Google Analytics Tutorial: Show & Tell Metrics: Google In-Page Analytics
Though complex, delicate and demanding, a successful website boils down to two things: bringing people to your site and getting them to stay there to look around. We’ve covered the former in posts like, “Easy Traffic-Building Tips for Your Website,” “Spiders are Your Friends: An Introduction to SEO” and “Content Buoyancy: A Lesson in Keyword Density.” The latter takes great, unique content and a smart site design.
Among the many tenets of good website design, today’s million dollar question is: How do you create a user friendly website that creates cohesion and flow? We won’t pretend there’s a magic wand that turns a raggedy shoe of a website into a glass slipper. But, if you set your site up on Google Analytics, you can use a special feature called In-Page Analytics (found under the Content tab in navigation) to learn how visitors navigate, click and generally experience your website. Using that information, you can optimize your website design or make vital changes to squeeze more value out of your content.
To get you started, I’ll be using my new blog, Dark Horse Review, as an example site.
Check the Numbers
In-Page Analytics prominently displays metric tools to glean insights on a particular page’s performance. If you are familiar with Google Analytics, you’ll instantly recognize the pageviews, unique pageviews, average time on page, bounce rate and the other metric categories. Generally speaking, these metrics let you know how that specific page is performing and offer kind of an overview for a page.
Just below the metrics bar, you’ll find three icons: Show bubbles, Show color and Browser Size. Show bubbles might be the handiest tool you’ll find when using In-Page Analytics. This tool displays–you guessed it–bubbles containing percentages. These bubbles show how much a given link contributes to your page’s overall click performance. So, if you want to see how a particular link is doing–ideal for promotional or highlighted links–this is the tool for you.
The bubbles icon also offers an orange bar at the bottom of your page. This represents the percentage of clicks your site accumulates below that point; a vital tool in understanding whether or not visitors are looking at your entire Web page and if they’re interested in content that isn’t necessarily prioritized on your site.
The other two icons next to Show bubbles, those being Show color and Browser Size, are secondary tools but offer some added context to your analysis. Show color offers a color representation of how “hot” or “cold” a link is. Browser Size defines what surface area of your site is visible, or conversely outside a visible surface area, for a certain percentage of viewers. Putting all three of these tools together, you can really understand what links perform well and even why a link is underperforming.
Rinse & Repeat
Initially, In-Page Analytics will show data for your Home page. However, within In-Page Analytics you can actually load subsequent posts and pages. Then, just like you’ve done on your Home page, you can view the metrics and click percentages of other pages.
If you want to optimize your site’s design, try playing around with different page layouts, calls to action and URL and image placements. Because you can look at In-Page Analytics for every page of your site, you can experiment with page layouts and use In-Page Analytics to determine what techniques work best.
Talk to any Web designer or business owner running a thriving website, and one of the first things they’ll talk about is the importance of the user experience. In fact, there’s a whole profession, UX (user experience) Design, dedicated to making websites more friendly for those who wind up on your website. In-Page Analytics, with its visual tools and metrics, can be a powerful ally. It’s up to you to take that data and turn your site into the prettiest princess at the ball.
Have fun with In-Page Analytics. This was only a warmup exercise. If you want to learn more about mastering Google Analytics, we’d love to help continue your journey. Contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-980-8091.