With the big-data movement of this millennia, every business – large or small – has the opportunity to make smart, data-driven marketing decisions. With the right tools and a bit of training, everyone has the opportunity to power-charge their marketing efforts.
Enter Google Analytics. The most widely used, free online analytic tool allows all businesses to track data about their customers and prospects to provide insight into how their audience behaves online.
Insight can turn into action, and action can turn into marketing initiatives that are out of this world.
If you log into your Google Analytics account, you will see there are four major components of the Google Analytics dashboard:
Audience - WHO is visiting your website?
Acquisition - HOW did they get there?
Behavior - WHERE are they going once they get there?
Conversions - WHAT is their purpose for visiting?
Studying these four components can help give you a big picture overview on how your website is performing and how you can leverage your marketing efforts to give you maximum results. Below, a quick synopsis is offered on the most important metrics within each component.
WHO is visiting your website?
The Audience Overview is a snapshot of how many people are coming to your website and quick statistics that are very helpful to monitor. Below are the most important metrics you will want to take into account in this view.
Users – the number of unique users that have visited your website.
Pageviews – the number of pages that users have viewed on your website. Each user can (and should) visit multiple pages when they visit.
Bounce Rate – bounce rate is like a golf score, you want it to be low. Bounce rate represents the amount of users that came to your website and left after viewing only one page.
The Demographics Overview gives you a more detailed look on the ages and gender of your audience. This gives you insight into who best to target your marketing efforts to, both online and offline.
Additionally, within the Audience tab, you can learn more about your audience's location and which devices they prefer to view your website on. All of these metrics, when researched and taken into account, can help tailor marketing efforts to be the most effective. When practiced consistently, these studies can end up saving your business time and money - while increasing your ROI.
HOW did they get there?
The Acquisition Overview gives statistics around how the users that visited your website found you online. This can be most insightful when you have enlisted in engaging Search Engine Optimization techniques on your website, you will want to see if they are paying off. You will quickly know if you have good SEO practices because your Organic Traffic will be among the highest percentage of traffic for your website.
There are different channels that represent the different avenues visitors can take to get to your website:
Organic – this channel represents all of the search engines that your website shows organic (non-paid) results for.
Direct – when a user types your website’s address into the address bar or has bookmarked it as a favorite.
Referral – visitors who have visited your website via a link from another website.
Social – users that have found your website via social media channels.
Email – visitors that have access your website via a link in an email.
Here you can see these cross referenced with statistics such as Sessions, Bounce Rate, Conversions, etc. (more on those later).
WHERE are they going once they get there?
The most useful statistics in this section come from the Site Content > All Pages view. These are the unique pages that are found throughout your website ordered by most pageviews, thus are the most popular pages in your site. Pages that are proven to be performing well should be focused on in your marketing plan, as they organically are already doing well you can increase their performance quite easily.
Note the Exit % - this shows how many people have left your website after viewing that page. This will give alert you to any pages that may be performing poorly and causing potential customers to turn away from your website. If any pages are found to have an excessively high Exit %, they should be examined to find out why and remedied immediately.
WHAT is their purpose for visiting?
The ultimate goal of users visiting your website is to get them to convert into customers. If you have an ecommerce website, the best conversion you can get would be a sale.
In the Ecommerce Overview, we can see the Ecommerce Conversion Rate which is the percentage of users that have made a purchase on your website. A good Ecommerce Conversion Rate varies by industry, audience, and many other factors, but has been shown to be around 2-3%, according to industry experts such as Big Commerce.
This view is also helpful because it shows your most popular products, and their percentage of your website's overall sales.
If you do not sell on your website, Goals can be set up to monitor your conversions. The most likely conversion in this case would likely be a form submission. Other non-commerce Goals can be set up in Google Analytics to measure time spent on the website, videos that were viewed, pages that were visited, among many other options.
If you have any questions about how you can better utilize Google Analytics to power-charge your online presence, contact Amanda today for your 30-minute consultation. Mention this article and get half-off! Don't wait - your online success depends on it!
Areas of Expertise: Web Design, Internet Marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization)