Jason ShindlerI met Jason Shindler through our involvement at BizNik. After chatting on the phone and meeting in person at the recent Village Bellevue Net-Linking Event, I knew he had value to contribute to readers here.  Here is Part 1 of two posts intended to guide those who are a bit unclear about how to read their Google Analytics to make sense of the results they are enjoying at their websites as a result of their do-it-yourself publicity efforts.

Jason is the owner of Curvine Web Solutions, a Web site development firm in Bellevue. The company develops websites for small to medium-sized businesses. You can read more about Curvine Web Solutions by visiting this link and its blog.

Jason writes:

So you have listened to Nancy's great advice on how to use use public relations to build buzz for your business, right? As a result, customers, clients, reporters and other people are visiting your website. Now, it is time to take action and evaluate what has occurred and decide on future PR strategies.

Using Google Analytics, you can see who is visiting your website and take action based on the information. In this post, I'll  present two related ways to improve your PR using the information found in Google Analytics.

Quality versus Quantity. People tell me all of the time that there site gets thousands of hits. But what does that mean? Did you get 2,000 people who weren't interested in your services and products?  Or were there lots of people who were very interested in you and what you offer? You can determine this by visiting the dashboard and reviewing the number of pages per visit. People who visit one page are generally not interested. People who visit 10 pages might be more interested. There are no universal rules to how many pages per visit is normal, as the structure of a site, the technology used and the type of content make every site different.  However, higher pages/visit is typically better. Note that many people get confused between hits, page views, and visits.  A great piece on the difference between these confusing terms is located here.

Visits to your Website Should not Bounce. The bounce rate is related to the number of pages/visit and is also an indicator of quality of traffic. A bounce means that someone came to the first page they visited and then didn't visit any other pages. In almost all cases, a “bounce” represents a visitor who wasn't interested in your site. Higher bounce rates are bad. Again, they are no general rules on what is an appropriate bounce rate, but you can compare different referring sites or ad campaigns to see which is more effective and which is generating the right type of visitor for your site.

What have you put learned about your own site traffic as reflected by your own Google Analytics? Let us hear from you. You can respond here, or read more about Web site development at my blog.