In this article, we will discuss how you can make better business decisions by leveraging Google Analytics.
We are going to show you how important Google Analytics is when it comes to maximizing the return on your marketing investment by discussing the following key topics:
- What Google Analytics is and why businesses need it
- Integrating the analytics platform with your website
- How Google Analytics can inform business decisions
- How to use reports to gain insights and get results
- Advanced ways to use Google Analytics
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a platform within Google Marketing that analyzes user activity across and within websites. By providing statistics on items such as session length, bounce rate, pages visited per session, and many more. Among many others, GA is at its most potent when used with Google Ads.
By observing how users reach your website and how they behave once they are on it, you can steer your online marketing strategy to improve the quantity and quality of visitors to your site. You can also use the data to develop the best way of converting website visitors into leads. It helps you to identify the best and worst-performing pages of your website and its content.
Equally important are the demographics of your site’s visitors. In addition to their movements, understanding who your site visitors are also helps ensure that you are reaching out to your target audience.
Why Google Analytics is critical for business
Google Analytics collects vast amounts of information about users’ behavior across the Internet. That makes it an essential driver of your web marketing strategy and the management of your website. Let’s take a brief look at some of the critical data points the GA can provide.
Where did your site visitors come from? Which websites, Google Ads campaigns, or search engines brought them to your website? Google Analytics can show you the number of visitors that each source produced and how many of those became leads by responding to a call to action on your site.
To ensure that your website provides a consistently high-quality visitor experience, it is essential to understand how they are interacting with it. Google Analytics can tell you how long they spent on each page, as well as what they interacted with on that page.
This is extremely useful information because if you are getting what you consider to be high numbers of visitors, but you have a low conversion rate (visitors complete actions), there could be issues with your website. For example, a contact form may not be working, or maybe you need to improve your content.
Analytics will show you which times of day get the most visits to your site. With that information, you can program to publish new content such as a blog post when it is most likely to be read.
GA will allow you to see what kind of device was being used when visitors accessed certain content on your site. Based on that and user-related information, you can select the best options to reach out to those people.
This is another important slice of data, and it has two key uses. If you are in the process of setting up a marketing strategy, knowing where in the world your visitors are located can help you tailor your commercial plan to the appropriate market. If you have already set up your goals in Google Ads and targeted specific locations, you can check if you are reaching the right people.
How to start using Google Analytics on your website
Whether you just have a personal blog or a website for your business, there is no point in having a site if nobody can find it. That is where Google Analytics comes in.
It is simple to set up Google Analytics for your website. Just follow these easy steps.
- If you do not already have one, set up a Google account.
- Log into Google Analytics and follow the on-screen instructions to finish setting it up.
- Paste the tracking ID into every page on your website.
- Set up your Google Analytics goals.
Once the analytics data starts rolling in, you will begin to get an accurate understanding of where you need to improve your website’s performance.
If you use a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, it is usually easier to install the Google Analytics plugin. Particularly if you have a website with a lot of pages, a plugin can save you a lot of time because you will not have to paste the tracking ID into every page. The simplest way to install a GA plugin for WordPress, for example, is to sign up for a third-party service that will take care of it for you.
How Google Analytics can help inform business decisions
Google Analytics can give you data on the potential lead’s complete journey to, within, and away from your website.
All this information can give you the demographics of your visitors, the sites they visited before arriving on yours, what search terms they have used, and their behavior once they are on your site.
Along with other invaluable pieces of information, such as when they access your website and how long they spend on each page—you can use this information to take the guesswork out of your online marketing.
User Acquisition Data Report
User acquisition data is fundamental to maximizing your return on investment for marketing. Customers use a variety of channels to get to your website.
Here is a summary of the most commonly-used channels.
- Organic search: Because of good use of keywords, your website has appeared in search results which the user is then clicked on
- Paid search results: You have paid for your site to appear as a sponsored ad at the top of the search results, and the user has clicked on it
- Social: Content or adverts that you have posted on social media channels have been clicked on by the user
- Direct marketing: For example, the user has clicked on a link in a mail-out or newsletter to arrive at your site
- Referral: You have encouraged your customers to tell their friends about your company
Target high-traffic channels
With Google Analytics, you can take an evidence-based approach to allocating marketing funds. It enables you to allocate your marketing budget to the most effective channels.
