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"analytics" category

Browser stats: reality check

23rd December 2011
Categories: analytics

A few years ago, too many to really remember, I wrote a blog post on how Firefox was creeping up on Internet Explorer in the access logs (there was no Google Analytics in those days, we had to rely on tools like Webalizer) and how one day Firefox and IE might be sort of equal in take-up.  In addition, our customers with a more techical fanbase were seeing Firefox and Safari users in significant numbers (but still not topping IE).

This year I have re-run my original survey, taking a sample of customer websites again - so I do stress that this is not a scientific survey in the sense that it does not represent the internet as a whole.

To my (mild) surprise, IE is still on top, but not much.  At around 33% on average across a variety of websites, including consumer websites.  Followed closely by Firefox at 27%, then Safari, then Chrome a poor 4th place.

However, on the more technically minded sites, Chrome is a clear winner, at 34% of users, followed by Firefox just pipping IE at the post, both on roughly 26%.

Within IE, across the whole sample, on average IE6 lags behind 7, 8, and 9, which is good news for users and developers alike, for reasons explained in previous posts.

Social sharing

Google analytics also reveals what it calls 'socially engaged' visits to our customers websites, visits prompted by sharing on twitter and facebook, for example.  These currently make up less than 1% of visits, but the presence of an emerging trend is obviously important.  If you're reading this and you're not giving your users a chance to share on facebook or twitter, or to +1 your web pages, have you been missing out on 1% of sales this year, 2% in 2012, 4% in 2013?

Mobile visits come in at 4% of all visits.  Again, this is an emerging trend that many website owners need to address and encourage.

The need for speed

Finally, Google Analytics also tells you how long your web pages take to load, which is an excellent measure of how much you're annoying users (little known fact: it also affects web page rankings).  Are your pages loading in under 3 seconds?  If not, it could be that you're on massively shared hosting, or the pages are built in an inefficient way, or both.  Come and talk to us!

It's likely that this is my last blog post before Christmas, so to all our readers:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

-Marcus


Google Analytics - Sources of Traffic

8th June 2010
Categories: analytics, seo

Once you've set up with Google Analytics (see the blog post), there's a wealth of information to explore.

The 'traffic sources' overview tells you how people are getting to your website. Within this, you can see what search engines and direct links brought people there.

Within 'traffic sources', 'Google (organic)' means that people used "Google search" rather than clicking on a google ad - preferable as you don't pay for organic links. If this statistic rises over time, your search engine optimisation is working.

Also within 'traffic sources', 'Keywords' tells you what people actually typed in to search engines to reach you. This usually gives a mixed set of results, some surprising and others not so. Using this may help you to brainstorm other words and phrases to work into your content in order to attract more traffic.

What is Google Analytics?

24th May 2010
Categories: analytics, seo

Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that can let you examine users' behaviour on any site.

It can be hooked up to Google Adwords, but it can also be free-standing.

Once you have signed up, Google will give you a small piece of code to place in the HTML of your website, which sends information back to Google. Using this information, Google can give you graphs and usage statistics, including a breakdown of referring websites and search engines.

You can also use Google Analytics to track goals - for example, downloads and forms being filled in. Attaching separate pieces of code to these events means Google can let you see how users are being funneled into these events.

To give it a try, browse to: http://www.google.com/analytics

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