How to Become a Web Analytics Ninja in 5 minutes flat!

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This is a pretty bold claim and in this post I am going to teach you how you can literally perform web analysis like a pro in 5 minutes. To become true expert web analyst you have drill down the reports mentioned below and segment the data like crazy.

This blog post is specially designed for individuals who are new to web analytics. The only caveat is that you should have already installed analytics solution on your website.If you have not already done so then I would highly recommend visiting Google Analytics(GA) website. If you want to learn advanced techniques to optimize your current installation then please read “Five Rocking Google Analytics Tips, Tricks & Hacks“.

The secret of performing a quick analysis is to identify the key set of reports that can provide you maximum insights in least amount of time. Based on my experience with analytics I have found the following reports to be the most insightful for initial analysis –

1. Bounce rate Report – One of the most important web metric reports. This report will show you what percentage of visitors left your site after one (single) page visit. Using this report you can measure the stickiness of you site at a high level. If you are like me and want to really use the power of analytics to grow your business then I suggest you read my blog post “Bounce rate-Does it really matters?”.

The screen shot below shows the new vs returning visitor segment for additional insights.

ScreenHunter 02 Aug. 31 12

2. Keywords report – This report is located under the “Traffic Sources” section in Google Analytics and Omniture Discover 2.8. Keyword report lists exact search keywords used by your site visitors on search engine to find your site. The default report view in GA is set to total keywords and you can select paid/non-paid to further investigate keyword performance and visits. This report can provide you dual benefits

SEO benefit – If keywords in this report are not relevant to your business then you have to seriously analyze your web copy and incoming link sources.

PPC benefit – Keywords report will help you effectively target the right audience and optimize your ppc campaign.

keywords report

3. Top Landing Pages – Located under the “Content” section, top landing pages report lists the most visited pages on your site in descending order of the visits. This report will help you answer the questions like – What are the most visited pages on your site? Are you driving traffic to the right pages? Are your site visitors reading the content that you want them to read?

Pages with higher bounce rate are a cause of concern. (Hint: Safe range for a normal bounce rate is between 15% to 35%. Anything higher than 35% requires web content and/or design optimization)

top landing pages

4. Site Referrals / Referring Sites – Referring site reports accumulates and displays the data on non search visits(inbound links,social media sites, press releases). Default metrics displayed are bounce rate for each referral sites, page view and time spent on site. Further drilling the report will reveal additional information on the top landing pages for each referring website.

This data can not only provide you your website branding/popularity data but also help you develop or redesign your search engine optimization plan.

referring site

5. Campaign Report – The report is really helpful if you want to track your banners, emails, onsite promotions and off line campaigns.

In Omniture you can track campaign by adding “?CMP=your_campaign_tracking_code” just after your site url. To capture campaign data in Google Analytics I would suggest using URL builder to build your tracking codes.

You can look at the number of visitors, campaign bounce rate, time spent on your site and site conversion and optimize campaigns.

campaigns report

Hope you enjoyed this post. If you are ready for some advanced analysis then I would suggest reading “Using Web Analytics to Improve Web Content Quality and Usability

Please share your thoughts, insights and comments because it really helps me write more effectively. In few weeks, I will be releasing series of videos explaining the reports and advanced segmentation in detail.

Here is a list of other helpful blog posts –

Bounce rate…Does it really matters?

What is Web Analytics?

Social Media Analytics and ROI Measurements

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