Posts Tagged ‘google analytics’

Using Google Analytics Or Urchin

Friday, February 12th, 2010

As we’ve often discussed on this blog, Google Analytics has an abundance of features to offer any web company, allowing them to effectively monitor the traffic to their site. This in turn allows them to best tailor their site to the needs of their users. However, one thing which we have never yet draw attention to but really should have is Urchin. Urchin was a software company which Google acquired in 2006 and went on to become Google Analytics. However in the process there was also another variation of the web analysis software created which became known as Urchin. While both offer in-depth web analysis there are obviously many differences between the two services, so how do you know which is right for your business?

The most notable difference between Analytics and Urchin is that while Analytics as we know is accessed via the web from a Google server, Urchin is downloaded to and run from your own server. By installing the Urchin software you are allowing it to create and store all of your websites traffic information remotely as opposed to having it hosted by Google. This minor change can make a variety of major differences.

One thing to note is that Urchin is a licensed product and as such is purchased by the user – Analytics is of course free. However by purchasing Urchin you assume complete control of your data and are not dependant on Google to provide it for you. In doing so you create a variety of differences that can have both a positive and negative result.  First and foremost, the IT overheads are obviously far greater for those using urchin meaning more maintenance and costs.  You also must consider the space that you will need to set aside for the storage of data, log files, etc. You are also responsible for any upgrades that the software may require as well as the security of the data that you gather from users.

Analytics seems far easier as it allows you access to the data without the issues that come from maintenance and storage. This is the prime advantage of Analytics, its ease of use. However, if there weren’t advantages to using Urchin there would be no point in it. Fortunately there are several reasons why Urchin is useful.

The fact is that there are several very good reasons for storing your web traffic information yourself. The data you can read from Analytics is finite in that they can only store so much backlogged data for a user. With your own storage you can potentially store data for years and build a far more comprehensive overview of your sites traffic over time. You can also reprocess data and run a more sophisticated array of your own queries through Urchin as the data is readily available and you have full access to all of it. Furthermore for some businesses Urchin is essential. For those that require the participation of a third party in their data (such as an auditor) Analytics is simply not an option. Another reason to opt into Urchin is if you want to gather data on an intranet. Urchin can be positioned behind your firewall making it ideal if you want to restrict internet data from your logs.

Fortunately both of these services provide in-depth analysis making them both good choices for the data you will receive. This put’s your choice down to your company’s personal requirements. Ideally, running both of the services together would give a business the best of both worlds and prove the most comprehensive web data available.

“Martin Able, the Author of this article ensures that money transfer services are controlled with the strictest security measures at Lancore in order to ensure safe online credit card processing.”

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Optimising your Site for Clientele using Google Analytics

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Your Target Customer

The most important thing for any ecommerce site is making sales, and in order to do this the site must accumulate a strong client base. Customers are websites very lifeblood; as such it is imperative that you can evaluate what your target audience is and how they interact with your site. Google Analytics can provide a concise array of details about your users, allowing you to modify your site to keep returning customers and acquire new ones. Here we will look into how using a variety of visitor details acquired by Google Analytics can assist in developing your site to maximise goal conversions.

Visitor Trending

Visitor trending provides a variety of insights into how users interact with your site, whether it be the number of total visits a day, average page views per month or time spent on your site. Through this you can determine what your sites strengths and weaknesses are. If, for example, you are receiving a high number of visits but also have an inordinately high bounce rate then there could be issue with your main landing page. High bounce rates usually indicate that your entrance pages aren’t relevant to many of your visitors. You should work to make your landing page as compelling as possible and also ensure that the pages are appropriately tailored to the keywords and ads that you are using.

Visitor Loyalty

In a nutshell, this shows how loyal your clientele are. It looks at the number of repeat visits, how recent they are and length and depth of visits. These can help to determine whether you are maintaining customers (i.e. they are returning). If customers are not returning to your site then there could be a few issues, but at least you know what needs to be done. If you also cross reference this with length and depth of visits you can see how far users are getting on your site and how long they remain on it. Through these you can determine whether your site is confusing to navigate or perhaps has a frustrating checkout system.

