If you aren’t using Google Analytics, or another type of analytical software, on your website, you should be!
After all, tracking and examining your performance is what will allow you to take the guesswork out of making adjustments, so that you can work towards getting the results you want, faster.
In this post, I’ll show you what I consider to be the top 4 functions of Google Analytics
Google Analytics shows user information
When you are looking at the copywriting for your new, or existing, campaigns, you will need to write for your audience. Knowing the typical age profile of those who are regularly visiting your website will allow you to target the majority and maximise conversions, provided that your product is for them.
Age and gender information is only available when your visitors have allowed cookies, so it is likely that your data will not be complete. As per the photo above, the % of visitors that this data has been collected from is in the top right for each category.
Your viewers will not only be looking at your site. Google Analytics tracks where else your viewers have browsed, and compiles data on their interests so that you can gain insights into who your customers are.
Again, your users will need to allow this information to be shared, so the % of your audience that this data has been collected from will be shown in the top right corner.
Google Analytics shows where your visitors are from
Knowing how your potential customers are finding you is imperative to your digital marketing strategy.
In addition to knowing whether your organic, paid, or social campaigns are bringing you the most traffic, you can also see which channel has the highest conversion rate and the highest bounce rate. This allows you to test your tactics at the Awareness stage of your marketing funnel to see what concepts bring better traffic.
What happens when you need to track different campaigns coming from the same source, or the same campaign across different channels?
Enter the Urchin Tracking Module (UTM), also known as the Unique Tracking Module.
This is not a standard Google Analytics function, but something that is created by your digital marketer so that they can compare the effectiveness of campaigns without affecting the data for the rest of your traffic.
(Using a UTM will also not remove that data from the overview in Google Analytics)
A UTM gives Google 3 levels of data to be filtered into:
– The campaign name.
– The source / channel.
– The medium.
So, what does this look like in practice?
Imagine that you are advertising with a popular blog site.
You have a banner ad on their main webpage, a box ad inside their articles, a sponsored article of your own, and your banner ad is repeated on their daily update to their subscriber list.
All 4 ad placements will register with Google as referral traffic, as they are all link clicks to get to your site.
But, that’s no good if you want to know which placement has been the most cost effective, right?
This is where you would need UTMs, so that you can get a clearer picture on the campaign’s performance.
You can see how users behave on your site
Google Analytics allows you to see exactly how users move through your site, from where they land on to where they are most likely to drop off.
On the Behavior Flow screen, you can highlight traffic that has landed on a certain page, has travelled through a certain page on the 2nd/3rd/4th/etc interaction, or expand a particular step to view more about how traffic is interacting with that page at that point in their journey.
If you are using the Google Tag Manager, you can setup custom events to track whatever is relevant to you.
The above snippet shows that I use outbound-links as a metric on my website. This is ideal when you have affiliate products, for which the goal of those pages of interest is to send visitors off of your website.
Outbound links can also be viewed as the specific text clicked, so you can test which buttons, links, or text work the best on your page. Or, see which products are performing best if there are multiple on one page.
You can filter all of these to your preferences
In addition to all of the functions above, Google Analytics allows you to filter your traffic so that you can see exactly what audiences, behaviors, sources, and pages are working the best for you.
There are many preset segments as shown in the photo above. But, you can also create your own segments so that you can get the exact data you need to propel your business forwards.
Why you should have Google Analytics
From the moment you install, Google will be collecting data on your visitors, even if you don’t use it.
Imagine if, in a years time, you need to run an ad campaign, upgrade your website, or choose which social media platform to invest in.
You could have a year’s worth of free data there, ready to work for you.
Or, you could be wishing you had set it up and saved yourself the guesswork.
Which position would you rather be in?
If you need help setting up Google Analytics, or getting the best from your collected data, contact me for your free consultation today.