Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools available for you to monitor and analyse your website traffic. It allows you access a vast amount of data on your website, its visitors and how they use your site. You can use this data to make informed business decisions, and monitor the performance of those decisions. So, here are some tips on how to use Google Analytics to Deliver Results for Your Business.
At first glance, Google Analytics can seem overwhelming. With such a wealth of data available it can be difficult to know where to start, and what is the best approach for your business. Understanding a few key things would help drive results for your business and identify the data you need to answer those questions.
#1. Getting Started with Google Analytics
To start getting familiar with what information you can get from Google Analytics, log into your analytics account and click on your website profile. Select Reporting and in the left hand column you will see the four key areas you can interrogate.
Clicking on any of these will open drop down menus which will allow you to drill down into the data to find what is most relevant to your business.
- Learn about your Audience demographics: location and whether they use mobile or desktop devices.
- Acquisition will give you data on where your traffic is coming from.
- You can observe your audience Behaviour when on your site – where do they go on your site, what actions do they take?
- Analyse how well you are achieving your stated objectives by seeing how many visitors take a desired action under conversions.
I recommend you spend little time browsing to getting familiar with your Google Analytics account pages. Explore the drop down menus under each heading to see what kind of information is available before deciding on what data to interrogate.
Once you understand the wealth of information available to you in Google Analytics, you can search regularly and set up custom reports giving you the data that will be most helpful to you in making smart business decisions – decisions that will deliver results for your business.
Tip: The default date range is set to the past month. You can see this on the top right hand side of your page. Click on the start and end dates to change the date range if you want to see a shorter or longer time period.
#2. Who Visits My Website?
Once you have begun to get familiar with what is possible you can begin to drill down into the data. The first thing you need to understand is who exactly visits your website. By understanding your audience, who they are, where they are and what interests them, you can use this information to help inform your business decisions.
Start off by getting an Overview of your website traffic, this will show you the number of sessions (visits) and users (visitors) and whether they are new to your site or returning.
Then you can take a look at your audience demographics, their age and gender as well as their geographic location. You can drill down by continent, country and even city. Here you can see your US audience broken down by city for example, with darker circles indicating more visits coming from those places.
It is also possible to discover if your audience is on mobile or desktop. This is really interesting to inform your decisions on how you write content for people to read, how your website looks to them when they visit using different devices and so on.
By localising, your content can empathise with your audience. You will be seen to listen and understand them and be well placed to address their concerns. This understanding will lead to greater trust in you and your business. One of the key things you need to deliver results for your business is customer trust.
Tip: Once you have discovered how to access audience data I recommend you use those insights to start to create customer personas for your business. You could write more localised content that would appeal to more people in specific geographical areas that could attract more leads and visits to your website.
#3. How Did Visitors Find My Website?
You can find out which channels are best at driving traffic to your website. Armed with this information you can then promote your business more effectively on these channels to attract even more visitors to your website. So, for example, if you find a particular website has referred traffic that you didn’t know about, maybe you could reach out and offer a guest blog to that website to bring even more traffic.
When you click on Acquisition Overview you will see a pie chart with the top channels referring traffic to your website.
Next, delve deeper and look at the Source/Medium under All Traffic. You will find some very useful information such as
- the number of new users you have attracted
- how many pages your audience visits per session, and
- how long, on average, they stay on each page, dwell time.
It’s important to know if your audience finds the information you provide useful. Returning visitors and dwell time are key indicators of this. A dwell time of less than 30 seconds is considered poor, but more than 2 minutes considered outstanding!
Creating content that provides solutions to the questions your potential customers are asking, helps drive traffic to your website, enhances your reputation, builds brand trust which in turn delivers results for your business.
Tip: Check out Organic Keywords under Campaigns. This shows you what keywords people searched on Google or other search engines and the search result led them to your website.
#4. What Kind of Content Interests Them?
First of all, go to Behaviour, Site Content, All Pages. See the list of the pages on your website, starting with the most popular. You can see how many people viewed each page, and for how long, in any given timeframe.
Then select Page Title to see the pages listed by the headline you have given to each content piece.
In addition, you can carry out an advanced search to delve even deeper by entering a keyword in the small filter box on the right hand side under the graph. This information helps you with your content marketing strategy. It tells you what interests your audience, and what you need to continue providing to them.
Tip: Use the Secondary Dimension Box to filter your report further.
Select the page you want a report on. Then select Secondary Dimension.
Choose Acquisition then Source/Medium. You will then get a list of every source that referred traffic to that page on your website.
This tells you which sources refer the most traffic on different content themes.
Learning not only what interests your audience, but what other source directed them to your website is critical for measuring your marketing. You can see, for example, if your target audience are being driven from Facebook, or from search engines, and that help you decide the merits of allocating budget to Facebook Ads or to Google Adwords. Spend your advertising budget where it will deliver results for your business!
#5. Did Visitors End Up Achieving My Objectives?
Finally, you can set up a Goal to help track conversions on your website. Maybe you want to track how may people sign-up for a special offer you were promoting. Set up your goal after you publish the landing page you are tracking.
- First of all copy the url for you Special Offer page to a notepad of wordpad.
- Then on your dashboard select Admin, Goals then add a new Goal
- Next, type a name for your Goal e.g. Special Offer Sign-up (this is a destination goal, tracking a specific page on your website)
- Click next, then past in the url for your Special Offer landing page
- Click Create Goal button
Information like this is valuable to inform future campaigns. You can build your strategy based on the results you have already achieved and the information you have gathered. Designing highly targeted campaigns and focussing your resources on the activity that delivers results for your business.
Tip: Look back on your reports to see what referral source led to most downloads of your Special Offer, and what demographic information you can find on that audience.
Recommended Reading: Why A Great Image Will Drive More Traffic To Your Blog
Over to you now! How do you use Google Analytics for your business? I’d love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments below.