Analytics: Data Tells a Story (Part I)

- Lance Johnson 04.07.2014

At Green Egg Media we really love data. We believe that the best decisions can be made when excellent data is available, which is why we deploy Google Analytics for every project we do. Over time, we are able to observe trends and use that information to better meet the needs of our clients and the visitors to their websites. While we take the time to carefully examine all of the analytics data, even the overview data that is provided can tell us a lot about the visitors to a particular website.

The chart above shows some of the summary data from the first quarter of 2014 at a church that we work with on a regular basis. Notice that spike?

Analytics Detail

Analytics Detail

At first glance it may not seem like much more than an anomaly, but the reality is that this graph tells us a lot. You see, that spike occurs on Ash Wednesday, so this tells us that our client saw a big increase in traffic the day before and, particularly, the day of Ash Wednesday. Based on other data we have collected from Easter, Christmas, and other important holidays, we knew in advance that we should expect this increase because we had seen it before. It seems likely that this is because the users are looking for Ash Wednesday service times. While the church knows from past experience that more people show up around the holidays, Google Analytics allows us to collect real data that shows exactly how people are getting their information. The summary data is also able to show us that this site gets two new visitors for every one return visitor, that the average visitor doesn’t spend much time browsing the site, and that nearly 62% of visitors leave the site after viewing only a single page. This is extremely useful information because it provides us with some benchmarks that we can test against as we produce future iterations of the website. Ultimately, this type of data helps us to provide a better user experience by providing the information that people want most in one place.

(See Part II)

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