Many people think of Google as a search company but the more you learn about Google you come to discover that they are really a data company. Google loves data and they collect as many pieces of data as possible. Lucky for us they share some of that data with us through Google Analytics. As I’ve stated before my passion as an SEO lies in finding what marketing tactics are working for my clients and continuing to improve on those ideas. As a business owner you may have a gut feeling of what is working, but I always feel better when there are numbers that back up that gut feeling. To find those number I always turn to Google Analytics. Like everything in the SEO world Google Analytics is always subject to change (for an example just ask any marketer about not provided). Most of the time those changes are for the better and today we are going to talk about one of those better changes.
What’s New in Google Analytics?
There are many new features in Google Analytics. When you first log into Google Analytics you may notice the addition of a tab called “Acquisitions.” We’ll discuss that one more in another post. Today I want to focus on the new change found under the “Audience” tab. When you click on the Audience tab you’ll notice two new reports. These reports are labeled “Demographics” and “Interests.” One thing to point out. These reports need to be enabled with a small alteration to your Google Analytics tracking code.
Google Analytics has always provided us with Demographics reporting. This update has enhanced demographic reporting to help us as marketers identify the age and gender of our audience. So if you are writing a blog that is intended to target 25 year old males and your audience is made up of 65 year old females you know you aren’t reaching your target market. I’ve included a sample of the age mountain chart below.
Interest reporting is something brand new to Google Analytics. This report helps you identify what your site visitors are interested in. For example are visitors to your site sports fans, or do they enjoy social media sites? This reporting feature is great for a few things.
- This reporting will help you use language that speaks to your audience.
- If you are buying advertising on media channels that target a specific audience this report will help you know if that audience is right for you
- This report will help you build your network of influence. For example, at Vivid Image we are a marketing company and we are targeting an audience that cares about marketing. If our interest reporting shows that news junkies enjoy our site we may have an opportunity for cross promotion with a news publishing site.
What’s the Point?
I’m hoping that you find this information helpful and valuable. However there is a bigger point here as well. I’ve been working in marketing for a while and I am always frustrated when I hear the old cliche, “half of my marketing dollars work, I’m just not sure which half.” Chances are you view your website as the center of your marketing world. In most of your ads you want prospects to go to your website. You take in leads or sales through your website. And you fill your website with great content. We live in an age where data is readily available. Learning how to use Google Analytics will not only help you make better marketing decisions, but it will also allow you to know exactly which half of your marketing budget works, and it will give you a good idea of what to do with the half that doesn’t.