Google Analytics is one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools you can use to track your website’s performance.
Although you can choose from a host of premium analytics tools, most come at a premium price. For business owners interested in tracking their own websites only, these expensive tools make little sense, especially since the Google tool can do virtually everything the others can … for free!
Exactly What Does Google Analytics Analyze?
The overarching purpose of Google Analytics is to provide data about how visitors found your site, how long they stayed and what they did while they were there.
This information is so important that Google Analytics would be valuable if that were all it did. But it is capable of doing much, much more.
Using Google Analytics’ advanced functions, you can learn what’s on your prospects’ and customers’ minds and how your website design and content can give them exactly what they’re looking for. You can use the data to expand your target base or to identify potential products and services. And perhaps best of all, you can maximize your internet marketing efforts so that every dollar you spend has maximum impact.
Google Analytics has a host of features and capabilities that can help you and your business.
Discover Where Your Web Visitors Really Come From
The source of your website’s traffic is the first major piece of the Google Analytics puzzle, and it has multiple facets.
If you are a local brick-and-mortar business, you generally want to attract site visitors who live in your community. A barbecue restaurant in West Jordan, Utah, won’t benefit much if people from Maine are finding their way to its website.
The exception to this is visitors who are planning an upcoming trip or shopping for someone in your area.
What are the steps they took to get to you? Did they perform an organic search on Google or Bing? If so, was it from a mobile device, laptop or desktop computer? Did they click on a link in an email newsletter? Did they find you through a local or map search, a Google AdWords search, or an affiliate marketing link on another website?
Finding these answers helps identify the most effective marketing strategies for your business model.
If your visitors came through a mobile search, you can identify whether they used an iPad or iPhone, or an Android, Sony or Samsung phone.
With the right campaign design and setup, you can track the reach and effectiveness of specific ad initiatives. You can identify which ads brought in the most site visitors, and more importantly, which ads or artifacts brought the prospects that converted to customers.
Correlate Keywords and Site Activity
Google’s Webmaster tools are invaluable for demonstrating how your site ranks for specific keywords and how many visitors arrive at your site by searching for those terms. Google Analytics can bring an added level of value to that data.
For each keyword or key phrase, Google Analytics can tell you what those visitors did while on your website. You can see which pages they visited and how long they stayed on each.
This allows you to identify, track and act on trends. For example, if a number of new visitors arrive at your site after searching on a complex or long-tailed key phrase, consider adding new content that leverages that phrase.
This is especially important if those visitors become engaged with your site and stick around for a while.
Track Level of Site Visitor Engagement
The longer a visitor is active on your site, the more engaged he or she is. Google Analytics can provide some profound insight into your engaged visitors.
For those visitors who remain active the longest, pay attention to what pages they visit and how long they remain. If you have a means to track conversions, or a funnel that indicates increasing levels of interest, you can court this prospective profile by providing more of the content and features that keep them engaged.
Leverage Social Media Activity
Social media is an important aspect of online marketing, with two essential objectives.
Social media postings and activity help build brand awareness and increase market familiarity with your business. But highly targeted social media marketing can take on a life of its own. Social shares can place your business in front of new prospects that otherwise may never find you.
When social activity drives visitors to your website, perk up and take notice.
To maximize this capability, be sure to use landing pages or links that target a specific blog post or product page in social marketing. This will help you identify content artifacts and topics that have organic reach with your prospects.
Which Way Did They Go?
Just because a prospect leaves your site, the party’s not over. In fact, it’s extremely important to understand which visitors are leaving and from where. When you tie this data to your keyword and key phrase data, you can even use the information to tweak your keywords for greater effectiveness.
For example, if you notice a trend of bounces after visiting the “About Us” page, you should consider adding additional content (or revising what is there) to more accurately convey your qualifications.
If they leave after visiting a product or services page, you might view this as a failure. In reality, however, this is great news. This lets you know that you did everything right to bring them to the point of purchase, but something caused them to change their mind before completing the sale.
Now you can analyze your price points, your product descriptions and photos or even your user interface, and try different variants to get your prospects across the finish line.
Your Analytics in Professional Hands
These are the basic aspects of Google Analytics as well a few of its more advanced capabilities. In the hands of experts, however, the wealth of data that Google Analytics provides can be analyzed and mined for marketing gold.
At Be Locally, we can program Google Analytics to provide you with highly customized data reports. We also can program your unique site conversion goals into the Google Analytics interface, allowing you to track, analyze and improve your conversion rate. We can even create a custom interface for your in-house marketing team, along with an executive dashboard to help you and other C-level staffers track your progress.
What a great way to watch your precious marketing dollars at work!
Be Locally leverages the entire Google suite of tools to provide our customers with a comprehensive snapshot of what’s working, as well as what isn’t working so well.
When you spend money on internet marketing and online promotion, you must be able to track your return on investment. We understand the value of Google tools for increasing your business’s reach and visibility. But we also use them to track and demonstrate the improvements we can make in your website’s visibility and conversion rates.
Based in northern Utah, Be Locally provides internet marketing, web design and SEO services to businesses across the United States. Contact us today and let us show you exactly how much we can help grow your business, using our proprietary system for online marketing and Google Analytics.
Want more? Our expert recommends: