DVR Week: Juan Paulo Ramirez on Using Google Analytics

Hello, my name is Juan Paulo Ramírez, independent consultant, sole owner of “GIS and Human Dimensions, L.L.C.” As many of you may know Google Analytics (GA) allows you to track down the number of visitors that a website receives during a certain period of time. But GA does a lot more than that. If you have installed the GA code into a website, GA offers a number of visualization tools that will allow you to analyze what is working and what is not working in your website, and ways to improve it. The following are two of the visualization tools that I like the most offered by Google Analytics:

Rad Resource: Google Analytics – Map overlay

Map overlay allows you to identify from where you are getting visitors. This is a great tool since it identifies your audience by geographic location and then potentially you can customize your website to the characteristics of that audience based on their demographics, culture, or interests. A coropleth world map separated by countries is displayed with the capacity to zoom in to take a more detailed look from which particular regions you are receiving visitors. If you click in the U.S. you can hover the cursor of the mouse over any state and a textbox will pop up with the frequency of visitors. Using the Map Overlay tool you may be able to identify if you need to translate the contents of your website to a specific language, for instance if you are receiving many visitors from non-speaking English countries or communities.

To learn more about map overlay, view Google Analytics in 60 Seconds: Location Targeting on YouTube

Rad Resource – Google Motion charts

Motion charts allows you for instance to identify keywords that people have used to find your website. Keywords can be displayed as dynamic charts using bubbles or bars. A bubble chart may describe the average number of pages per visit using a specific keyboard. What is nice about the motion chart is that allows you to see changes in the use of keywords over time, which may indicate some trends that people are following influenced by a professional forum discussion, participation in events, or particular interests brought up by your followers. As people change their interests and ideas, this is a great information tool for you to adjust the contents of your website according to the needs of your visitors.

To learn more about motion charts, view Motion Charts in Google Analytics on YouTube

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Data Visualization and Reporting Week with our colleagues in the new DVR AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our DVR members and you may wish to consider subscribing to our weekly headlines and resources list where we’ll be highlighting DVR resources. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice.

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