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Making the Most of Google Analytics

Website owners have long-since known that keeping track of traffic to your site is almost as important as the content you offer up. By far, the most popular and widely used tool for monitoring these important statistics is Google Analytics. So popular, in fact, that Yahoo! recently announced that they would be cancelling their web analytics service (way to know when to call it quits, Yahoo. Now if only Bing would accept reality and stop trying to make their name into a verb.)

But while the knowledge is definitely out there that using Google Analytics is pretty much a must-do for websites, the majority of site owners still find themselves at a bit of a loss when it comes to maximizing the benefits of this mighty little web tool.

Below are three important features available through Google Analytics that you may not be using now, but could greatly benefit from exploring:

  • Watch your site speed – Google Analytics gives you the ability to not only see how many visitors are checking into which parts of your site, but also how fast those pages are loading. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a website whose components move at a snail’s pace, you know it can make or break the experience for you as a user. Today’s internet user is more fickle than ever, so keeping tabs on which parts of your site are dragging – and taking steps to rectify any problems contributing to that – can be a huge part of bringing back oh-so-important repeat traffic.
  • Use site search – Bottom line: the more users engage with your site, the higher your conversion rate will be. And while there are many ways to keep your visitors engaged, one feature that will also give you insightful feedback is the site search function. Not only will it step up the dynamics of how visitors interface with your site, but it will tell you what keywords and terms they are most commonly searching for, thereby helping you to maximize and streamline how you build and structure your site.
  • Multi-Channel Funnels – This gadget is a real sign of Google Analytics keeping pace with the times. It breaks down traffic not only by the traditional parameters, but now also according to where the lead came from. Social media, RSS, Google search, etc. – utilizing multi-channel funnels will help you see not just who is accessing your site, and when, and from where, but the path they took to get there. This can be truly valuable information when analyzing which marketing and outreach channels are yielding the most return.

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