August 2007 Newsletter

Google Analytics - Part 2

**** The 4specs Perspective

Last month the newsletter discussed setting up Google Analytics in 20 minutes.
Set up Google Analytics in 20 Minutes

Specifically, What does Google Analytics report?

Here are several screen shots of the 4specs Google Analytics. Dashboard is a general overview showing visitors per day. You can clearly see the weekends where our traffic is lower. You have the option of selecting different time periods for comparison. I recommend you develop a spreadsheet showing the results for each month, for all the places you are advertising or considering advertising. Here is a sample spreadsheet that tracks month-by-month site stats for 4specs:
http://www.4specs.com/s2a/news/0601_4specs.pdf

 

Google Analytics

 

What are Your Referring Sites?

Knowing how people found your website is very important. This report shows the site people used to find your site. Direct / none means that they typed your url in or used a bookmark.

Referring Sites

What are Your Key Words

Knowing the words people used to find your website is very important. If the words are not as expected, you need to review the words being read by the search engine robots from your website. This shows the top 24 words used to find 4specs. You can go deeper into Google Analytics and see the thousands of key words used. 4specs had over 40,000 key words used this month.

Key Words

What if there's a Discrepancy in 4specs' Reports and Ours?

Results reported by your web server or analytics software should be within 10-15% of the statistics reported by 4specs. If you see a greater discrepancy, there is a good chance that something is amiss with your reporting.  For example, I have spoken with some people who were viewing one-week statistics assuming they were one-month.  In other cases their reporting is not properly tracking what is happening.

If you have questions about the accuracy of your reporting, start problem solving by referring back to the original data in your server logs. I am very confident that our reporting is accurate. Over the past year, I have reviewed analytics issues with three 4specs advertisers. Starting with their original server logs and our referral logs, I found the 4specs referrer lines on their reports and compared them to our tracking. Feel free to contact me if you are having trouble with your analytics.  This is such an important long-term issue that I would be happy to walk it through with you.

Imagine the power of having this type of data for your website.  Is it worth 20 minutes to you? or $50?

Next month we will start to look at some of the simple search engine optimization changes many (perhaps most) of the websites listed on 4specs should undertake.

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Colin Gilboy
Publisher - 4specs
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