On the left side of the screen, you can see your main reporting navigation. From here, you can view in-depth information about your visitors or switch to see detailed reports about your website traffic, content, and conversions.
You can also find additional links to Conversions, Intelligence Events, and Real Time.
By default, you will be taken to the Audience overview report screen when you want to access the report for any of your websites. This screen will display vital information about your website, such as:
- number of visitors
- unique visitors
- page views
- average time spent on your site
- the bounce rate
- percentage of new visitors (pie chart displaying new and returning visitors)
This key information gives you an overview of how your website is performing. For example, high average time on your site, high pages/visit, and a low bounce rate tells you how useful visitors find your site, once they land on it.
At the bottom of the screen, you can also view basic demographics, system, and mobile. You can view visitors on your website by language, country, city, or the operating system, browser, and mobile operating system, service provider, and screen resolution.
The most important reports are the demographics and geo reports.
You can view the Geo reports by clicking on the Language link under the Geo sub-navigation menu.
From there, you can view data about your visitor’s location (including map overlay) or language.
The Behavior section gives you more information about new vs. returning visitors, how often and how recently visitors are returning to your website, and user engagement.
Looking at the number of returning visitors shows you how many true fans you have. Users who have visited over a dozen times are most likely fans of your products or company. You can count on them when asking for help in promoting your products or services or simply to spread the word. Likewise, the “Days Since Last Visit” report tells you how often your returning visitors are coming back to your site.
The Engagement section displays two important things to measure: the session (visit) duration and the page depth (or the number of pages a visitor viewed).
Visitors who stay longer on your website and view more pages are more engaged than others. So, your main goal is to get as many visitors to view more than one page and get them to stay longer than a few seconds. If that is not happening, then this report will help you do that.
The Technology report is for technology and network statistics. If you were thinking about changing your website to display differently across various operating system, browsers, and screen sizes, then this is where you need to be.
There are six sections in the Browser & OS report.
- Operating System
- Screen resolution
- Screen colors
- Flash version
- Extra: Java Support
These sections are straight forward, and you will need to use them to make the best decisions for your website.
You can use them when trying to do things, such as:
- Build a new website and understand what technology to build for,
- Make layouts for your website,
- Learn whether you need a mobile-friendly website (by viewing how many screen resolutions visitors are using),
- Testing new or existing content,
- Develop devices or software,
- Compare conversion rates to see if there are any issues with platforms,
- Profile valuable users, so you can get more users like them,
- Profile invaluable users, so you can get them to become valuable users,
- Explain to web developers why they still need to build sites that work in old Internet Explorer versions,
- Decide which platform to develop apps for. For example, Android usage is on the rise these days,
- Find out drops in website traffic and conversions,
- Understand why mobile websites are valuable.
Best alternatives to Google Analytics tools
The majority of websites are using Google Analytics tools.
According to BuiltWith’s report, by January 2013, over 17 million marketers and 57.3% of all websites were using Google Analytics, including most of the top 10,000 sites, based on Quantcast and Alexa rankings.
However, there are good alternatives. Below, we have highlighted alternative web analytics software that might be more suitable, depending on your use case.
Kissmetric’s web analytics is targeted to small and medium-sized companies. It gives you more than ‘just your visitor stats’. It helps you gain more customers and retain them by giving you information on user engagement and their buying habits, before and after they buy from your website.
According to their website, “Kissmetrics is a people-based analytics platform, tying all visits back to a person, across whatever devices they use. It lets you see how specific users found you, helps identify who your power users are, and allows you to study cohorts of different people.”
In contrast, Google Analytics still takes a more session-based analytics approach–so despite the new focus on mobile, user data on multiple devices can become cloudy and confusing.
- Data funnel feature allows you to spot weaknesses of your website that could cost you conversions/money.
- The split testing feature allows you to optimize your landing pages for better results.
- The API integration makes it easy to incorporate analytical data into your website or customer application.
- The revenue tracking tool displays you what you earned and what your customers does after they purchase from you.
- It tracks visitors’ activities in real time.
- It has a user-friendly and highly intuitive interface.
- Unlike Google Analytics, this web analytics tool does not provide in-depth information about your website traffic. This web analytics tool is built around Customer Insights and other actionable metrics.
Price: Starts from USD$220/month (Inclusive of 300k events)
Adobe Analytics is designed for enterprise users and competes with Google Analytics 360.
- Adobe Analytics dashboard can be customized across a wide range of formats and viewed on mobile and desktop, making it an excellent alternative to Google Analytics.
- This web analytics tool gives you real-time visitor intelligence, telling you about visitor profiles, their purchasing info, and their loyalty towards your brand.
- With Adobe Analytics, you can create Paths and Funnels. You can also import external data.
- Excellent Enterprise functionalities (share segments, reports with your organization and have them auto-update when you change them for everyone, instead of sharing the same report over and over again with the same people, like in Google Analytics etc.)
- Slicker analysis functionality (a true drag-and-drop playground) with the best and most advanced calculated metrics builder.
- There is a big learning curve for customizations and implementation. Without at least 2-3 skilled in-house analysts (technically and analytically), you probably will not be able to extract much value from the software.
- Unless you define traffic source, Adobe Analytics cannot automatically detect where your visitors are coming from.
Price: Starts from USD$50,000/Year (Negotiated)
Besides the above web analytic tools, here are over 20 web analytics tools alternatives you can explore further.
- Going Up
- Grape Web Statistics
- AT Internet
- WebTrends Analytics
- The Webilizer
Web analytics offers you valuable data (about your website and visitors), which if interpreted correctly and acted on time, can bring significant positive results (high conversion rates) to your website. So, if you have made no changes to your website, based on your web analytical data, then you are missing out on wonderful opportunities that web analytics presents that could skyrocket the success of your website with little work and cost on your part.
If you enjoyed this lecture on Web Analytics, you might also be interested in checking out our next Internet Marketing course on User Experience and Usability Testing.