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The Novice’s Guide to Website Analysis

What is website analysis?

Website analysis is a broad process that falls under Search Engine Optimization or SEO. The process is also a part of on-page optimization.

Reviewing a website involves different analytic tools that all boil down to how well sites perform on search engines. Many factors influence performance such as reach, response, engagement, navigation, speed, competition, traffic, etc.

With proper website analysis, you know what is working and what isn’t. You will find flaws on your website and areas for improvement. Fusing all the results can steer your site in the right direction.

Performing a regular website analysis provides in-depth information to form strategies and achieve your goals. Having factual data about page rank, on-page issues, domain status, keywords, traffic, bounce rate, and landing pages is the first step to great SEO and rankings.

An informative guide to website analysis

When was the last time you analyzed your website inside and out?

If your answer to this question is “I haven’t” or “I used some free online tools to analyze my site,” then; my friend, it’s time to get serious about your website. You are doing justice to your business or your responsibilities.

With fantastic web analytic solutions in the market, it’s high time to start using them. Let’s start with Google Analytics – an analytic tool freely available to all the web site owners.

Advantages of Google Analytics

It is free. Google treats every website owner equally. Whether you are a startup, small, medium, or a big business, every website owner can use Google analytic tools without paying a dime. Google Analytics is 100% free; all you need is a Google account to start. Which BTW, you must have Google Analytics tracking on your website.

It is easy. A rookie and a pro, both can use google analytics. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to understand the jargon or to figure out how customization works. Google’s intuitive user interface and simple dashboard can get people from novice to master pretty fast.

It provides actionable insights. You can easily use analyzed data to get actionable insights. This helps website owners resolve issues and optimize websites. Keep a very close eye on the following metrics:

  • Website visitors
  • Source
  • Activity
  • Top-performing pages

Apart from Google Analytics, there are plenty of paid tools you can utilize for website analysis. Here is a list of paid website analytic tools

How to use Google Analytics for website analysis

To understand your customers, monitor your business, and get insights on website activities, use Google Analytics. Even though it is easy to learn Google Analytics, you still need patience, practice, and experience to master the tool. So, we’re going to break it down and show you how to start using Google Analytics.

Setup a Google Analytics account

Create a Google Analytics account using your own Google account, an account you plan to keep forever. Never allow other persons to create and manage your analytics account using their own Google account credentials. Give others access to your analytics account and revoke it whenever you want.

  • Create a Google Analytics account by using your Google account credentials to sign in.
  • Set up your analytics account by clicking on “Setup for Free”.
  • Enter a suitable account name.
  • Let all the data sharing settings be in default mode and press “Next”.
  • Select what do you want to measure – web, Apps, or both Web and Apps. (In our case, it will be the web). Press “Next”.
  • Enter your business or website name like ‘Adam Cycle Store’ or ‘XYZ Pizza’.
  • Enter the website URL you want to track.
  • Select the industry type from the drop-down menu.
  • Update the reporting time zone. Click “Create”.

setup Google analytics for website analysis

  • Accept the Google Analytics terms of service and the Google Measurement Controller-Controller Data Protection Terms.
  • Voila! You just set up and created your Google Analytics Account.

Install Google Analytics on a website

The installation of Google Tracking ID varies depending on the platform, themes, or plugins you use. Whenever in doubt, search a bit to find tips, tricks, and utilities to install the tracking code on your website.

  • Google Analytics generates a Tracking ID for each of your properties (websites). A tracking ID looks similar to UA-XXXXXX-X.
  • Along with the tracking ID, you also get Global Site Tag (gtag.js), which is a tracking code for the property you wish to add in the Google Analytics account.

website analysis Setup

  • Copy the entire code available in the snippet.
  • Paste the code in your website template to create an analyticstracking.php file.
  • Add <?php include_once(“analyticstracking.php”) ?> after your template’s <body> tag in every webpage you want to track.
  • For an HTML website analysis, add the tracking code before the </head> tag on each of the web pages you want to analyze. The best way is to use a text editor program and upload the file using FTP programs like FileZilla.
    • If you find this procedure difficult, then you can find several plugins for WordPress that will help you insert the tracking code on every page of the website. On some websites, you have to add the tracking code manually.

Google Analytics Made Simple – How to Measure Your ROI

Main Street ROI sat down with Convirza and a group of customers. The discussion was very hands-on and granular. If you would like to know more about any of the following topics, the webinar recording is included here.

