How can you measure your online efforts and success?  Google Analytics!  An amazing tool that anyone with a domain should be leveraging.  It’s easy to install even for the novice user.  The unique reporting features will give you an insight into your domain performance.  You can track the activity and behavior of your website visitors, analyze newly emerging trends and track goal conversions.  If you are new to Google Analytics and would like learn more about this measurement tool head on over to the official Google Analytics website for more details.  In order to create a new account you will simply need an active Google account.

About Google Analytics Basics & Features

There are various sections that Google Analytics offers for tracking and measurement of activity on your website.  Each section is referred to as a segment in the panel section.  It consists of the following segments which can now be found in the new version of Google Analytics:

  1. Visitors – provides details on your visitor activity broken down by Demographics, Behavior, Technology, Social Media, Mobile and Visitors Flow (New).
  2. Advertising – tracking information on the performance of your advertising campaigns.  If you’re using Google AdWords for Pay-Per-Click Marketing efforts here you will find data pertaining to success on your performance.
  3. Traffic Sources – in this particular section you can gain a deeper view into the Sources from which traffic to your website has been generation.  Additionally a separate dimension for Search Engine Optimization provides information on your organic traffic activity.
  4. Content – provides detailed information on the activity of your overall content on your website.  In addition to the Site Content dimension Google Analytics has recently added Site Speed, Event, Search and In-Page Analytics.  These are individual areas that you can further drill down into and analyze specific occurrences within body content.
  5. Conversions – here you can setup and monitor the individual goals you’re currently tracking on your website.  Anything from form submissions, E-Commerce and Multi-Channel Funnels.  Monitor the path to goal completions and see how users are converting on your website.

The Visitors Flow Report

A new report that was introduced to end users sometime in October/November 2011.  Its intent is to provide a graphical representation of the way users interacted with your site.  Anything from source to paths and exit pages that your visitors have browsed thru while accessing the domain of your website.

Google Analytics Visitors Flow Report

The report outlines specific nodes and connections that have taken place during the course of a visitor’s session.  What does this mean though in Layman’s Terms?

  1. Node – stands for a single metric within a dimension for which you’re currently filtering.  In other words this could be a representation of one or more pages on your website.
  2. Connection – shows the path users have taken and the volume of traffic that generated during the course of those sessions as a whole.

If you’re interested in finding out how end users are interacting with specific pages on your site this report will provide you with the necessary details.  Keep in mind that this particular report is only available in the new version of Google Analytics under the Visitors segment.  You will need to ensure that Google Analytics has been installed on your website in addition to having access to a good amount of data for reviewing of performance.