Google Analytics is a powerful resource for doing business online. Tracking how people get to your website and what they do when they get there is key to understanding your customers and figuring out how to adjust the way you market your business in order to get more sales or clicks. You might find different keywords are working for you and discover a niche you didn’t know about.
If you don’t have Google Analytics, and you’re not paying for something you like better, get it. It’s free and easy to use. You just plug the code into your website and you’ve got instant tracking. Those of you with platforms like WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr will have an easier time with installing the code. If you have a custom-coded website, Mashable says, you’ll either need to implement the code on each page manually, or speak to your web developer about how the site generates content.
Your Analytics Dashboard
With Google Analytics, here’s what you can measure:
- Audience: This gives you demographics (geographic location and languge), behavior (new vs. returning visitors, engagement), technology (which browser they’re using, what operating system they run), mobile (which device they use), visitors flow (graphical representation of the paths visitors took through your site, from the source, through the various pages, and where along their paths they exited your site), and the ability to measure custom variables (too numerous to count, but here are twenty ways you can use this feature).
- Traffic Sources: You can see where people are coming from, broken down by referrals, clicks through search engines, ad campaigns, search engine optimization, social, and AdSense.
- Content: Here you can see how fast your page is loading for people, which pages are popular landing pages and which pages people are leaving from, what people search for once they’re on your site, events (when a user interacts with something on your page, such as clicking ‘play’ on a video).
- Conversions: This focuses on goals (see next section), ecommerce (product performance, sales performance, transactions and time to purchase), and multi-channel funnels (this tracks how your customer ended up purchasing something. Typically, the final click before the transaction gets all the credit, but with customers doing a lot of research before they buy something, you want to know what led to that final click and what you can optimize to get more conversions).
As you can see, it’s incredibly robust, especially for a free product. Let’s take a look at how you can get the most out of Analytics:
Focus on the end result
When you set up your website, you did it with a goal in mind – whether to make sales, get leads, or just connect more customers with your brand. You know that your website is working for you when you’re reaching those goals.
Set up goals in Analytics to track the user actions that matter to you, such as:
- Completed forms (Contact Us, Get a Quote, etc.)
- The number of pages viewed
- How much time people spend on your site
- Track the success of your AdWords ads.
Visit the Advertising Report to see how many visitors who completed goals came from your AdWords ads.
You can see results by ads and keywords, and adjust each element of your advertising campaign to bring in more leads and sales, as well as clicks.
If you don’t have some form of analytics on your website, you’re flying blind. Give us a shout in the comments, tell us your experiences with analytics and tips if you’ve got them!