  • How to install Google Analytics on your website… correctly
  • How to set up Goals and Funnels to track conversions and measure your ROI
  • How to analyze traffic trends over time
  • How to find where your leads and sales are coming from
  • How to measure your SEO results within Google Analytics
  • The biggest Google Analytics mistakes that YOU are probably making right now

Establish goals for website analysis

After installing the tracking code on your website, it is time to set up goals for website analysis. Setting goals help you understand when something important has happened on your website. For example, when leads are generated, when someone fills up subscription forms, etc. Additionally, you can create about 20 goals for website analysis.

  • Click on “Admin”.
  • Go to View >> Goals.

setup analytic goals for website analysis 

  • Click on the “+New Goal” button.

Create a new goal for website analysis 

  • To set new goals, there are three substitutes
    • Template: It is a prefilled configuration with different categories such as Revenue, Acquisition, Enquiry, and Engagement. Each category has a different set of attributes. Depending on how you want to analyze your website visitors you can set goals for all the three categories.
    • Custom: Opt for custom goals when you think the template goal categories are irrelevant or the third option Smart Goal is not important for you. Set a custom goal by clicking on the custom option and then press the “Continue” button.
    • Smart:Mostly used when you are running an AdWords campaign. Set a smart goal using AdWords optimization tools to track and enhance conversions. To set the goal check it, give it a name, and press the “Continue” button.

website analysis goal setting options

  • The second step is “Goal Description”.
  • Describe or name each goal along with its type.
  • There are four types to select from Destination, Duration, Pages/Screens per session, and Event.

website analysis Goal Description

  • The third and final stage is “Goal Details”.
  • Our goal type was the duration. Therefore, select the duration, as if someone stays on a specific web page for more than 10 minutes.
  • If you want, assign a monetary value to each goal by toggling on the value button and assigning a dollar value.
  • Hit the “Save” button.
  • Hurray! You just created and saved a new goal for website analysis.

Manage permissions to access website analytics

After adding the tracking code on your website, it might take up to 24 hours to show the analytics data in your Google Analytics account.

  • Open Google Analytics Account.
  • Go to the gear icon present at the bottom left and hit the “Admin” button.
  • Go to Property >> Property User Management — You will land on Property Permissions page
  • Click on the Blue Plus button present at the top of the right corner.

Manage Permissions for Website Analysis 

  • Click “Add users”. Enter email addresses for each person you want to give access to your website analytics.
  • You can allow them to either Edit or just Read & Analyze the analytics, by checking or unchecking the boxes available for modifying the permissions.

Add Permissions for Website Analysis 

  • Being a page admin, revoke, or modify the permissions at will.
  • Bravo! Now you are all set to use Google Analytics.

Website analysis through Google Analytics

The Google analytic interface is designed elegantly to provide useful and actionable data along with some valuable insights. For first time users, the intricate charts and tables might feel overwhelming and hard to navigate. Therefore, here is an attempt to simplify the Google Analytics interface so that you can conduct website analysis efficiently and effectively.

Home Page

The google analytics home page displays everything interesting and important for website analysis.

  • The top two cards visible in the below screenshot shows overall traffic and conversions (Users, Revenue, Conversion Rate, Sessions).
  • You can change the metric anytime to change the graph.
  • The home page shows the number of visitors present on your site at present and the pages they are browsing.
  • The left side navigation panel is pretty self-explanatory.

Website Analysis for Home Page

Audience Overview Report

It is the first card you usually see when you log in to your google analytics account.
Website Analysis Audience Overview Report

  • The card shows a summary or an overview of audiences.
  • At the bottom of the report, you will see a hyperlink that takes you to a more detailed report.
  • The report contains, the number of users active on your website, their sessions, page views, pages per session, average session duration, bounce rate, and the percentage of new sessions.
  • You can use this report to drill down users’ demographics, the system they used, mobile devices, they used to visit your website, and much more.

Real-time Report

The real-time report allows you to monitor and analyze marketing efforts and technical changes carried out on the website.Website Analysis Real-Time Report

  • The real-time report of the analytics home page shows the total number of active users, page views per minute, top active pages, and the number of active users on each page.
  • At the bottom of the report card, there is a link that will take you to an elaborate real-time report.
  • The detailed report shows the number of users active at the moment using desktop and mobile devices.
  • It also shows the total number of page views per minute/per second.
  • Apart from that, it also shows top referrals, top active pages, top social traffic, top keywords, and top locations.
  • Use detailed real-time reports for quick debugging and monitoring.

Acquisition Report

The acquisition report shows you a detailed summary of all the channels sending traffic or visitors to your website. In addition to that, it also shows acquisition, behavior, and conversion details obtained for each channel.
Website Analysis Acquisition Report

  • The acquisition report on the home page is a summary of a broader report that can be visited by clicking on the link available below the report card.
  • The report shows traffic channels, sources, and referrals for each visit.
  • Typically, the traffic channels are divided into Organic Search, Paid Search, Direct, Referral, Social, and Other.
  • The detailed report shows user history at the top and can be customized.
  • Below you will see the traffic divided according to sources in three categories – Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions.
  • The report allows you to use the secondary dimension or change the default style into graphs and charts.
  • Use the acquisition report to understand marketing strategy and draw traffic to your website. Implement changes and convert the traffic to qualified converting leads.

