What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a free service provided by Google which helps you to analyse the data about visitors to your website and their actions. At BFI we install Google Analytics on all new sites we build to help you get the most from your website.
How to Log Into Your Google Analytics Account
To sign into your Google Analytics account go to http://www.google.com/analytics, click SIGN IN at the top right of your screen and enter your Google email address and password.
How to View Google Analytics Data
When you log into your Google Analytics account you will see a list of websites that you have access to. If you click on one of these websites you will see a range of important information about your website traffic which can be examined to discover areas of improvement.
The important information is split up into four primary categories which are accessible from the left-hand sidebar:
The first thing to do is to select a date range by clicking the box at the top right of your screen. Here there is an option to show comparative data by selecting two different ranges, which is useful for comparing data from different months.
1) Audience Reports
The audience section shows you information about the different types of user on your website. This is really useful for understanding the profiles of your customers and helping you to adjust your business strategy accordingly. This is broken down into several sub-categories which are accessible from the left sidebar.
Overview – This highlights the key metrics of the users on your website. This includes the Number of Users, Page Views, Pages Per Session, Session Duration, Bounce Rate and more. This is one of the best ways to get a quick understanding of how many people are visiting your website.
Demographics – This shows the statistics for the age and gender of the users on your website. This also shows which ages and genders convert the most, which will help with targeting a specific audience with your advertising.
Geo – This shows the languages and the locations of the users on your website. This can be filtered to show the exact city that people are visiting your website from. This is a useful tool for understanding if your marketing strategy is reaching the right regions and it also helps content marketers to create locally targetted content.
Behaviour – A breakdown of the percentages of new visitors vs returning visitors to your website, and the behaviour of each of these categories. If you notice that returning visitors have a much higher conversion rate than first-time visitors, then you should try to get first-time visitors back on your website by having a blog or email subscription form.
Technology & Mobile – Detailed information on the different browsers and technology used by visitors to your website. This often shows the importance of having a website which is responsive and optimised for devices as more people are viewing websites on mobiles every year.
2) Acquisition Reports
The Acquisition reports are vital for understanding which of your marketing efforts are succeeding. Here you can see a breakdown of the different sources of traffic to your website and their behaviour.
Organic Search – This refers to the number of visitors to your site from having your website showing up on the organic search engine rankings. These statistics are achieved by having search engine optimisation on your website and having a website which is deemed relevant, as opposed to having paid advertisements.
Referral – Referral traffic is when someone clicks on a hyperlink to your website from a website which is not a search engine or a social media website.
Paid Search – Paid search is any source of traffic where you pay for each time someone clicks on a link to your website. This can be by banner advertising, Google Shopping, or Google Adwords.
Direct – Direct traffic is when people go straight to your website from their browser without clicking on in through any other source.
Social – Social shows how many people click on your website from your social media pages. If you click on this section you can see the figures from each specific Social Media channel such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn.
Email – This is the traffic to your website where people click on your website from a link in an email. Note that sometimes Google records this as referral traffic.
3) Behaviour Reports
The Google Analytics Behaviour section details the behaviour of users once they are on your website. This includes which pages are clicked on and what route they take through your website and can give you a good indication of what content users prefer and what they are looking for from your website.
The overview provides a quick overview of the information of the behaviour of visitors on the website. This includes
- Total Page Views
- Unique Page Views
- Average time on Page
- Bounce Rate
- % Exit
- Page Views for the top 10 most viewed pages.
You can see a full report of the page views for every page on your website by clicking ‘view full report’.
Behaviour Flow Report
The behaviour Flow Report shows a flow diagram of the journey that users take on your website. This is a great way to help you understand how users travel from page to page throughout your website. By analysing this you can help you improve your calls to action and inner linking on your website to ensure users are travelling down the correct routes and visiting the pages you’d like them to.
4) Conversion Reports
Tracking conversions on your website is really important to ensure your marketing efforts are succeeding and users are taking the action you want them to complete. Conversions can be either monitored as an e-commerce transaction or as the completion of a goal.
A goal can be defined as:
- URL Destination – This is good for tracking actions such as submitting a contact form. For example, once the form is submitted they could direct to the URL www.yourwebsite.co.uk/thank-you.
- Time on Site
How to set up Goal Tracking in Google Analytics
- Start by selecting Admin at the bottom left of your dashboard.
- Select Goals from under from View menu on the right.
- Select the red New Goal button.
Once you have selected New Goal you can then either select a template or create a custom goal.
Templates are a selection of pre-defined popular business objectives which are divided into four categories:
If there is not a template for your desired goal you can easily set up a custom goal.
To set up a custom goal select Custom and click continue.
You can the choose from four different types of goal.
If your website has an e-commerce store, you will need to enable e-commerce tracking to monitor the conversions in Analytics.
