As with all changes and like many people, I’ve resisted using the new Google Analytics interface option, preferring to stick with the old version as long as possible. However there is an option to change over immediately rather than wait for Google to force the luddites to swap over and I’ve highlighted the link at the top of this screenshot here.
I’m a medium level Luddite in that Internet Marketing is fast changing and confusing enough to mere mortals, without Google changing everything around all the time and I’m only just getting used to the new Gmail look and feel!
However, when looking at a clients Google Analytics account the other day I couldn’t help notice the new Google Analytics features and dashboard, as the client had only recently installed Google Analytics on their new blog and the new Google Analytics dashboard was showing as default and that it was looking quite sexy.
The first improvement I noticed in the new Google Analytics dashboard was the Real Time Reporting. Not only can you see if anyone is visiting your site RIGHT NOW but you can see the key phrase they searched to find you!
My eye was immediately drawn to the Visitors Flow Chart, which shows in easy to understand flow chart fashion, where your visitors are coming from, which pages they are seeing first and how many of them move onto which pages on their first interaction with your site, then their second and third interaction with your site. See below for where to find out what all this means….
How New Google Analytics Helped Me Drive 7% More Visitors Deeper Into My Site Overnight!
Looking at the new Google Analytics visitor flow chart, I immediately noticed that I was losing 30% of my visitors from my home or index page. Quelle horreur! That seemed quite high to me, so I went and had a look at it with fresh eyes.
Now, although I have recently been busily re-aligning my SEO activities to attract people looking for internet marketing mentoring, rather than just business owners looking for internet marketing services, I could see immediately that this was not reflected in either the headline or the copy on my home page.
My free report “How To Market ANY Business Online” would still attract both business owners and people seeking to build a business online, in my opinion, but the headline and text of the main section was definitely still aimed at business owners looking for internet marketing services.
I diligently made a copy of the headline and main box body text, in case the figures from the new Google Analytics dashboard showed me later I’d made a hideous mistake, and rewrote the content to be more tightly focused on those looking for internet marketing mentoring, still including business owners, as many simply cannot afford to pay an internet marketing services company yet.
This is an important but often overlooked point about making changes to your website. Make a note of what you are changing FROM before making the changes, and work out how using any tool – including but not limited to the new Google Analytics dashboard – can help you work out if the changes are having a positive effect (keep them) or a negative effect (go back to the original).
A few days later the results are in, by checking my new Google Analytics visitor flow chart again, I can see (as you can by clicking the picture above to enlarge it) that my drop-off from my front page is down to 22% or so. This means that, for every 1000 visitors to my site, an extra 70 are moving deeper into my site to a second or third page.
That’s got to be good especially on the week that the BBC News website listed my first book “The Money Gym” as one of their Top 10 Wealth Creation Books alongside their BBC Money “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” programme?
I’ve seen a significant rise in traffic in the last week and now, 7% plus of that traffic is moving deeper into my website.
What Else Do You Need To Know About The New Google Analytics Dashboard?
I’m sure there is LOADS more useful stuff in there but for today, I’d just like to leave you with the second thing I noticed about the “2nd Interaction” column that you see if you enlarge the picture above.
There is, apparently, a page of my website called “Outgoing” which loses 2.53% of my traffic. I’d never head of this page so I manually typed the URL into my browser to discover that it was actually the 404 Error page of my site. I used to be able to customise that page freely when we were all using good old HTML, but now I’m using Catalyst I’m going to have to look up how to make it more user friendly.
However, by snooping around my Catalyst options, I noticed there was a box to tick to display my sitemap for the 404 Error page so I did that.
Now, instead of a curt message saying “Tough Luck – Go Back To The Home Page” or something similar, at least visitors will be presented with a choice of other pages and recent blog posts.
In previous weeks, the number lost from that page was averaging 3% of all site traffic but this week that is down to 2.53% so that’s better isn’t it?
Now, I’d better go and check the “thank you” pages are not listed on that sitemap!
Some Useful Resources For Getting The Most Out Of The New Google Analytics Interface
On the KissMetrics blog they are sharing some great video about how to use the new Google Analytics interface, which I highly recommend you watch.
And here’s the Mashable favourite Google Analytics features as highlighted by Rachael Gerson
Rachel also updated the Mashable article with this link
** I’m not absolutely sure yet what “first interaction” means, in the new Google Analytics visitor flow chart, whether that’s their first, second, third visit, or if it’s their first, second, third ACTIONS on their first visit. I’ll have to watch the videos and let you know. Or, if you know, can you use the comments box to tell us all?