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Using Google Analytics

A few of you have inquired on the site about how to track what's going on with your site. How do you figure out which of your marketing tactics are working. Here's a good way.

Google Analytics is a FREE service that google offers. By inserting a small bit of code onto each page Google will tell you everything you need to know. If you are using Google Adwords then it will even integrate stats with your ads.
To get started with Google Analytics go to: http://www.google.com/analytics/ and sign up for an account.

Here are some of the top things Google Analytics can tell you.
1. How your users got to your site. Did they click on a link on somebody elses sites, did they come from a search engine, did they type in your site address directly into the url. How many came from the NACHI site, how many came from another inspector who links to your site.

2. If they used a search engine, which one they used as well as what keywords they typed in to get to your site.

3. Where are your users coming from geographically. It can break down your users on a map and show how many visitors came from each state, and often where in the state they came from.

4. What page on your website visitors land on when they get to your site.

5. What page visitors leave your site on, this is useful to figure out what pages may need to be redesigned as they are scaring away potential clients.

6. What is the bounce rate of pages on your site. A 'bounce' occurs when a visitor enters the site on a page and immediately leaves without going anyhere else. A high bounce rate on your home page means you have some work to do!

7. The average time users spent on your entire site, and on each page.

8. How many visitors are visiting for the first time, how many are returning. This is helpful to see if your site is causing people to come back for a second look.

9. A Map Overlay of your website which displays your actual site with statistics about each link you have on it, showing you whats clicked on, when, and how often.

10. You can setup goals on your site and have them tracked. For example I have a goal that a visitor downloads a trial of our software, you might track someone visiting the contact us page, or submitting an inspection request via a form.

11. A Navigation summary that shows you the paths that are taken through your site. Once a visitor hits the home page, what link they click on next, then where they go from there. This helps to show the flow of your site.

12. If you have Google Adwords then you can filter all the above based on what ad was selected to cause the visitor to join the site.

13. and a whole bunch more...

Signing up for Google Analytics will take you about 5 minutes. They will give you 2-3 lines of code (javascript) that you should put on the bottom of EVERY one of your pages. Stats will start showing up within hours.

Every piece of information I listed above can be shown in multiple ways including graphs and stats. You can filter by geographic location, you look at info for every page on the site (maybe no one stays on a certain page for more than 5 seconds, junk it). You can view over date ranges. Maybe you put an ad in a magazine last week so you only want to look at the data during the time that ad was out. You can compare that to the previous week or even the last time you put out an ad.

Best of all, it's all free!!! Why? Because Google hopes you'll like the service so much that you'll use Google Ads. But of course you don't have to. The information you get is still priceless. There is nothing better than looking at the trends of your site, seeing how site traffic is steadily increasing and bringing you more business.

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