How to set up E-commerce Tracking in Google Analytics
- Click on Admin on the bottom left of the screen.
- In the view column click ‘Ecommerce Settings’.
- Set Enable E-commerce to ON
- Click Next Step
- Click Submit
Once you have tracking set up, you can view all the transactions that take place on your website and compare which products are selling.
- Under Conversions on the left sidebar select E-commerce
- Under E-commerce select Product Performance
Here you will see a breakdown all the different products you have sold. This will include
- Quantity Sold
- Unique Purchases
- Product Revenue
- Average Price
- Average Quantity
This is a simple way to get an overview of which products are the most popular and which produce the most revenue. Low-cost high volume products may present an upselling opportunity. It can also help to answer questions about why products aren’t selling – is their price too high? Is website traffic directing to the product page?
Google Analytics and SEO
This is a starter guide to understanding your Google analytics, there are many more capabilities and filters you can use to fine-tune your marketing strategy to get the most from your website.
Understanding and analysing Google Analytics plays a key part in any Search Engine Optimisation strategy. At BFI we work closely with the analytics data and your business goals to ensure that your website is working to generate the most leads or revenue. For more information on our SEO packages please visit our Search Engine Optimisation page.
When undertaking an organic SEO campaign, the purpose is to produce a positive ROI from appearing in the Google search results. One way of examining these results is by looking at how SEO is driving traffic to your website and helping to produce conversions, whether this is through goals tracking, or ecommerce transactions.
The most common way to observe this is through Google Analytics. Here there is an option to view the acquisition and behavior of visitors to your website. On the dashboard you can view a breakdown of the number of visitors to your website, and also the different sources of this traffic, such as Google Organic, Google Adwords, Email Marketing, Social Media, and more.
How to View Conversions from Organic Search Results
Step 1: On the left hand sidebar, click Acquisition > Overview. You should see something similar to the screenshot below.
Step 2: You can select a specific date range in the top right of the screen.
Step 3: If you click on “Organic Search”, you will see a breakdown of the organic search traffic for the specified date range, and any conversions that have resulted from this traffic.
This is a really useful tool to show you whether or not SEO is helping to bringing customers to your website.
However, one thing that is often overlooked when examining this information is something called Assisted Conversions.
When Google shows the number of conversions under the field “Organic”, it only shows conversions where clicking on the website through organic listings was the last channel that was used before completing a conversion.
This omits a key fact about SEO:
Organic SEO does not just complete a conversion – it also assists conversions from other channels.
How to View Assisted Conversions
To discover how organic SEO is helping to convert users from other channels follow the steps below.
On the left sidebar navigate to Conversions > Multi-Channel Functions > Top Conversion Paths
At the top left hand-side of the page, click “Conversion Segments” and on the right click “Create a New Conversion Segment”.
Set up a new conversion segment. Name this segment “Value of SEO”.
Select the first conversion path option to “Include any interaction from the MCF channel grouping” for Organic Search.
Select the second conversion path option to “Exclude the last interaction from the MCF channel grouping” for Organic Search.
You should then see an overview of all of the times where organic search results played a role in the conversion of a customer, but was not the final channel before the conversion.
You might be surprised at how many conversions were started by a customer finding the website on the organic search results but completed by another channel!
Get in Touch
The web is moving toward a time where all websites use SSL on all pages by default:
A secure SSL certificate was previously only necessary for checkout pages and those handling sensitive data. At BFI we’ve tended to only recommend them for websites that don’t outsource card handling to pages hosted by SagePay, PayPal or similar.
Since 2014 Google has been gently guiding us towards a more secure web – a project they called “HTTPS Everywhere” – indicating that in the future HTTPS would be used as a ranking signal (albeit a tiny one) when determining where to rank website pages in the search results. So far, the impact of that has been very minor.
Fast forwarding to the end of 2016, Google have stepped up the encouragement, releasing an update to the Chrome web browser that will “mark HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards as non-secure, as part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure.”
This is part of a plan to eventually mark all HTTP pages as “Not secure”, regardless of their nature:
What does this mean for me?
In the short-term, it means that from the end of January 2017, websites with log-in pages – members areas, customer accounts, back-end admin pages etc. – that don’t use HTTPS:// in the URL will show a “Not secure” message in the address bar on Chrome:
Although Google Chrome will be the first browser to do this (Chrome has 46% of the UK market share), Firefox follows closely (11% of UK market share). It’s only a matter of time before the remaining browsers (Safari, 21%) and Microsoft Edge (6%) do the same.
To prevent this “Not secure” message showing on your log-in pages, it’s best to upgrade your website to use SSL.
In the long-term, Chrome will be warning when ANY page is not secure, so at BFI we’ll be building all new sites with “HTTPS everywhere” by default.
What should I do now?
