You’re probably here because every digital marketer you know keeps telling you about Google Analytics, and you’re wondering if you should be spending more time on it. We get it: Google Analytics is one of those platforms that most people know of but might struggle to grasp how to reap the full benefits of.
Here’s the deal – Google Analytics is probably the most essential digital tool for any small business with a website. Why? Because it’s a free and easy-to-use platform for tracking and analysing the traffic on your website. If you want to grow your business, you need to get Google Analytics.
What is Google Analytics for?
Google Analytics is a tool that gives you extremely important information on the performance of your website. The two main pieces of information it offers are who visits your website and how they interact with it. It’s the preferred digital analytics platform available on the web for a few good reasons. Now let’s dive deeper into that.
Why use Google Analytics
Your site could have all the visitors in the world, but if you don’t know anything about them, you won’t be able to optimise it to convert those visitors. Knowing your audience and what they want is incredibly important, and Google Analytics is the best tool to use to gather this data. Besides, if you’re not using it, we guarantee your competitors are!
Here are the main reasons why you should start using Google Analytics.
1. It’s User Friendly
While it can churn out complex stats, the user interface is very easy to navigate. Even though a specialist should do the initial set-up, the everyday user can easily log on whenever needed to view essential analytics – like conversion data, visits and sources.
2. Get to know your visitors
Google Analytics can show you not only how many visitors you get but also where they are coming from, their behaviour and their preferences. This real-time data can help you optimise your campaigns to give your customers what they want.
Here’s a handful of things you can keep tabs on:
- What your users look like online. You can create a digital picture of your customers. This includes the user’s location, which browser they used, what device they’re on, their language and more.
- Their behaviours on your site. Google Analytics can tell you a whole lot about how users interact with your website. You can look at the length of time they spend on it, the most popular pages and what pages may be causing users to bounce off your site altogether.
- Peak traffic times. Google Analytics can tell you what time of day your audience prefers to visit your website. This can help with scheduling blog posts, choosing times to start advertising sales or launching a new campaign.
- How they’re finding you. You can view where each user has landed on your site from. For example, did they find you through a search engine, on a social network or by clicking on your ad on another website? This data is important if you’re doing any digital marketing, as it will show you which campaigns are working the best.
- Real-time visitors. This is the most “Big Brother” feature! You can see who is on your website right now. You can see how many active viewers are sitting on your pages – and which pages – and what they are doing on your website, any time you want. We’re not going to lie, it’s a little creepy.
3. Reporting Features & Automatic Data
The Digital Analytics platform can collect data from your website automatically. That’s right, you don’t have to do a thing, as soon as you install a simple piece of code (here’s where you may need us to help). Once installed, Google will gather all the data for you! Google Analytics also features customisable reports with DIY templates using easy drag-and-drop tools.
4. Friends with AdWords
If you’re running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, Google Analytics can talk to Google Ads. This way you can better understand what happens between the click and the conversion.
5. Help Forums
Naturally, as it’s part of Google’s software, there is a bevy of helpful how-to documentation online for the Analytics novice. This includes free video tutorials and a community of fellow users (also available for Google Ads) who are willing to help.
6. It’s Free!
Yep! Google won’t charge you a cent to use it… so you don’t really have an excuse to go without.
How to get started with Google Analytics
To start out, all you have to do is set up an account. Then, add your website as a property and include the tracking code provided by Google on each page you want to track.
One of the main challenges we see business owners face with Google Analytics is making sense of all the information. We get it – it can feel overwhelming to look at all that data and try to figure out what’s important. The good thing is, once you get a grasp of the basics, it’s quite easy to start making sense of it!
A good idea is to start by thinking about questions you’d like to know about your website visitors. This will help you narrow down which data to focus on. Here’s a brief explanation of some basic Google lingo that you’ll find on Analytics.
Acquisition stands for how your site acquires users, meaning where do they come from and how many are there.
How it helps: Acquisition data can help you discover how users find you, which in turn can inform which channels to focus your marketing efforts on. Are most of them coming from search engines? Consider doing some Google Ads or SEO. Or, are the majority coming from your socials? Maybe a Facebook or Instagram campaign will work better.
The behaviour data tells you how users behave on your site. For example, how long do they spend on it, which pages do they look at, which pages they spend the most time on and more.
How it helps: If a specific page on your website is making users bounce off, it’s time to consider what’s missing on there. Was it too hard to figure out the next steps in the customer journey? Consider adding a call to action. Did the page come across as untrustworthy? Maybe invest in some quality imagery and copy. Are mobile users bouncing? Make sure your site is mobile-optimised.
What do you want people to do when they land on your website? Most likely, if you’re a service provider, you want them to call you or fill in an inquiry form so you can then pitch to them. If you’re in e-commerce, you want them to buy your products. Conversion tracking will tell you how many users are taking the desired actions on your website.
How it helps: By setting conversion goals, you can track your website’s success in converting users to customers. Set separate goals for each different action a visitor could take on your website (mobile click-to-call, filling in a form, e-mail link clicks, place an order, complete a payment, etc.).
Hopefully, by now we’ve convinced you how crucial Google Analytics is for making your website work for your business. Not using analytics is like driving in the dark without your headlights on! If you have growth ambitions for your business, it’s time to get started with Google Analytics. If you need a hand, contact our team at Gordon Digital.