Google Analytics

edited February 2015 in The Toolbox
I've had Google Analytics set up on the JAQrabbit Tales site for a while, but haven't actually looked at it until now.  An avalanche of what-the-hell-does-this-even-mean stuff, but some interesting factoids.  For example, the majority of visitors are using Chrome as their browser, more than all others. Which I guess means I should do more checking of the web site in Chrome, since I don't use it myself. 

More usefully, it tells me that the majority of my incoming traffic is now coming from one place: a directory of gay porn sites with a category for "cartoons". The site is curated by a person based on submissions, so the sites it links to are reasonably high-quality (by web standards). This traffic is all to the main page (which always shows the latest post) rather than to individual stories, and from there a lot of visitors go to the "Intro" page. That's a 1-page talking-heads comic I threw together before there was much content on the site, and maybe I need to re-do that, with newer art.  Also, it tells me that visitors typically follow the link on that page to the first story page I posted, which is pretty much what I intended. But it also shows me that they're not necessarily following thru very far in that direction, so maybe it would be a good idea to turn that page into a teaser for some of the other kinds of stories and send readers to them directly.

That's what I've been able to get out of it so far.  Anyone else getting any useful info from Google Analytics on their web sites?


  • I have an unspeakable love for Google Analytics. But it's so much overkill for what I need. I mainly keep an eye on unique visits to make sure it's still trending up, however slowly. (I have to force myself to stay away from the Real Time stats.) 

    The rest of the time I manage to stick to a few items under Acquisition. For instance, I look at All Traffic--> Sources/Medium to see where it all comes from. When I'm running ads I look at the New Visits, Bounce Rate, and Pages per Visit. Those are what I use to evaluate the quality of the ads I'm running. 

    Under Search Engine Optimization, I look at Queries to see how people are finding the site using searches. Oddly the largest number is from people searching for "Greg Carter". The site turns up in the first page of listings when searching on my name. 

    Under Social, I look at Network Referrals. Again, to see how much comes from where. 

    The amount of "mobile" traffic I get is interesting. It's sitting at 15% right now. So I keep checking the site on my tablet and iPhone to make sure it looks okay. It's not a "responsive" site, but it looks good on my phone. It scales very well. So the mobile stats are good to check. It even breaks the devices out. 

    I try the site in Safari (8%), IE (10%), Firefox (35%), and Chrome (38%). I only occasionally check the browser stats to see if they've change. 

  • I mostly use it when I do ad campaigns to see if I'm actually driving visits to the page (and where they're coming from). I also like to see upards trends in traffic overall, but that analysis takes a lot of time to accumulate. I'm in a slightly different boat from your comics, since mine is for kids.
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