Do you like numbers? Or were you turned off maths at school? I can’t say that I like looking and analysing statistics but I do like the information I can get. And more importantly the actions I can take as a result of looking at the data.
What follows is an introduction to Google Analytics and a few ways that you can use it to improve your business and win more custom.
What is Google Analytics?
First of all let me explain what Google Analytics is and how it works. Good old Wikipedia has a decent definition:
“Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic”
Most people I meet are obsessed who how many visitors their website gets. It doesn’t always follow that a website with thousands of hits a day will be more successful than a website with a couple of hundred visitors.
And that is where Google Analytics steps in – it collects data about everything that is going on with your website. Google does do some analysis for you but you will be the best person to read the data and then take action as and where appropriate.
How to get Google Analytics
Well, as Wikipedia says Google Analytics is a freemium service. The good news is that most of the information is free. I actually don’t know a business who has had to buy any of the add ons offered by Google.
Once you create your free Google Analytics accounts you will have access to a tracking code. This tracking code needs to be installed on your website. And voila! – Google is now collecting all the data about what is happening on your website.
How accurate is Google Analytics?
You might expect that the data will be 100% accurate coming from Google. There are other tools, search as Serpstat, that can present you with your website numbers and if you use a few you will see some differences between all of them.
However, the fact that you are measuring and using a tool that is pretty accurate is enough to learn how to make money from the data available.
Inform business decisions
If you want your website to either bring you enquires, in one form or another, or to sell more products, tools that give you access to the data are invaluable.
For example, if you knew that 95% of the people who used your website were using older computers and a old version of Internet Explorer you would make sure that your website was fine tuned for that scenario.
To give you another example – what if you could see that 95% of your online sales came from France and you were in the UK? If that was on one of my sites I would be doing something to enhance the experience for French speakers and possibly using something to convert the currency.
That’s just two examples – you will see thousands more possibilities.
Passers by or seriously interested visitors?
In Google Analytics you can see how many people just pop on to your website once, and you can see those that return and stay a bit longer. In this scenario I would be looking at what I can do to keep people of the website for longer.
What pages are doing well and what aren’t
You can see which pages are getting the most traffic and which pages loose most visitors too. Pages that leak visitors at a high rate are called exit pages. You can massage these exit pages to keep people on them or direct them to other pages on your website.
Give them more of what they like
If you have a blog on your website you can see which posts do well and which ones don’t. So, I would be writing more of the posts that do well. It could be that a certain style of post is popular or a particular category. This strategy works for anything on your website not just blog posts.
And Save Money Too
Yes, Google Analytics will help you save money too and I can prove it. I had a customer that was paying 100’s of pounds a month in advertising but they didn’t know if the ad spent was worth it. After a few days delving into their Google Analytics I could see that they were wasting their money with the particular ads that were being run on their behalf by another agency. We actually stopped the ads running…and the site soon doubled their online sales after implementing the changes I recommended.
The management guru, Peter Drucker, says that “What gets measured gets managed”. That couldn’t be more true than the information you can manage when you analyse your website data.
Learn to love your Google Analytics numbers!