The Endless Summer: Endless Quality Visitors with Google Analytics

Here we are in our second article in a series concerning how your business can take steps to optimize quality user-ship of your website through the free program, Google Analytics. In the first article, I discussed how to use Google Analytics to analyze which  keywords within your website are bringing you the most qualified traffic. This week, I will give a brief overview of how to best utilize Google Analytics’ visitor tracking feature to assist you in targeting the right potential clientele.

When starting out, the most immediately helpful categories you’ll need to analyze will be the map overlay, visitor loyalty, and the new vs. returning visitors. If your business is marketing your product to a particular region or has hopes to expand to a new territory, here you will find a heat map that will show where your concentrated users are accessing you, but also where your efforts may need a boost.Let’s continue to use our surf gear website as our example. Our business is located off the coast of Santa Barbara, California where the waters in winter can get a little chilly. Three months out of the year, your surf gear sales decrease drastically. The Visitor tracking feature on Google Analytics can help you navigate who to next best target your business towards in the off season.Click on the Map Overlay under the Visitor section. Here, a map displays all of the visitors that go to your website world wide. The number of visitors within the heat maps can be drilled down into by region, city and even zip code! In each grouping you also have access to the number of pages visited within your site, the average time spent on the site by each visitor, and what percentage of these visitors in a particular region are new.

Do you remember the classic 1966 surfing documentary, The Endless Summer that followed pretty surfer boys Mike Hynson and Robert August? As the waters off the coast of the Pacific became too cool during the winter, the surfers are followed as they travel worldwide in search for the ultimate surfing climate. I use this documentary to illustrate how we can apply the visitor function of Google Analytics to our surf gear website.


You find through the map overlay that the majority of your site users are located along the coast line of California during the summer months. During the winter months, you see that there is a group of visitors from Hawaii and South Africa. (Based on your past shipping history, you remember that you’ve shipped a few surf boards to Hawaii and a few wet suites to Cape Town in December, but this never gave you any reason to expand in those areas.) Maybe, you’ve just never had the ability to properly track who was watching you across the blue.


Based on the heat map, visitors to your website have a huge spike in concentration in the winter months from Hawaii and South Africa! You also see that 70% of the visitors from South Africa were new to the site, but only 5% of them made purchases. Like Hynson and August, you start to think, “Why am I not following the endless summer in these other regions?” With the right marketing strategy, you could start to capitalize on the surfers in winter months in this area, even when the surfers are laying low in California. With the map overlay, you are now aware of how to focus an ad campaign targeted in these areas to bring in greater income.


The last, basic item I would like to touch on today is the use of the visitor loyalty tool on Google Analytics, also under the visitor section. This tool will help you to better judge the quality of your visitors by seeing how much time they spend on your site as well as the number of pages they view.


For example, you may find in Ventura you had 500 visitors to your site in May, but they only visit one page on the site and spend less than a minute with you. However, in Santa Barbara, you had 100 visitors to your site, but they spent an average of three minutes on your site, and visited at least 2.5 pages. Even though you have a greater number of visitors in Ventura, the visitors in Santa Barbara are a higher quality user. You should make arrangements to create a media piece targeting the surfers of Ventura turning those 500 visitors into quality clientele.

In conclusion, just like the surfer documentary, the idea that if a surfer had enough time and money it would be possible to follow the summer around the world, making it endless. Now, your ability to generate revenue based on your findings from the visitor tool and target the right clientele from Google Analytics are also endless.

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