How do you function with your eyes closed?

Posted by Dave CollinsAnalytics

I’m going to make some assumptions about you and your website.

1: You probably have Google Analytics installed on your website.

2: You probably don’t use it very much.

A lot of companies follow three typical stages with Analytics.

Stage 1: Analytics is setup and the code installed on the website.

Stage 2: Lots of clicking on all the options. Most users quickly feel overwhelmed. Paralysis sets in.

Stage 3: The account is looked at every few months. Most users don’t go beyond the graph showing visitors over the last month.

Talk about wasted opportunities.

Analytics will give you priceless, critical and actionable information about your website.

It can stop you wasting time, sharpen your priorities, strengthen your weakest links and help you make more money.

To set the ball rolling I’m going to show you how to gauge your website’s performance in the search engines over the last year. The whole thing will take you less than one minute.

Go into your analytics account:


Change the time period to the last year or so. The easiest way is to simply click on the date, change the first year to 2011 and click apply. This will give you the last 13 months of data without wasting time.

Now change the graph to display data on a weekly basis to smooth the trends a little:

At this point we’re looking at the number of visits, so let’s use a preset segment to isolate only organic search traffic:

We’re now looking at the number of visits from organic searches. In the example we can see that the volume of traffic has dropped dramatically.

But traffic from the search engines is about quality more than quantity, so let’s also have a look at the bounce rates.

The graph now shows us that the bounce rates have gone up, but only very slightly.

So with an investment of 60 seconds, we’ve seen that the amount of organic traffic from the search engines has dropped by about 50-60%. Since then it’s been more or less steady with a slight improvement around the start of the year.

Analytics won’t (unfortunately) fix these issues, but in an incredibly short amount of time, you’re identified a very real problem that will almost certainly be having a knock-on effect on your sales.

How’s your organic traffic?