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Free Website Help from Google Analytics

Services: Law Firm Website Design . SEO . Internet Marketing . Law Firm Marketing Guide . Content Marketing . PPC

Google Analytics is a free service that generates detailed statistics about the visitors to a website – statistics that law firms can then use to improve their site. Let me repeat the key word there: free.

Generally speaking, Google Analytics rocks the party because of its:

  • Performance;
  • Technology;
  • Interface/Usability; and
  • Reporting

Performance

Google Analytics (GA) allows you to track the number of visitors to your site, the top pages on your site that are being viewed, the average time a user is on your site, and the number of visitors from referral sites and more.

A law firm or business can use it to see what pages are viewed the most by their clients, and thus hone in on that page, perhaps by making banners directly to it from a homepage or blasting that specific link out in an email campaign. Or you can track landing pages of a Pay-Per-Click campaign and the conversions that campaign generated.   This is pretty powerful stuff.

You can track where users are coming into your site and, almost just as importantly, where they are exiting your site. One might wonder, does that page need revising? Why is everyone leaving from that page?

Technology

To apply Google Analytics to your site, there is a simple little JavaScript “page tag” that includes Google’s tracking code that gets placed in your site. Once placed, it starts tracking your site; it is that easy.

Interface/Usability

Upon first opening Google Analytics, you might seem slightly overwhelmed. It looks like there is a lot going on. Fortunately, Google has made it extremely user friendly (dare I say Apple-like intuitive.) The classifications and titles are and say, well, exactly what you want them to say. With that being said, Google just “redesigned” the layout (http://analytics.blogspot.com/search/label/New%20Google%20Analytics) yet again to have a “less is more approach.”

Here’s another cool thing. Google made it customizable. That’s right, you can alter the information that is being displayed. Don’t have a PPC campaign? No problem. No need to display information you don’t want.

The best part of the application is that you can’t screw anything up. Go ahead. Click around. Make it your own. And learn from it.

Reporting

What good is all this information if you can’t present it to the powers that be? For PaperStreet, the powers that be are our clients. For every website we build, we install Google Analytics. When we launch every site, we pass that information onto our clients. Reporting and gathering the information could change the targeted objective of what a client goes after. What they thought might be the best page on their site might not be at all.

Google allows a user to export their reports. You can email it, get a PDF or .xml file. You can filter the dates that you are reporting the information for. Has your site been up for well over a year and you want to compare visitors from this year to last? No problem. Google even allows users to create custom reports by dragging and dropping the information that they want to include in their specific report.

A Few Cons

In fairness, Google Analytics does have some limitations, dare I say flaws.  One of the biggest comes from users deleting or blocking Google Analytics’ cookies. Without these, Google Analytics is dead in the water.

Most times, however, this is not an issue because, to be honest, most users don’t know how to delete or block them. But it still is a possibility nonetheless. Competitors will point out Google Analytics does not have a dedicated iPhone version, social media analytics (there are other sites that do this better) or an official WordPress plugin.

However, with that being said, the pros far out weight the cons.

Oh, and did I mention it’s free?

PaperStreet installs Google Analytics for all our new website design clients but if you are interested in learning how to install it on your own site, please check out this handy link from Google: http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/static.py?page=guide.cs&guide=19779&topic=19783


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