Lots of small businesses have websites, but most of them probably haven’t hooked their sites up to Google Analytics, the search engine behemoth’s free visitor tracking service. For those of you who haven’t, stop reading this post right now and sign up for a Google Analytics account and insert the tracking code into each page of your site. If you don’t know how, contact your site designer or host provider and have them help you out.
Back yet? Good. Now what? Well, start by familiarizing yourself with the various reporting features in Google Analytics. There isn’t sufficient room on this site to extol all the benefits of using Google Analytics to explore your site’s traffic, so let me refer you instead to Google’s product overview video so you can better understand the value of seeing user behavior unfold before your very eyes.
One of the most impressive tools in the Google Analytics arsenal is the new Visitors Flow feature, which provides a cool way to visually analyze visitor actions on your site. For example, you can see how many people entered your site on the home page, where they went next, and what pages were most popular during their browsing sessions. When I first saw the Visitors Flow feature, I was astounded at the insight it can provide website owners into the behavior of potential customers on their site.