You might have heard of Google Analytics, but do you know what it actually tells you? Google Analytics is extremely powerful for understanding what website users are doing on your site, where they come from, and where they leave. A website is the start… but now you need to know what is working, what isn’t and what you could do to get even more customers e.g. paid search or social advertising.
There is so much valuable information that you can gain, just from setting up Google Analytics and taking a quick look at the overview. You can answer many questions that you might wonder about your website, and your website users.
Have you ever wondered how many people actually visit your website? Where do they come from? How do they find you? Which pages are they most interested in? What age range visit your site the most?
These are all fascinating questions that every business owner and marketing manager should know the answers to. Luckily, Google Analytics can help! We’ll cover the basics of Google Analytics in this blog, however we can also organise a call with you to walk you through the different areas of your own analytics. So get in touch!
There are 5 main sections within Google Analytics, these include; Realtime, Audience, Acquisition, Behaviour and Conversions.
Real-time is exactly as it sounds - it tells you how many users are on your site right at that moment. You can then begin to understand where they came from, what page they are reading and where they are located, all in real-time. Warning: it can be quite addictive watching the users come and go from your site!
Audience is all about your website visitors. Simply set a date range in the top right corner, and you can see how many overall sessions, users, views, and new sessions you’ve had during this time. As well as the average length of sessions, the bounce rate and how many pages users visit per session. A page view, is one view of a web page on your website, by a visitor. By analysing this page view metric, it will show how often visitors access the content on your website. Which will then give you an idea of how relevant and interesting your content is for users.
But there’s more! You can use this information to gain a better understanding of who your target audience is, and you can create some client personas based on what you know. You will also find out the demographics of the users, including age range, gender as well as their approximate location, whether they are a brand new visitor or if they’ve been there before and even what device they are viewing your site on.
Acquisition provides an insight into how visitors came across your website. This is one of the most important aspects of analytics, as this can be used to determine what more you could do to get more traffic from the different channels. The channels will typically include Direct visitors, Organic visitors, Referral visitors and Social visitors:
Direct Visitors - enter your site by typing in your URL, through saved pages, and other traffic that doesn’t have a referrer.
Organic Visitors - will find and enter your site through a search engine query (Google search).
Referral Visitors - visit your site via a link on a website or blog elsewhere on a different site.
Social Visitors - have landed on your site through a link on a social media platform.
In Acquisition, you are also able to see which sources brought the most sessions, the lowest bounce rate, and the average session duration.
Behaviour includes metrics that will help you to understand the quality of your website content and how visitors use it. By having this knowledge, you are able to make changes to current and future content based on evidence and findings. You can see which pages on your site get the most page views - which could be used to see whether your social media posts are successfully driving users to certain pages. As well as viewing user-flows, which show user's journeys from what page they enter the site on, their follow up interactions and where they leave. In order to maximise conversions, you will need to look at the exit pages and find out at which stage of the process the visitors are leaving the website. You can then plan and think about how to push users through to another page.
All of this information is crucial to know, as you can then create a marketing plan that will be more successful than the unknown.
Conversions are completed activities, which can be used for both ecommerce sites and brochure sites. You can set up your own custom Goals to track any action on your site that you want to. These could be button clicks, form sign-ups, page visits, scroll depth, file downloads and more. This is handy and can be used within reports, as it allows you to track return on investment or simply the amount of interactions.
If you have an ecommerce website, then the Ecommerce tab will definitely be one of your main reasons to use Google Analytics. As once set up, this will track your sales, revenue, discount code uses and even your best sellers. You can also view the shopping behaviour of your customers, and can begin to understand whether new visitors or returning visitors make more purchases, as well as the number of cart abandonments. So overall, lots and lots of vital and valuable information that you need to know in order to get the most out of your website and grow your business.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what Google Analytics actually tells you about your business, and how you can use the information to improve your site to ensure it is relevant for users. This will then improve the user experience, enhance interaction and help you to gain more customers!
If you would like a discussion about, and a walk through your analytics account then get in touch. We can show you exactly what is important and relevant for your website, as well as providing suggestions on how to improve the figures.