In terms of complexity, fully understanding all of the Google Analytics features ranks just short of achieving a graduate degree in chemical engineering. The system is complicated which makes it difficult to fully maximize the data that the analytical tool provides. Regardless of whether you’re promoting a dance studio, a health supplement or the Grande Vegas Casino you’ll find plenty of useful data, even in the basic analytical site, to help you advance your business.
Read below to discover some things that you should keep in mind while looking at your analytics results.
Google Analytics offers a chance to check the results that you want to see. Obviously, not everyone is going to want to see all of the same results – for instance, if you’re promoting a restaurant in New York you’ll want to target an audience of people located in the Northeast. If, however, you’re promoting a natural bubble bath that will be shipped to consumers, the location of your audience isn’t going to be of paramount interest.
Some of the most important elements of the Google analytics as they apply to everyone include:
- New vs. Return Visitors – Under the Visitors Section/Overview you’ll see a subsection titled “New versus Returning Visitors.” This can tell you whether you’re attracting people who are using your site over and over again or you’re burning through new leads. Return visitors are most likely to convert into sales since they care enough about what they saw one time to return to your site. However, if your site offers information as a way of drawing in new clients, you’ll probably be pleased to see that you have a good number of new site visitors.
- Bounces – If your visitors aren’t staying on the site for any length of time you’re not giving them what they want. This not only affects your relationship with these visitors but it can also lower the site’s ranking in the Google rankings. Keep an eye on the Bounce Rate and the Length of Visit/Time Spent on Site. The longer, the better. Keep your audience more engaged with richer more meaningful texts.
- New Visitors – Under the Visitors Section/Overview check whether the number of new visitors is up or down. If you’re getting fewer new visitors you need to work on your SEO – organically or for payment.
- Referrals – Under “Acquisitions” you’ll see a button for “Referrals” This gives you an idea of which external sites refer to your site by providing links that allow visitors to click right into your site. These links are important. Not only do they boost your ranking in the search engines but they bring visitors straight to your site. It’s worthwhile to develop such relationships with other sites – perhaps through crosslinks that boost both sides.
- Keywords – The Keyword section saves you time and money. You don’t need to search for the right keywords that will bring someone to your site – do it yourself by studying this section of the analytics report. Under “Traffic Sources/Direct Resources” click on the keywords. You’ll see which words people used to get to your site. In addition to creating your copy using the correct keywords you can use these words to create an Ad Sense campaign. It’s also important to make sure that these keywords appear in the title pages which will give you even better search results.
- Popular Pages – Go to “Behavior” and then “Site Content.” Click on “All Pages” to determine which pages are the most important. By identifying the pages that your audience most wants to see, you can build up your site by expanding those pages into sub-pages and using those pages to more actively promote your product or service.
Use your dashboard area to set up your analytics so that you see the data that’s most important to you first.
You can even create multiple dashboards with different widgets on each dashboard. To create a dashboard find the Dashboard tab in the menu bar. Click “New Dashboard and add the widgets that you wish to see on that dashboard. Some widgets may show you one particular metric, a timeline that includes one or two metrics, a pie chart that compares metrics or a table that shows a dimension with two specific metrics. There are also filters for each type of widget.
By changing the date range for a widget you can see overviews of your stats traffic over a specific time period.
Poorest Performing Pages
By identifying your poorest performing pages you’ll be able to ascertain your audiences’ interests and preferences so you can adjust your site to give them what they want. Poor performing pages can increase your bounce rate which can bring your overall ranking down in the Google search results.
Evaluate your site’s content to ensure that your audience is able to find what they want and need. Give them a call to action (subscribing to a mailing list, purchasing a product, etc) so that they have something to do with the information that they receive.
Don’t neglect the option for mobile engagement. Over 50% of internet users conduct their searches and purchase products on mobile. If you’re wondering whether your audience would benefit from a mobile-enabled site, look under the “Visitors” menu. Click on the “Mobile” button to see the total percentage of visitors who come to your page on a mobile device.
If you aren’t sure whether your site is already mobile-enabled use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Check.
Google Analytics is a great marketing tool but it can be complicated. If you’re a new user, start slowly and build up so that you can maximize its use for your business needs.