Houston SEO Best Practices for Interpreting A Google Analytics Report

  August 10, 2011   Category :     Search Engine Optimization | SEO,   SEO Analytics   Philip O'Hara
Houston SEO Google Analytics

Houston SEO Google Analytics

Houston SEO Google Analytics Metrics

Houston SEO knows that since every site has different characteristics depending on the purpose it serves, it is hard to make across-the-board evaluations for every site on the web. However, Houston web marketing encourages you to tend to the following best practices in Google Analytics.

The metrics that you see in an Analytics report displays data collected from Google for all site visitors that have JavaScript enabled on their computers and do not block cookies. Thus, this data is inherently skewed to underreport site metrics. Furthermore, if someone has set up the Analytics to block an IP address, all visits from that IP address will be left out of the report as well. While the Analytics report is not accurate to the number value, it is very useful for determining visitor trending as well as overall site health and performance. The value of the data collected in an Analytics report comes through dividing the collected information to gain insight into the way visitors interact with and travel through your site.

There will always be slight fluctuation in the metrics. Keep an eye on the rate of change per month. Site performance should be steadily increasing. If site performance is not steadily increasing, there could be many reasons for this. Recent site or optimization changes affect performance. It can take around six months for optimization changes to start showing results through the site visits. Other reasons for fluctuation in per month performance can be attributed to anything from an extra weekend in the month (business sites receive much fewer visits on weekends or holidays), a change in payperclick phrases (higher converting phrases that may cost more), seasonal business changes, or a change in the way visitors are entering and moving through the site. If you are concerned about the fluctuation of your site visits per month, a better comparison to understand the state of your site would be to compare the visits for the same time period over different years. These reports will eliminate seasonal variation and reflect optimization changes.

Houston SEO Interprets Your Analytics Report

A few things to check for to determine site health include the bounce rate. The bounce rate describes visitors that enter your site and leave in less than a minute. These visitors were either not looking for the type of site that you have, or they entered the site and immediately left because they found what they were looking for right away – such as a phone number. The average bounce rate for sites is 70%. Anything lower than that is fantastic. This means that the search engines, payperclick, and referring sites are sending many people to your site who are actually looking for your services. You can find these metrics in the Traffic Sources section of Google Analytics. To get a lower bounce rate, you may consider tailoring your optimization to the keywords that are generating higher conversions.

Other reports that I like to look at to determine site health include the number of pages the average visitor to your site see, and how long they spend on the site. The top content and landing (entrance) pages should be index or product description pages. Don’t be scared of the report that says “exit pages.” Every one who enters the site must at some point leave it, and an exit doesn’t indicate that they have lost interest even if they have not converted. Ideally you will see the contact page as one of the top exit pages.

The keywords report contains the words people actually typed into their search engine boxes to enter your site through. This reflects the way visitors entered your site, and these words should be relevant to your content. Keep in mind that your site appeared on many other searches under many other keywords, and those are the keywords people clicked through. These keywords should be different from the ones that the site is optimized for, but only slightly. The keywords the site is optimized for are the ones that your Houston search engine optimization company is telling search engines to categorize your site under. The Google Analytics keywords come from search click-throughs.

Keep in mind that there are many different types of visitors. Ideally for the business, all visitors would be ordering boxes. However, in reality there are visitors who order your services, visitors who are just there to look or learn, and visitors who stumbled upon the page and leave immediately. The visitors to pay closest attention to are the ones who travel to the contact page, and the ones who did not bounce off of the page. You should set up advanced segments and custom reports in Google Analytics that track the landing, content, and exit pages of this relevant traffic. From these reports, you can make changes to the site and optimization to generate more conversions from visitors.

If you have any questions about Google Analytics reports, contact Houston Internet Marketing Company Directory One at (713)465-0051.

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