Google Analytics is the leading online software for tracking and reporting data from your website. In layman’s terms, it basically analyses the behaviour of users on your site.
Think about the real world. If you owned a shop, you’d want to know how many people visited, what items they purchased and whether certain displays and locations performed better than others. This is exactly what Google Analytics does for your website, in an incredibly cohesive and detailed manner.
But rather surprisingly, recent research indicates that only 56.7% of all websites are currently using the tool. Much of this stems from the assumption that it’s hard to install and difficult to interpret the data. Apart from the fact that this couldn’t be further from the truth, the benefits far outweigh any difficulty experienced along the way.
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
You might think your current website looks slick, modern and is a perfect representation of your brand. But what if it’s all style and no substance? And if that was the case, how would you even reach that conclusion?
This is where Google Analytics comes into play. In the following piece, we’ll reveal exactly how it could transform the digital future of your business.
Create a profile of people visiting your site
Big Brother is watching.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, everyone who surfs the net leaves a digital footprint behind them. This enables platforms such as Google Analytics to generate a profile of your online visitors. You’ll receive a breakdown by age, gender, location and even their interests gathered from their browsing history. If your website visitors differ from your ideal target audience, it might be time to rethink that content!
These profiling tools will also tell you what device they are using (desktop, mobile or tablet), enabling you to tailor your website to best fit their needs. If it tells you that 80% of all traffic is mobile based, you know which platform to prioritise!
Determine which sources are driving traffic to your website
One of the most basic tools of Google Analytics, and probably the most popular with users, is your traffic source tool.
It provides huge insight into which areas of your marketing strategy are working, and which need some TLC. For example, if organic (Google searches etc) traffic is low or declining, it might be time to rethink your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy (if you don’t have one, that’s something that needs to change).
If your site is listed on other websites (directories or partner sites etc) you can also measure any referral traffic you’ve received from each of them, and establish which ones are proving the most fruitful.
Refine your social media activities
Back in the day, most businesses would create a social post and simply share it across every platform. Through scrutinising the data received from tools like Google Analytics, businesses are beginning to see things differently.
We have analytics built into our social accounts telling us how many people liked, shared or clicked on our posts, but the well of information runs dry once they’ve left the social channel. Google Analytics gives us the lowdown on what happens next.
Comprehensive reports will reveal where your traffic landed, and, more importantly, what they did next. These reports help you identify what visitors from certain social accounts engage with and allows you to adapt your messaging to fit their needs. Maybe the data is telling you that Facebook traffic responds well to recruitment pages but tends to ‘bounce’ (leave without performing any actions) immediately on business pages? You can use this information to adapt your approach to each platform and improve site performance.
Identify underperforming pages on your website
High traffic and low conversion rates; welcome to the struggles of the online world.
Why aren’t people buying my products? Is something putting them off? Is the process too long? Without analytics, it can be a huge source of frustration.
This is one of its huge advantages. The software enables you to track each page of your website, breaking them down into:
- The amount of times it’s been viewed.
- The average time people spend on it.
- Whether they entered the site on this page.
- Bounce rate.
- Percentage of visitors leaving the site.
- The value of the page (only appropriate if you have a tracked ecommerce site.)
If people are reaching a certain page and then leaving the website en masse, it likely indicates that users are not finding what they’re looking for, highlighting areas in need of optimisation.
Discover the source of online purchases and boost future sales
Hurrah! Someone has been on your website and purchased an item. Obviously, you want to replicate the activity that brought them there, but how do you know what it was?
With Google Analytics, you can identify exactly where the customer originated from (social media, google search, online advert etc.) This will allow you to focus more attention in the areas that have proved successful, whilst allowing you to move resources away from areas displaying little reward or ROI.
Identify, replicate and optimise the content people are engaging in
When driving traffic to your website, content is key. Simply put, if there’s nothing engaging on your site, visitors will rapidly lose interest. There are certain things you might think are interesting, but how do you truly know that your audience agrees with you?
With Google Analytics, you can identify which posts are read the most, how long people stay on each post, and whether they move on to another area of your website or simply “bounce” straight off.
Understanding which pages perform the best will enable you to replicate the success throughout your site and justify the content you create going forward.
And last, but certainly not least, it’s FREE!
If you’re still not sure it’s something you’re ready to start using (and why wouldn’t you after reading this post?), then remember the service is completely free of charge. Integrating it into your website takes a matter of minutes, so what have you got to lose?
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This blog was brought to you by Great Annual Savings (GAS). As experts in business cost-savings, GAS produce a wide-range of informative business-related content, accessible via their Business Advice Hub.