Cohort Analysis Report

Cohort means a set of characters shared by a group of users. The cohort analysis report remains the single most actionable report in google analytics.
Cohort Website Analysis Report

  • The report shows cohort time, which is equal to the acquisition date.
  • Usually, the cohort size is set to week and the data range is set to last 6 weeks.
  • The colored box shows cohort users set as per the time they are acquired.
  • A Short cohort analysis report shows groups of people grouped in the vertical dimension and the horizontal dimension shows the time they visited your site for the first time.
  • Click on the link present below to get a detailed cohort analysis report.
  • Use this report to compare two different user groups and to understand is their business is growing or going down.

Other Analytics

Apart from the reports mentioned above, the google analytics home page helps a lot in understanding and analyzing different fragments of website analysis.

  • You can understand at what time of the day your website has the peak traffic.
  • You can use it to analyze the countries from where you get the most traffic.
  • You can use it to understand what device is majorly used by the users to reach your website.
  • One of the cards in analytics homepage cards shows the top pages on your website getting the highest page views and has the highest page value.
  • You can also analyze the performance of your PPC or Google Ads campaign through the GA home page.
  • If you have set goals, then you also get an analytic card on the home page summarizing how your website is doing against set goals.
  • E-commerce vendors can understand top-selling products on the website.

Detailed Website Analysis


BONUS GLOSSARY

We put together a list of the most common terms in website analysis. Hopefully, it helps.

  • Bounce rate – Total percentage of visitors visiting and navigating away from a website within seconds after landing on a webpage.
  • Conversion – When a visitor responds affirmatively to a call-of-action fulfilling expected outcome. Example: purchasing a product, filling a contact form, etc.
  • Hit – Also called a page hit, the retrieval of any item (image, page) from a web server.e4rchecker
  • Impression – the number of times a piece of content (like an online advertisement) is seen; the views.
  • Keyword – in search engine optimization, the particular word or phrase that describes the contents of a web page. Keywords serve as clues or shortcuts that summarize the content of a page and help search engines match pages with searches.
  • New visitor – visitors who have reached a site for the first time. This is important in comparison with return visitors as an indication of loyalty and site value.
  • Organic search – describes a search that generates results that are not paid advertisements.
  • Pageviews – the instance of an Internet user visiting a particular page on a site. A pageview is recorded whenever a full page of your website is viewed or refreshed.
  • Pageviews per visit – the average number of page views per visit over a given time.
  • Returning visitor – a visitor who can be identified with multiple visits, through cookies or authentication.
  • Unique visitor –the number of distinct individuals who request pages from a website during a specific period, no matter how many times they visit.
  • Visitor – also called a unique visitor; an individual visiting a website during a given time.
  • Visits – the number of times a site is visited, no matter the number of unique visitors that make up those sessions
  • Web analytics – the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of web data for understanding and optimizing web usage; the study of web usage behaviors
  • Load time – the average amount of time in seconds that it takes a page to load right from page view (i.e. Click on the link) to completion of page-load in the browser window
  • Entry page – the first page that a visitor arrives at on a website from another domain
  • Exit page – the last page that a visitor accesses during a visit before leaving a website
  • Landing page (from Digital Analytics Association) – the page intended to identify the beginning of the user experience resulting from a defined marketing effort. A landing page is a standalone web page that has been designed for a single objective.
  • Link referrals – a count of all referrals from links to other websites (that does not include search engines or social networks) during a selected period.
  • Minutes per visit (time on site) – the average length of a visit to a website during a selected time.
  • Referral – visitors referred by links on other websites
  • Session – a record of a single visitor browsing a website during a given time. This can include multiple screens or page views, events, or eCommerce transactions. Sessions end at midnight on the day a session was initiated or after 30 minutes of inactivity.
  • Social referrals – a count of all referrals from social networks during a selected period.
  • Top viewed pages – pages that were most viewed during a selected time range.
  • Visits by country – visits a website over a selected time range, broken down by the country of the visitor

And there we have it.  You now are well acquainted with all the Google Analytics tools and terms necessary for website analysis. Although this guide has not covered the advanced or pro features, it’s plenty to get rolling. When you learn Google Analytics, you almost can’t help but have a well- optimized site with nicely improving results.

Please don’t forget to bookmark this glossary and the Google Analytics guides!

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