This is a guest post by Kate Funk.
Google analytics is one of many Google tools that is completely free to use, and that does not come with stupid marketing as a result of giving them your email address, nor does it come with an obligation to purchase anything as a result of its use. Here are a few facts and tips that you may not know about. This list is in no particular order, as tip number one is no more or less secret and important than tip number ten.
It is never 100% accurate
If you understood this sort of programming on an advanced level, you would understand that it is very difficult to be 100% accurate. It can be metaphorically compared to counting the number of drips that pass by in a stream. That is not to say that it is impossible to get a perfect reading of just who visits your blog and when, but it is difficult and is something that Google does okay. Still, if you are looking for 100% accuracy with Google analytics, then secret number one is that you will not get it.
Google analytics number pollution may be lessened
When you visit your own site, your visits are often registered as user visits. Lots of web masters do this so that they can check to see if their most recent website updates look okay. Such a thing does not matter to most people, but if you want to be fussy about it then you can make it so that it does not register your visits. You can block via IP filters if you like, or by host filters (host blocking is not recommended).
Measure the times of conversion rates
You are able to do this with Google analytics. The report it gives you is very similar to what you get in Google AdWords where you are able to see when a person or people are looking at your website. You can check up on the times that people looked at your website during your working hours and outside of your working hours.
A movement or action analysis
To do this you will have to mix up custom variables and advanced segments. They allow you to set up analytics so that you can monitor the movement of a user though your website funnel. If you look up a few Google tutorial articles, you will also find that there are functions in place that let you monitor a funnel from landing page to checkout.
With Google analytics you are able to compare things such as your branding in one city to another. All you have to do is go to the advanced settings and change your segments so that they include regions or even cities, so that you can see how your branding or trending is coming along in smaller areas as well as bigger regions in America.
Who is abandoning your blog shopping cart?
If you are selling subscriptions to your blog then you may want to know who is buying and who isn’t. You cannot really gain details of which person gets to the shopping cart and then abandons it. But, Google analytics may be set up so that you can see how many people are leaving your shopping cart. You may be able to identify a problem area and maybe even a technical fault.
Figuring out peoples questions
With Google analytics you may see what people are typing into Google to find you. This offers you a lot of insight into exactly what people are trying to find out when they reach your blog. Lots of people may be asking questions on Google that you are simply not asking. On the other hand, you may be doing a great job of answering their questions and it may explain your high traffic numbers.
Removing blog bounce traffic
A lot of people are going to bounce when they hit a blog. Lots of people are very specific about what they search for, and blogs may simply not be what they are looking for. With Google analytics you can see who landed on your blog and who simply bounced or looked at one page before leaving. A very high bounce rate may be cause for concern.
Identify strange traffic activity with Google analytics
It is possible to identify very strange activity on your blog. It may be a sign that people are trying to hack you, or that something else insidious is going on. You can filter out a large majority of common ISPs and see if any of the ISPs are sending you too much traffic or traffic that is suspicious, e.g. only at a certain time of the week.
You can modify Google settings to account for mobiles
There are some mobile phones that Google analytics will be unable to monitor accurately. This is mainly due to the fact that so many new phones appear every year. You can go to the advanced segments section and filter out devices that have a screen that is over 600 pixels, which leaves you with all mobile phone traffic in your report.
As you see, improving their skills in using Google analytics bloggers can find out a lot of useful data. And the only thing that can help you to become an analytics master is practice.
About the author
Kate Funk is a freelance writer at getanycontent.com. She is mainly focusing on technology, gadgets and all the latest trends which are interesting for networking enthusiasts.