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Using Google to Analyze Your Goals

the qr databook logo for all medical information The QR Databook logo[/caption]Every website has a goal, its purpose for being. The purpose for QR Databook.com is to offer anyone a convenient method to carry their entire medical history with them wherever they go. The goal of the site is to have someone complete the interest form which will be used to collect the data to create a QR Databook. If your site has a goal that is important to track you will then need a means to monitor if the goal is being met. This is one of the services provided by using Google Analytics.

an image of the google analytic's page

Google Analytic

Google Analytics provides the means to track multiple usage type of traffic to your site. You can track how much traffic is coming to your site, where it is coming from, how time a viewer spends on your site and if a goal is being met. As with QR Databook.com, the goal is to find out how many viewers check out the “requestformnew” page.

If your site has similar goals the first step is to establish a Google Analytics account. In order to use Google Analytics, you’ll need to set up an account with them. If you already have a gmail account you are already one step closer to using the analytical services. This will provide you with a unique identifier to add to your site. You can only access information about your own site.

You will not be allowed access to information for other sites unless the site owner explicitly grants it to you. The only people with access to your information will be yourself, and those you give special permissions to. 

Go to the Google Analytics website (Google.com/Analytics). If you have a Google account already, use your email address and password to sign in. 

  1. Click the Sign Up button to continue.
  2. In the next window, provide Google with the URL of the site you wish to analyze.
  3. Give the site an account name that is easy to remember. If you will be tracking multiple sites, this is especially important.
  4. Select the country your site is based in, or the country it is serving. Then select the appropriate time zone. 
  5. Click Continue.
  6. In the next window, provide your contact information.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. In the next window, read the Google Analytics terms of service. If you agree with them, click the Yes box.
  9. Click Create New Account.

Google will provide you with a block of code. Copy this – you’ll need to insert it into your web site. You must insert the code that Google Analytics provides you with into every page you want tracked. This will help when you want to measure how people move from one page of your site to another. If you understand how to edit HTML, this block of code must go between the HEAD TAG of each page. If you are using a service like WordPress, you’ll need to open the footer.php file to place this code.

The moment you set up your account and insert Google’s JavaScript into your pages, Google Analytics will be ready to provide you with charts that will give you an overview of your site’s performance. However the service may take up to 24 hours to begin gathering data for your site. 

The main information I track is the Visits, Traffic Sources and Bounce Rate. Visits maintain the number of viewers, Traffic Sources will define where the traffic originated from and Bounce Rate gauges how long viewers stay on your site. 

If you have planned a campaign through Twitter, FaceBook or a Blog the Traffic Sources Overview will define how many of your visitors came from those other sites. This can be used to qualify how well your campaign is accomplishing driving traffic to your site.

The Bounce Rate gauges if traffic sticks to your site or just bounce away. This is one of the reasons why it is important to place your Google Analytics code on every page, other wise if the viewer moves from a page on your site to another page on your site that does not have the code; it will appear as though the viewer has left your site. A good bounce rate is open to opinion but on average a good rate is from 30% to 50%. This percentage is the amount of traffic that leaves your site after viewing an entrance page. The lower the bounce rate number the better the stickiness of your site. 

image of google analytic admin button

Google Analytic admin button

To establish a goal; select the admin menu item from the top menu bar and then click on the Goals tab. You can set up to 20 goals, select one of the goal set links to create your goal. As was mentioned above a goal for QR Databook is to track how many users land on the “requestformnew” page. The goal was named Interest Form and the URL was selected as the Goal type. The URL was set as /requestformnew.php as it is not necessary to include the entire page path from the domain to the page. This information was saved and then added to the main Dashboard as the Dashboard can be customized to fit your needs. 

Google Analytics provides important data for web site owners to track however I am in the process of learning and I am not yet an expert on everything Analytic but I do encourage you to sign up an begin your own goals analysis. 

Do you have a favorite set up for Google Analytics? Please share.

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