Working with Google Analytics


Many ecommerce webmasters have analytical tools within their reach, but few use them as regularly as they should. Even if you currently have and use various ecommerce website analytical tools, Google Analytics offers another valuable way of interpreting your website statistics. Here are a few ways to use Google Analytics to identify your ecommerce website’s strengths and weaknesses.

Custom reports. Many people look at the default reports in Google Analytics and immediately dismiss the tool as useless. While the default reports are not much help, Analytics offers tools for getting the more valuable information that you actually need. “Custom reports” is one of these tools. You can get reports on average visit value, bounce rates, the time that customers spend on your website, and more. The options are virtually endless. This information can give you additional insight that will help you to design more effective strategies.

Report filters. One of the biggest problems with the default reports in Google Analytics is that they offer way too much information. Most people simply don’t have the mental space to process hundreds of pieces of information. It’s difficult to see patterns when you are overwhelmed. That is where the advanced filter option comes in. You can add filters that will show you only the most valuable information, such as the best performing sources or the worst. This will allow you to identify trends and figure out where to focus your energies far faster than a huge, unorganized chart.

Intelligence. Because this is a newer feature of Google Analytics, few people realize it exists and even fewer know how to use it to their ecommerce website’s best advantage. Intelligence shows important changes on your website, such as an increase in bounce rates or in conversions. This allows you to identify and respond to trends as they are actually trending. It also saves you from having to run endless reports to discover what is happening and offers real-time updates on the statistics that are most important to an ecommerce website.

Advanced segments. This feature allows you to run the same reports as usual, but on smaller subsets of data that you define. This allows you to compare the effectiveness of two different landing pages, the conversion rates of traffic from different sources, and more. If used correctly, you can even use this tool for researching new methods. You can design two different landing pages and see which produce the most conversions, for example. Advanced segments may be one of Google Analytics’ most valuable tools, and you need to master it!

If you have not purchased an advanced analytics tool, Google Analytics will allow you to get enough information about your website to run it successfully until you can afford the big guns. In fact, many ecommerce webmasters have found that, by mastering the features of this tool, they can use is alone to discover and manage website trends. Discovering and dealing with changes on your website will allow you to fine tune your operations and keep your business on track.