Google Analytics offers webmasters small and large a valuable tool. The ability to monitor your websites data is crucial to success, and Google Analytics offers everything you need. The main problem; many webmasters are not using the information correctly and are wasting time looking at the wrong numbers.  Below is a more refined approach for using Google Analytics to meet your specific goals. Using these simple tips, you should become a master of your own website analytics in no time.

Long-Term Statistics

Every set of metrics you evaluate should be viewed as both local and long-term values. Google Analytics displays the past 30 days as a default. This is ideal for checking on recent changes, but spanning out to 3-6 months will help you get a better handle on larger trends. Take the time to study the growth patterns of your website, and make changes in your marketing plan where needed.

If your website has been around awhile, it is a good idea to look back for an entire year to develop the best trend results.

Monitor Visitor Activities

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It is great to know how many visitors your website has had over the past 30 days, but better to know what they are doing while there.

Pay close attention to the visitor details, such as the entrance, bounce rate and exit percentage.

Entrances list the amount of visitors who entered your website from a specific page. This is a very important piece of information when working our marketing campaign strategies.

The bounce rate and exit percentage show you when visitors left, and where they were when they done so. It is important to pay close attention to the bounce rate. If visitors are leaving immediately after landing on a specific page, that page may need some serious attention. That one page could be preventing traffic from continuing on deeper into your website.

You should also be checking the behavioral patterns of your visitors. Knowing where your visitors came from, how long they stayed and what they viewed while on your site offers great opportunity for strategizing future marketing campaigns.

Visitor frequency is a great way to see if you are getting any returning traffic. If you create fresh content that the visitor feel is valuable, they will return. If you are not updating enough, those returning visitors will eventually stop frequenting your page.

Quality Content

Quality content is an important part of any websites success.  Although keywords in the content are not as important as they once were, they should still be monitored. Most of your traffic will come from search engines, so it is extremely important your content offers value in order to be ranked high in the search results. Google updates have made it more important for content to be high quality and answer a specific question than to be rich in keywords.

Check Backlink Referrals

It has always been important to check backlink referrals in Google Analytics, but after the many Google updates, it is even more of a priority than ever.

Some of the referrals will come from backlinks you created, but some may not. It is important to minimize your backlinks to only high ranking, relevant websites. If you have other relevant websites adding your link to their page, it could be great advertising and marketing for your business, but if lower ranking, spammy sites add you, it could devastate your success rate.

Keep a very close eye on your backlinks, removing the ones that could damage your site immediately.

Site Speed

Http latency is an important aspect to your websites success, probably more so than you realize. With the new world of high-speed Internet connections, visitors are less likely to wait for information or images to load. Be sure that you have your pages optimized for speed; otherwise you may be losing visitors.

Social Media

Keep a close eye on your social media content. If you notice one specific page is getting major attention, while another gets none, it can show you a trend that you need to follow, as well as a trend you need to avoid.

Network referrals show you quickly where traffic is coming from, and which pages are getting the most attention. Social media links are as important as search engine results; you want to be doing well with both in order to succeed.

Set Up and Monitor Custom Website Search Ability

Google Analytics allows you to implement visitor data from your customized website search. WordPress comes pre-packaged with a search feature, and you may be surprised how many visitors are actually using it. The search feature can help drive traffic to older pages, archived content and other information that has went stale on the major search engine page results.

Get Ready for Mobile Users

Mobile traffic has become a large part of any websites traffic, no matter what type of business they are. Check out who is viewing you website through mobile devices using Google Analytics, and make sure you have your website ready to accommodate them.

The information provided in Google Analytics goes further than just traffic numbers. The program offers you up a photo of the mobile device and displays what browsers it is capable of viewing.

Page-Specific Metrics

The page-specific metrics offers a quick way for you to see your most viewed webpages and visitor activities in one place. You can view the bounce rates for specific pages, time spent on all your pages and various other valuable data to help your future marketing campaigns. By keeping a close eye on your most popular webpages you are able to determine the type of content that is driving attention to your site.

Analytics in Real-Time

Google tracks visitors in real-time, and now you can too. Watch as traffic enters your page, and study their behavior the entire time they are there. The feature can become addicting, but it can also help to offer some deeper insight into your visitor’s behavior on your website.

Knowing what your visitors do while on your page is crucial to keep your site in the top rankings. If a visitor enters on a page and bounces immediately, there is a good chance that page is not offering what they were looking for, or at least it does not appear to the visitor as it does. So, you can check the page to ensure it has a clear message that matches the search they used to get there. The analytics give you a great tool for understanding your visitors and their behaviors while on your site. You can watch where they go, how long they stay, and start getting an idea of how your internal linking system can be improved.

A cool bonus to this feature is a world map at the bottom of the page that shows you exactly where your visitors are located. If you are targeting a specific area of the country, you can see if those local searches are bringing you any traffic with just a quick glance. If you are not getting the traffic from your local search campaigns, you will know that right away, and have the ability to make the necessary changes. Competing in a local market is sometimes tougher than a more international one, so it is important to keep a close monitor on the campaign that are in place, so any tweaks that are needed can be made to create a more effective campaign.