The gift that keeps on giving

For my Mother’s birthday, I created her very own website on  My Mom was speechless when she saw a site dedicated to selling her handcrafted jewelry online. 

This was a labor of love.  I spent many afternoons taking pictures of her necklaces, earrings, bracelets and lanyards and then researching the materials she used.  Using the etsy template, I created her “shop” by loading the pictures of her inventory, creating descriptions for each piece, setting up tags, outlining her shop’s terms and conditions (including shipping costs) and setting up a Google Analytics account so that I could track the performance of the website.   

It is so rewarding to receive feedback from customers that they love my Mother’s jewelry and think it is well made.  I also enjoy analyzing the web site’s performance and playing with Google Analytics.   In case you haven’t had a chance to use Google Analytics, here’s a screen shot from one of the standard Google Analytics’ reports.

The top graph shows the number of visits by day for the most recent month.  You can look at the metrics by day, week or month and set the time period to be analyzed.

Next on the report is site usage metrics including visits, pageviews, pages/visit, bounce rate, average time on the site, and percent new visits.  Most of these metrics are straight forward but you do need to be mindful of anomalies.  There are some weeks when I will see a huge spike in visits; however, those correspond to times when I was loading jewelry to the site and thus frequently visiting the site to see how it looked.

Her bounce rate is 39%.  Google Analytics defines it as follows, “bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.”  Not everyone who comes to her page will be interested in her jewelry.  Three visitors who typed in the keywords “buddha inspired chinese” were directed to her website.  I doubt they found what they were looking for!  Bounce rate is a powerful metric and I will be discussing it in another blog post.

Next is the visitor overview.  This is the number of new and existing visitors that came to the site.  It looks very similar to the Dashboard chart but the difference is that it measures visitors and not visits.  The Map Overlay World shows me at a quick glance where visitors to the site are coming from in the world. 

The pie chart below shows the traffic sources — direct traffic, search engines and referring sites.  Finally, the report shows an over view of the pages that had the most pageviews.  The first is the home page of her site and the subsequent ones are the pages for particular jewelry.

 I have no idea what I will do for my Mother’s next birthday but I will probably still be playing with Google Analytics until then.


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