All through the month of April we’ve been focusing on how to use analytics on different social platforms to help grow your business. Now we are going to discuss the beast that is known as Google Analytics. This guide will help you understand why you need GA, how to use GA, and how to interpret the data for your business.
Do I really need Google Analytics?
If you have a website, which you absolutely should for your business, you really need to have Google Analytics installed if you don’t already. This free program provides a wealth of information about your website, and in turn your business:
- How many people are visiting my website?
- Where is my traffic coming from?
- What are the most viewed pages on my website?
- How many visitors have converted to leads or sales?
- How is my website speed?
- Where are people going on my website?
- What blog content is most popular?
These are just some of the questions that GA can help you answer. In order to get GA installed on your website, you will need to have a Google account. Google offers a very simple step-by-step process to get this installed properly.
Using Google Analytics for Your Business
Going into GA can be overwhelming because there is so. much. information. The first thing you will see is your Home page that typically shows data for the previous 7 days. You can sort information by date range. Here at AGC for our clients we track GA data on a monthly basis. We find that gives enough information over time to see patterns and make appropriate strategy adjustments and suggestions.
Each tab you will see in GA has many different drop-down options you can look at. Under Audience, we recommend looking at demographic information so you can see who your target audience is that’s coming to look at your website. You can also look at Interests to see what categories your audience is interested in. Another important tab to look at is Technology/Mobile. People browsing on their mobile phone has increased rapidly over the past couple years. If you notice your mobile traffic is increasing, you should make sure your website is optimized to be viewed on mobile devices.
The next tab you should check out is Acquisition. This section will show you exactly how people got to your website broken down into direct, organic, social and referral traffic. If you use ads through Google, it will also show you how many people visited your website via an ad. Under All Traffic -> Source/Medium is where you can see the different ways visitors got to your website. This is an important metric to track to see which channels are increasing or decreasing each month. It’s also useful to know if all your social media and other digital marketing efforts are paying off. If you are seeing stagnant or decreasing traffic from social media, it’s probably time to reevaluate your strategy and content.
Applying Google Analytics to Your Business
After you figure out how people are getting to your website, Behavior will tell you what they are doing while on your site. Under this tab you can see things like top pages, top landing and exit pages, site speed, and what search terms are being used. You will also see things like bounce rate and average time on page. Behavior Flow gives an overview of what people are clicking on after they get to a landing page and what pages they are exiting on. GA will also tell you how fast your site is loading and offer suggestions for improvement (see why that’s important here). Use this data to improve visitor experience on your site. You should also consider the following to improve user experience and retention on your website:
- Is all the information up-to-date?
- Are related posts and pages linked so people can easily find what they are looking for?
- Are you posting blogs that are relevant and useful to your audience?
These are just some of the important metrics that we recommend you start tracking in Google Analytics for your business. There is a lot more you can do with GA, including goal setting and conversion tracking. Depending on what you are using your website for, you might want to look more into some of the other features GA offers. If you have any questions about GA or need help setting it up or interpreting your data, let us know!