I love looking at charts and data in relation to something to prove a point. Whenever I watch a football match I think it’s interesting to see where the team has been attacking from and where the opposition has been susceptible from.
This concept has never been more accessible as it is today, via the use of Google Analytics. Most people are familiar with the concept but are possibly unsure of how to use it. Google Analytics for all intents and purposes is a tool which can be used to monitor where your site traffic is coming from, how many are coming, how long the site is viewed for before they leave (bounce rate) and a whole host of other data.
But before we talk about Google Analytics analyse your own site.
What do you like?
What do you not like?
Obviously like with anything beauty is in the eye of the beholder so what you may like someone else may despise. It took me a while to find the layout and structure I liked; in the end I thought the current layout was aesthetically pleasing. My previous efforts were remarked (following feedback) as being difficult to read and navigate, so for the purpose of a blog site I have stuck with this. It’s not perfect and I am sure in time I will tweak it further.
Looking at Google Analytics you can devise how your site is perceived.
An easy way to see the interest in the site is via the bounce rate percentage, (this is found in the Audience Overview). If the bounce rate is relatively high (over 50-60%) it means the visitors to the site have basically jumped off the site instantaneously. Usually it means they did not find anything of interest and went elsewhere. This does not necessarily mean its all bad. For example my bounce rate is quite high however my site does not require you to change page to see previous posts. However if you feel like it is a problem for you then I would suggest making changes to the site and seeing what impact this has on your bounce rate.
Using the audience overview you can get a good sense of where and how your visitors are viewing the site.
For example via the Demographics section you can deduce which country traffic is coming from to the extent of a particular city. Most interesting is the System and Mobile sections. Your site has to look fine within other browsers, nowadays people use Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox to name but a few. By making sure the site looks and performs how it is supposed to under different browsers will make sure the user experience is not spoilt.
The Mobile section is very important as nowadays we are consuming the majority of our information on the go via smartphones and tablets. There is nothing more annoying then going on a site that has not been optimised for a smartphone and this could be a key area that should be tested along with the screen resolution.
This is by no means an exhaustive list via the use of Google Analytics however this could help retain and bring new visitors to your site. Once the site is fundamentally sound then this could be then built upon with a SEO campaign.