Some channels, such as social and organic, can be broken down to give you an even more detailed control on where to focus your efforts and spending.
For example, social can include networks such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Users have a lot of control over the search engines they use in their browsers, and although Google is currently the dominant one, there are alternatives such as Bing and DuckDuckGo.
Initially, you will probably try all of these subchannels. After a while, you will see which ones have the biggest active audience. Or, you will see patterns over which search engine users have clicked on to arrive at your website.
To improve the chances of your website appearing at or near the top of organic search results, it needs to be SEO optimized. The Google Search Console contains a variety of reports and tools to provide insight on your website’s SEO performance and suggest fixes when Google detects issues.
It can even show you the keywords and search terms people are using. That way you can ensure that the keywords you select for your website will push it high up into search results.
Of course, you want to maximize your chances of converting site visitors into leads. The Search Console can give you a profile of who is searching with any given search terms, which can help you to target your marketing efforts more efficiently.
Audience Data Report
Getting people to visit your website is a good start, but you need to keep them until they respond to a call to action (CTA).
To do this, you need to understand who they are, where they are, what parts of your site they do and do not like, and what kind of devices they are using while accessing the website. Google Analytics calls this Audience Data.
Targeting the right audience
Having done the market research for your product or service in the first place, you would have already identified your target audience. With the detailed information from Google Search Console, you can easily see if that is the kind of visitor you are getting to your website.
If you are not getting the right kind of people to your site, you will probably need to reconsider your SEO and channel options.
According to a 2020 report by Statista, 50.2% of all web traffic is via mobile phones.
The combination of data about the type of device being used and the bounce rate can highlight potential issues with your website. For example, if users accessing your site on a mobile phone, find it difficult to navigate, you may want to check your website’s design to ensure that it is mobile-friendly.
Similarly, information about which devices are being used can help you manage your Google Ads pay-per-click service by targeting the correct type of device.
The user flow report helps you to understand the user’s movement around your website. as well as telling you how they have interacted with your website, it can also tell you what page they were on when they left your site and how long they spend on your site before reaching the point you want them to perform an action.
This understanding of the user experience is essential for reviewing the efficacy of your SEO, calls to action, and general digital marketing strategy.
Advanced Google Analytics
Google Analytics can drill right down into user data, giving you extremely detailed insights into your potential customers.
Real-time reports, segmentation, and goals are three additional sources of user information.
To create urgency and interest, you may create a time-limited marketing campaign. This type of campaign can be a very agile one, and with real-time reports on user behavior, user source, and conversion rates, you can maximize the opportunities that are created.
Real-time reports are most useful when they are integrated with goals and Google Tags.
Segmentation is excellent for obtaining fine detail about your audience. You can break it down into sections such as location, actions they take on your site, bounces off it, and lots more.
With that much detailed information, it is easy to understand which elements of your marketing are working well and which ones are not.
The fundamental objective of any digital marketing campaign is to bring potential clients to your website and guide them down the sales funnel to convert them into customers.
Once you have decided how you want to take them on that journey, you set those objectives up as goals. It is these goals that provide the marker when considering conversion rates. Whatever your objective, registering on your site, downloading content, or making a purchase, you need to know how effective it is. If the data from Google Analytics shows you that visitors are not responding to your CTA, you should review that call to action.
Business decisions and analytics go hand in hand
We live in an increasingly data-driven world, so it makes sense to use the data available to make the best possible decision for your business.
The better you understand your potential customers, the more efficiently you can move them down the sales funnel.
However, you have to remember there are two aspects. You have the period before the client reaches your site and their experience once they are on it. In both cases, there is a plethora of data to understand their behavior and their intentions.
If you are not confident with using Google Analytics, or you simply do not have enough time to manage it properly, contact Viden to find out how they can maximize your marketing investment and your time.