Google Analytics is by far one of the most powerful free tools available to any person or organization with a website. Unfortunately, it’s also often one of the most underused and undervalued tools for many website owners because they simply don’t realize what can be found there (or don’t know how to use it.) Once in place, Google Analytics collects a ton of information about visits to your website: where they came from, what kind of device they’re using, if they engaged with your site, and more. If you’re not making use of this info, you’re really doing yourself a disservice and missing out on untapped potential for improvement and optimization.
With Great Data Comes Great Power
If your car wasn’t working, wouldn’t you want to open the hood and take a look around to see what’s going on? This is what Google Analytics can do for websites. If you’re not generating enough leads or sales, analyzing the data in Google Analytics can help you determine where you might have issues, such as a lack of traffic, poor landing page performance, etc. By understanding your data, you can improve the user experience on your site and your marketing efforts. If you’re a Vivid Image client and have created a site with us in the last few years, most likely you already have a Google Analytics account that’s tracking data. If you don’t currently have Google Analytics set up, with just a few easy steps you can be up and running and start collecting data about your visitors and their experiences on your site. In either case, here are 10 things currently available in Google Analytics that you should be making use of.
- Traffic Sources to your Website (Source and Medium) – find out where visitors to your website are coming from. Is most of your traffic from a single source such as Direct (meaning people typed in your exact URL and went to your site) or Organic (people searched for something in a search engine such as Google and clicked through an organic result)? Or do you have a nice mix of traffic sources? It’s good to have a read on this so you can monitor traffic changes by channel and ensure you don’t have all your eggs in one basket so-to-speak.
- Mobile vs. Desktop – do you know which screen or device type most of your visitors use to access your site? Have you ever taken time to look at your site on those devices to ensure you know what their experience is like? Hopefully by now you’ve ensured that your site is mobile-friendly, but if a large portion of your customers are visiting your site from a mobile device be sure their experience is at least as good (if not better) than on a desktop.
- New vs. Returning – how much of your business relies on bringing in new customers? Are most of the visitors to your site returning visitors, or new to the site? (And what channels work the best at bringing in new visitors?) If customer acquisition is key, this is one important metric to monitor.
- Geography – whether you’re a local business with a small radius, or a multi-national corporation without geographic bounds, metrics on the locations of your website visitors can help tell you if you’re reaching your intended markets or not. It can also provide insight into whether special content to accommodate various geographic markets might be needed, such as a special content page in a different language or improved local information.
- Social – are you pumping efforts into Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or others? You might know from Facebook stats that 100 people clicked on your post, but do you know what those people did once they got to your site? If you’re not breaking down social metrics, you’re not looking at the whole picture.
- Google Ads – if you’re currently running any pay per click campaigns, with proper account setup/connection you can get robust metrics on pay per click traffic to your site. While it’s true that the Ads interface offers some reporting options and report-building tools, the Analytics interface was made for data crunching and can be a really nice fit.
- All Pages – Analytics allows you to see pretty powerful stats on the performance of each individual page on your website, including the total number of pageviews, average time on page, bounce rate (how many people looked at only that page and left), exit rate (how many people left your site from that page), and more. You can also see which pages attribute most to your goal conversions—very useful info!
- Landing Pages – similar to the data you see with All Pages, Landing Pages are the first page on the site that a person sees/visits when they come to your site. It helps show you which pages are bringing in traffic (or where you’re directing most traffic to) and how effective they are.
- Goals – possibly the single-most important thing in this list, Goal tracking helps you determine what’s getting you to the end result you desire most, whether that be leads, sales, etc. You can track multiple goals at once and even create funnels that allow you to see where you might be losing potential leads.
- Assisted Conversions – sometimes marketing efforts don’t directly result in sales or leads, but help nurture these visitors to eventually become a lead or sale. Assisted conversions can help you determine what support role certain activities might be providing in your marketing.
This is just a small window of what Google Analytics has to offer. Don’t wait—start tracking your data today and use it to improve your marketing and website experience and performance. Ready to start diving into your data? Need some help? Contact Vivid Image today to learn more.