracking tools such as top content, top landing pages, top exit pages, and site overlay. By clicking on the top content category, you will see a ranked list of your website’s total top URL’s. Typically, your website’s URL’s have a similar title to all of your page tabs across and down your website. For example, our surf gear website has the tabs Home, Shop Info, Team, Boards, Attire, and Gear page headings across the top of the site. Naturally, the main website is the top content listed here with the most visitors. Our other pages rank in the following order: Boards with 10,000 visitors over the course of three months, Attire with 9,800 visitors, followed by Home, Gear, Shop Info and Team.
So how is this top content data helpful? According to the above content visitor numbers, our surf boards are clearly the most viewed section of the site. We might need to seriously consider placing the Boards tab closer to the Home page, making it more accessible for users. Also, we should consider having more ad campaigns, Facebook, and Twitter links promoting the Board section of the site, as we now know that it is a highly used area. This information also instructs us to improve or entirely change the least viewed areas of the website, such as the Team sections and Shop Info areas.
The next Content categories to look at will be the Top Landing and Exit Pages categories. No experienced surfer expects to paddle out off shore expecting to return to the exact same point along the shoreline they began from after riding some magnificent waves. The same happens to your website users. Typically, each user lands on a particular page of your website, but exits from an entirely different page. In tracking your top exit pages in particular, you will better understand 1) if there is some type of content that is causing users to lose interest in your website, or 2) if the exit page is a “check out” page where users are making purchases, then exiting the site. The latter example would be the optimal usage of your website, bringing you the greatest return. In the best scenario, your users will begin from a landing page that assists them in navigating your website thoroughly, then leaving by making a purchase.
For the visual learners out there, the site overlay category of the content section provides a way for you to actually view your website with special analytics tags along each page or tab. These analytics tags will show you the percentage of users in a particular time period that view certain pages of your site. Also, these tags will show you the exact number of clicks per page or section. Like the other content tools of Google Analytics, the content overlay is just an additional way for you to easily see a summary of your most and least attractive site links throughout your website.
So let’s review. Optimizing your critical keywords throughout your website will not only improve your search engine ranking, but promote your business to your targeted clientele, leading to quality usage and hopefully more purchases. Better tracking of your visitors will lead to improved market position of your product, help you cultivate a loyal customer base, which leads to quality sales. And finally, content tools allow you to see how your visitors utilize your website, which will assist you in correcting the positions of your headings, tabs, and general organization of the website with the goal of optimizing usership and promoting a quality customer base.
As the ocean breezes drop in temperature, may you have the best of luck in your search to find consistently good waves, the most pristine beach, but most importantly, capitalizing on the building surge of your business through Google Analytics.