Small Effort, Big Gains: Winning With Analytics
Most people who come to your site enter it on pages other than your home page. Surprise! Looking at the Top Landing Pages report can be valuable in figuring out all the "home pages." Now apply the metric Bounce Rate to this report. It is super. Bounce rate measures this phenomenon from your customer's perspective: "I came, I puked, I left!," i.e. the number of people who come to your site and don't even give you one little click. So, find the Landing Pages with the highest bounce rates and go fix 'em. Immediate ROI.
Identify who's delivering value.
Every web analytics tool comes with the ability to create goals (purchases, downloads, leads, content consumed, donations made, job applications, etc.). Create at least two goals in your analytics tool by identifying what you are trying to accomplish with your web site. Now go to your Traffic Sources report and look at the number of visits and the number of goals (Conversion Rate!). You don't just want traffic on your site, you want qualified traffic. Do more business with sites that send you higher conversions, figure out why the sites you love are sending you traffic that does not convert!
Identify valuable content on your site.
Metrics like Page Views are not very valuable because, in aggregate, they mean little. Metrics like Visitor Loyalty and Visitor Recency are fabulous because they measure how frequently people come to your site in a given time period and what is the gap between visits.
Do people come 10 times a month or two? Do they visit every 5 days or every 20 days? One of the coolest ways to use these metrics is to segment your data using them. Do this: Create a segment on your site of everyone who visited more than three times. Now apply this segment to different reports. You can find out what content these highly engaged people like. Where do they come from? What do they purchase? And other such questions.
I call it caring about people who care enough about you to visit so many times. Why care about everyone else?