VetNetwork Blog

Use Google Analytics To Track Website Visits

0 Comments Posted by Alyssa Noonan in Product Solutions, Search Engine Optimization - SEO on Thursday, June 18th, 2009.

Having a professional website for your veterinary hospital is a must, but what’s the best way to track your hospital website’s effectiveness? How many people are visiting your website each week? How do they find your veterinary hospital website and, once they start browsing, what sort of information are they looking for? Google Analytics is an extremely useful tool that tracks a number of different statistics about your website and outputs these stats in easy to understand reports.

Google Analytics Basics

To sign up for Google Analytics, go to http://google.com/analytics. You’ll need a Google Account to get started; if you don’t have a Google Account, you can sign up for one on the Analytics homepage. Once your Google Account is squared away, you can create your Analytics account. As you’re guided through the set-up process, you’ll be given a tracking code to add to all the pages on your website. The code looks like this:

Once the code has been added to your website pages, Google Analytics will begin tracking visits to your website. (Note: it takes about 24 hours for Google to collect data, so don’t expect to see website statistics immediately after adding the tracking code.)

Reports

After Google has started collecting data, you’ll be able to view reports about your website’s statistics. When you sign into Google Analytics, you’ll be taken to the Reports Dashboard. The Reports Dashboard provides you with an overall view of traffic on your hospital’s website. You’ll first notice the graph at the top of the page. This is a visual representation of the number of visits to your website in a given time frame. A 30-day period is the default view, but you can change the graph by clicking on the date range in the upper-right corner of the graph and selecting your own beginning and end dates.

Under the graph is view of general site usage statistics. These statistics cover the date range specified above. The stats are broken down as follows:

Visits: These are the total number visits to your hospital’s website.

Page Views: This number tracks the total number of pages viewed on your website by visitors.

Pages/Visit: The average number of website pages viewed by a single visitor. This number is calculated by dividing the page views by the number of visits.

Bounce Rate: This percentage reflects the number of users who leave the website after visiting a single page.

Average Time On Site: This tracks how long, on average, a visitor spends browsing your website.

New Visits: Google differentiates between new visitors and returning visitors. A higher percentage of new visitors means your veterinary hospital website is attracting new users.

These numbers provide a basic overview of traffic on your website. You can view data by the day, week, month or year. In general, higher numbers of website visits, page views and new visits are best, while a lower-percentage for the bounce rate is better.

Other Reports

In the top left corner of the Analytics window, you’ll see 5 options: Dashboard, Visitors, Traffic Sources, Content and Goals. These report options provide extremely detailed data about the traffic on your website.

Visitors – The Visitors reports examine the visitors using your website. The Visitors Overview provides data similar to that found on the main Dashboard – the number of visits, page views, average page views, time spent on the website, the bounce rate and the percentage of new website visitors – as well as visitor trending data, a comparison of new vs. returning website visitors and a map overlay that shows the geographic location of your visitors.

Traffic Sources – The Traffic Sources reports show how visitors are finding your website. The Traffic Sources Overview breaks down website visits from three sources: direct visits (that is, users who typed your website address directly into their browser window); referring websites (users who followed a link to your site from another website), and search engines (users who found you by searching Google, Yahoo, etc.).

Content – The Visitors and Traffic Sources reports show the number of visitors to your website and how they’re finding it. The Content reports cover what those visitors are looking at and how long they’re looking at your website.

These are the most common statistics our veterinary hospital website clients look at when using Google Analytics. If you’re using Google AdWords, you can integrate your AdWords account with your Analytics account and set goals and benchmarks for traffic to your veterinary hospital website. You can also create customized reports using Google Analytics.

VetNetwork can add Google Analytics to your veterinary hospital’s website today. Please call us at 800-564-4215 to get started.

Written and Copyright ©
Mark Feltz, DVM
VetNetwork, LLC 2010
www.vetnetwork.com

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