Whats working on my website – getting useful info from Google Analytics

If you have had a site for a while you probably have google analytics tracking code on it. You may get a monthly report emailed to you with a summary of whats happened on your site. The interface is a bit complex though and if its not what you do all day its a bit of a chore. You can get a lot of useful information out though, to use when judging what you are doing right and wrong with your site. Its also a good factor to use when thinking about future plans.

Analytics executive summaries

I’ve been playing with their api and generating some custom reports for a client so he doesn’t have to bother with the means, he just gets the facts he wants in a executive summary.

  • The pages where most people enter your site?
  • Are they the same as the pages that are most popular?
  • Which pages do people leave your site on?
  • Which pages do people spend the most time reading?
  • What are the referrers who refer you the most sticky viewers.

The answers to those questions can be pretty valuable you could write more about that popular subject, provide links across to similar content from the post that people spend all that time on, or talk to your seo company on why people keep finding you under ‘monkey wrangler’, weird. Those successful pages could point you at where your site could be improved.

Failing page designs

Also the info has design implications are some pages or sections of your site failing to engage readers? or are lots of people entering your site on some obscure post that’s the equivalent of a back door and then leaving again because they can’t figure out whats going on here. Perhaps a custom report could help you identify that.