In our survey last month you told us you were interested in hearing more about how Google Analytics can help you improve your AdWords results. Today, we're going to kick off a four-part series on precisely this subject.

For those of you unfamiliar with Google Analytics, it's a free tool that lets you see how visitors interact with your site. While AdWords helps you drive traffic to your site, Google Analytics helps you find out what happens to these visitors after they get to your site. For example, if your ad for shoes directs visitors to a page with all the brands of shoes you offer, here are some things Analytics can show you:
  • Which types of shoes do visitors view most often? For example, do people prefer sandals or sneakers?
  • In which order do visitors view pages? For example, do people view more expensive shoes, but then buy cheaper ones?
  • Which pages are the last ones people see before leaving the site? For example, do people get confused on the sign-up page and leave?
  • Do people actually complete a goal on your site? For example, how many visitors buy or sign-up?
All this information can help you make better decisions about your website and your AdWords advertising. For example, if your ad directs people to a page that Analytics says has a high bounce rate (where many people leave the site after viewing the page) you can change your destination URL to point to another page. In that way, you can get more value out of your website traffic.

Over the next few weeks we'll explore specific ways that you can use Analytics to maximize your AdWords investment:

Part 2 - Linking your Analytics and AdWords accounts & tracking your revenue
Part 3 - Identifying keywords that lose you money & calculating your ROI
Part 4 - Finding keywords and ad positions that drive revenue

But if you're in a hurry to get started, you can watch the Google Analytics in 60 Seconds series to learn how to effectively use Google Analytics:

Google Analytics in 60 Seconds: Find the Best Keywords
Google Analytics in 60 Seconds: Location Targeting
Google Analytics in 60 Seconds: Find Poor Performing Campaigns and Keywords
Google Analytics in 60 Seconds: Placement Targeting
Google Analytics in 60 Seconds: Identifying High Spenders
Google Analytics in 60 Seconds: Conversion Funnels
Google Analytics in 60 Seconds: Tracking Ecommerce with Google Analytics

And if you'd like to learn more about Google Analytics, including case studies and in-depth looks at its features, you can visit the Google Analytics site.