You can now order the upgrade for your site online. For most sites a basic certificate will cost £49/year + VAT and it’ll cost £170 + VAT to implement for a ‘normal’ GetTrolleyed, WordPress or WooCommerce site.
Upgrades will be applied on a first-come-first-served basis, so we would urge you to book your upgrade quickly (and pay online) to avoid delay:
Take a look at our feature page to find out more about our WooCommerce WordPress plug-in:
If you’re an existing customer we can install & configure the extension free of charge; if you maintain your own website code the plug-in is instantly available to download after payment.
We’re testing our pilot stores through April 2016 and are currently taking pre-orders.
Keep an eye on our V12 page for the latest details and how to pre-order:
V12 Retail Finance integration with WooCommerce
Despite campaigns recently to increase awareness about the need for secure passwords in the UK, many web users leave use themselves open to hackers by choosing easy to guess and insecure passwords. A survey by Visa Europe found that “over three-quarters choose passwords relating to friends, family and memorable dates” whilst following a phishing attack on Twitter it was found that the five most common passwords are: password1, abc123, myspace1, password.
- 66% of users use the same password for more than one website
- 46% of users use the same 2 to 3 passwords for every website they access
- 45% of users use passwords made up only of dictionary words or names (the most easily cracked)
The lack of proper password security is one of the factors contributing to the ongoing problem of online fraud in the UK. The UK Cybercrime report identified the following worrying statistics: Read the rest of this entry »
Website owners who use Google Analytics generally want to see where traffic is coming from and what keywords/phrases they used. It is easy to become frustrated especially when we see large amounts of visits being labelled “not provided” or “not set”.
But what exactly do they mean? We will try and explain in more detail below.
There’s a mandatory change being made by SagePay this year migrating all customers from protocol v2 to v3. If you run a BFI ecommerce website, it’s likely that your current payment integration will no longer function after July 31st 2015. To continue taking online payments into August, your website must be updated to use the new v3 protocol.
Unless you ask us not to, your website will be upgraded from SagePay v2 to SagePay v3 during May & June. This will be a billable upgrade.
The upgrade process is low-risk and will work as follows:
- We’ll contact you to arrange the upgrade. One of the BFI team members will let you know the price & the upgrade date.
- We’ll build a new additional v3 payment module and apply it to your live website, but we won’t enable it.
- We’ll configure and test the v3 module, without live customers being able to see it.
- Once tested, we’ll enable the v3 module and give you a call. You’ll be able to put through a live transaction using your card, and then refund it.
- Once this second test is complete, we’ll remove the old v2 module from your website.
- The upgrade is complete.
At the moment there is nothing you’ll need to do. We’re working through our clients in batches and will contact everyone affected in the next 4-6 weeks to arrange your upgrade.
It’s likely that SagePay will have emailed you already, and may call too. You can let them know that everything is in hand and refer them to this page. We’re planning for all websites to be upgraded by the end of May 2015.
Introducing Direct Debit for our customers
BF Internet have an easy way to pay your invoices by Direct Debit. This allows you to pay invoices automatically, direct from your bank account.
You can authorise for payments to be taken for:
- All annual hosting and domain invoices
- Invoices for design & development work
Once you’ve authorised payments, we do the work automatically. This saves you time, leaving you free to concentrate on your business rather than boring admin tasks.
Registering for Direct Debit Payments
If you’d like to start using Direct Debit payments, you can register today in 2 ways:
- Visit www.wearebfi.co.uk/dd-signup to sign up
- Contact our Accounts department to request an authorisation email
Signing up online
- Fill out this online form – www.wearebfi.co.uk/dd-signup. We use GoCardless to process payments, if you don’t already have an account with them you’ll be prompted to create one.
- Once you’ve entered your bank details, you’ll be set up for Direct Debit payments.
- BF Internet will contact you for future invoices to see if you’d like to pay them by Direct Debit.
- BF Internet will notify you 3 days before any payments are taken via Direct Debit.
Signing up via email
- Contact us and request for an authorisation email to be sent out to you.
- Follow the link in the email, check the details are correct and submit the authorisation.
- BF Internet will contact you for future invoices to see if you’d like to pay them by Direct Debit.
- BF Internet will notify you 3 days before any direct debit payments are taken.
We love GoCardless
Interested in using GoCardless to accept Direct Debit payments for your own business? Click here to find out more – www.wearebfi.co.uk/we-love-gocardless
It is no secret that for the majority of ecommerce website owners, generating more traffic and sales is the key to success. Knowing where to start and what to do is not always clear which is why we have decided to create our own practical guide to Ecommerce SEO.
Before you start to think about optimising your website, you need to have a plan. You may already have a good understanding of which keywords/phrases are important (get in touch if you don’t) but don’t just stop there. Take some time to type those phrases into Google and see who already appears on page one.