Benchmarking

Benchmarking allows comparisons to be made with other industry verticals. You can make comparisons of visits, page views, etc. in order determine where you are behind or ahead in the market. Through this you can determine in which areas your site is going wrong and possibly pick up useful ideas from other sites.

Map Overlay & Languages

We will discuss these two sections together, not because they have direct similarities but because of the areas in which they can assist your site. Map Overlay provides you with a very powerful tool to view globally where your site is receiving visitors from. Languages basically does what it says on the tin, by providing you with a breakdown of the various languages of the visitors to your site. These are useful together as by combining them you can gain an insight into your users, both geographically and linguistically. This allows you the option to tailor your site and keywords for more specific geographical intent (E.g. ‘car rental London’), as well as providing additional language options if you have a large client base in India for example.

Browser Capabilities

This provides details of how users are accessing your site, whether it is the browser, the operating system, screen resolution, flash versions and java that their system supports. This is extremely useful as once you have an overview of this you will know how to tune your site to suit your users. If, for example, you have a large number of users with older versions of flash and no Java support then it may be prudent to reduce these elements. Furthermore, you can modify your site to work for the browsers that the majority of your clients are using. Of course it would be best to accommodate all browsers, but in the mean time this gives you a priority list.

Once you know the problem it can usually be easily fixed. Google Analytics will provide the analysis but it is up to you to make the changes your site needs. Knowledge can be a major asset when optimising your site for success.

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How Goal Funnelling in Google Analytics can improve your Websites ROI

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

How Goal Funnelling in Google Analytics can improve your Websites ROI

A funnel is the series of pages a user must go through in order to reach the goal conversion. The goal in most cases is the sale confirmation page. A goal funnel created in Google Analytics allows the user to create something like a tree structure view of the process and determine when and where users are leaving the site.

If you think of the site like a tree, the goal page is represented by the trunk of the tree, the pages that lead to this page are the branches and those leading to these pages are the twigs. Potential clients are like drops of rain falling on the twigs. They are liable to fall off at any time between the twig and the trunk. Those that do make the trunk have reached the goal and have therefore made a purchase. Goal funnels allow the analytics user to determine where the raindrops are falling off.

In a website there is always a chain of pages leading to the end result which is usually a sale confirmation page. Users must go through items pages, shopping basket, checkout, terms and conditions and payment confirmation before they reach the end result. It goes without saying that many potential sales drop out along the way. A goal funnel allows the sites administrator to determine the weak link in the chain of pages where most people drop out and amend it appropriately.

It is an extremely useful tool as it allows the sites optimiser to determine exactly where the major problem is on the site. If for example users are working their way through the purchasing process and the vast majority of dropouts are leaving on the sites payment details page, then there are most likely issues with this page in particular. As a result the optimiser can look into what it is about this specific page that is causing the issues. This could prompt changes to the page such as altering the way the form is laid out or perhaps make changes to the wording. Whatever changes are made the intention is always to increase the traffic making it all the way down to the goal conversion.

A very useful tool to use in conjunction with this is Website Optimiser (also from Google). It allows you to test variants of one page against each other in order to determine what version is more popular. It does this by alternating the pages between users and returning the number of conversions versus the number of visitors. This allows the site to be in a constant state of tweaking in order to reach an optimum state of form and function.

Setting up a goal funnel is a simple process. It involves accessing your analytics account and finding the client or site you wish to setup the funnel for and selecting to edit their account. Due to recent changes made by Analytics, up to 20 conversion goals can be set for each profile. Goals can be applied by opting to edit ‘registered user sales’ or ‘new user sales’ dependent on the goal you wish to create. The goal funnel can then be tailored by name, position and type. By setting the type to URL destination you will receive feedback on what numbers are reaching the ultimate page and where they are leaving. Goals can also be set based on time on site and pages visited. The Goal URL should then be set to the goal page (e.g. ‘confirmed.php’). The funnel is finally created by inputting the steps (or pages) leading down to the goal.

This will provide invaluable insight into the sites traffic and the site can be improved dramatically based on the results returned. Goal funnels are an extremely useful tool as they take away the need for guess work in optimising a sites design.

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