Roberta M. Gubbins, Esq.
I Write Content--You Practice Law

Draft Three / blog

Is there anyone out there?

Memorial Day is here, summer is about to begin and life may slow down a little. So it’s probably time to review how your Internet marketing efforts are progressing. Let’s assume, for example, that your website has been up and running for some time and you’ve been reasonably faithful posting to your blog. Has the feedback on your site been restricted to casual comments from clients or colleagues?

There is a better way.

You need an analytics program. A program such as Google Analytics, which is free, can be incredibly useful. It can track the traffic to your site and help you answer all kinds of questions such as:

How many people visit my website?
How do they get there?
What pages are most popular?
How long do they stay?
Where do the users live? or
Are they using a mobile device and, if so, which one?

To install Google Analytics, you first need a Google Account—the same one you use for Gmail, Google Drive or Google+. Go to Google Analytics and click the sign in button in the top right-hand corner, sign in and follow the directions to set up Analytics on your webpage. (If that fails, find a techie type to do it for you. I did.)

To judge the effectiveness of your site, you’ll want to know how many visitors stop by and how long they stay. The overview report will tell you the number of visitors. The statistic, called bounce rate, tells you the percentage of people who leave your site after seeing one page.

If your bounce rate, for example, is 75%, it means that ¾th of your visitors left after one page. A bounce rate of 50% or less is considered good. If your rate is 50% to 70% your site could use some revising and, if higher, a complete overhaul may be needed. There is a statistic for “Average Session Duration” telling how long visitors stayed on the site. If there is a high bounce rate but visitors are staying for more than 10 seconds—then maybe a little updating of the site will do the job.

You also want to know how your readers got to your page. Again, Google has the answer. To find an overview of all your traffic sources click on Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. This report tells you the number of people finding you through:

Direct--people typing your site name in their browser,
Social networks,
Referral--links from other sites to get to you,
Email, or
People clicking through from search engines.

Want to know how your Tweets, posts on Facebook or LinkedIn are working?

Google has a report on social media found under Admin on the main page. Click on Acquisition > Social > Network referrals. At-a-glance, you can see which social network sends you the most visits to your website. The report is available in numbers—most to least—or as a pie chart.

The amount of information available from Google Analytics is extensive. If you want to narrow the results, you can set up goals for your traffic statistics. Using the goals template found on the main page under Admin, you decide which actions you value most whether it’s time on the page or how visitors found you or if they landed on a particular page on your website. For example, you could set up a thank you page for a contact form submission. Once established Google will track how many visitors completed the form and received a Thank-you, giving you the number of visitors who took action or the conversion rate.

Knowing what is working on your website is vital to your marketing campaign. Google Analytics can help you find some answers.