Getting started with Google Analytics can be overwhelming. While the tool itself can seem complex, don’t let the learning curve deter you; Google Analytics has some key features that can have a monumental impact on your marketing approach.
What Is Google Analytics? What Does It Do?
Google Analytics is a tool that helps you track and interpret data from your website. Its features include social media metrics, audience demographics, and web traffic details.
If you’ve ever wondered how effective your social media marketing strategies are or whether your site is viewed more on mobile, Google Analytics can help you answer these questions. It can also tell you where your website visitors are coming from, as well as help you improve your website’s design to be more user-focused.
Why Is Google Analytics Important?
One key reason to use Google Analytics is that you may miss out on valuable data and insights if you don’t. Google Analytics can help you answer questions about website visitors, conversion rates, marketing strategies, and content creation.
Here are some more questions that data from Google Analytics can help you answer:
- How do I improve my conversion rates?
- How many times does it take for a website visitor to convert?
- Who is my audience?
- Do I need to improve the mobile version of my website?
- Should I focus on potential new customers or recurring customers?
- Is my website too slow?
- What leads my customers to make a purchase?
- What do people Google search before clicking on my website?
- Is my social media marketing effective?
- Where are my website visitors coming from?
- Which of my webpages is the most popular?
Here’s the good news: even if you’re new to Google Analytics, you can still find the answers to these questions. Just follow along with our tips below for a comprehensive guide to Google Analytics.
How to Set Up Google Analytics
Step 1: Get a Tracking ID
Sign up for an Analytics account to get your Analytics tracking ID.
Pro tip: Make sure that your website’s account is under a shared business account and not a personal one. If a web designer, web developer, web host, SEO specialist, or any other employee creates the Analytics account under their personal Google account, your data will be lost if that person leaves your company. This means that you must ensure the Google Analytics account is tied to a centralized, accessible account.
Step 2: Add Analytics Tracking to Your Website
There are different ways to do this depending on where your website is located. If you have a WordPress website, you can use the Google Analytics by Yoast plugin to do this easily. You need to ensure that your tracking ID is installed on every page of your website.
Please note that it may take as long as 24 hours for data to show up in your Analytics account.
Step 3: Set Up Goals
Click Admin at the top of the page and select Goals under your website’s View column. Goals can be very helpful in analyzing conversions, as we see later on in this article.
Step 4: Analyze Your Website’s Data
Once your data is up on your Analytics account, it’s time to find some answers to your questions!
Want more than just the basics? Contact Imagine Better Solutions and let our expertise guide you.
Answering Your Questions with Google Analytics
How Do I Improve My Conversion Rates?
Under Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages, you can access information about how your landing pages are performing. Here is where you can see what pages your visitors are being greeted with the first time they visit your website. It shows you how many people are visiting a specific page, so if you notice that your blog gets more views than your homepage, you may want to improve your blog to direct viewers towards a sale.
Your Landing Page Report also shows you which pages have higher bounce rates. Bounce rates refer to the percentage of website visitors who leave after viewing only one page. A lower bounce rate means that visitors will check out other parts of your website before exiting. Pages with higher bounce rates may not be as effective for increasing conversions, so they can be an area for improvement.
Through understanding how your visitors interact with your website’s landing pages, you can figure out what content your audience likes and leverage this to increase conversions.
How Many Times Does It Take for a Website Visitor to Convert?
Under Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels, you can access the Path Length Report. This report shows you how many interactions page visitors have with your website before they buy something.
For example, if you notice that people often visit the ‘About’ page of your website before becoming paying customers, you might deduce that your users need a certain amount of information about your business before they buy. As such, you could consider providing extra information to your customers through your email campaigns or on your social media platforms, instead of simply telling them to ‘buy now.’
On the other hand, if you see that people are buying right away with fewer interactions on your website, you may infer that these people are already aware of your brand—perhaps they came to your site from one of your social media accounts. One way to leverage this information is by making use of the “buy now” feature on Instagram to make it easier for your followers to purchase your products.
Who Is My Audience?
To create more customized content and increase conversion rates, it is crucial to understand your audience. Google Analytics can help you figure out what types of people visit your website the most.
Under Audience > Affinity Categories, you can find a more detailed report of what your audience is interested in. While other reports under your audience section include audience demographics and location, Affinity Categories can help you reach out to potential clients at the beginning of the sales funnel who may not know about your product or service. This is a broader metric than the In-Market Segment because it analyzes a potential customer’s overall interests and identity, which can help you improve your value proposition.
In-Market Segment (also under Audience) tells you about people who are looking to buy a product or service. This can help you reach potential customers near the end of the sales funnel who may be more likely to convert.
Do I Need to Improve the Mobile Version of My Website?
Under Audience > Mobile Overview Report, you can compare desktop and mobile traffic conversions.
For example, if you are getting lots of mobile visitors with low conversions, you may want to change your mobile website design to make it easier for these visitors to buy your product. This means you can improve the sales or checkout page to make it easier to navigate.
Should I Focus on Potential New Customers or Recurring Customers?
The New vs Returning Report under Audience can help you answer this question. Sorting the table by the Goal Conversion Rate can help you analyze your sales. If you find that newer, first-time website visitors tend to convert more frequently than returning ones, you should focus more on customer acquisition. However, if you see that it is returning visitors that are powering your conversion rate, you should make increasing customer lifetime values a priority.
Is My Website Too Slow?
40% of people exit a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. In fact, a 1-second delay can mean a 7% decrease in conversions!
This means that website speed needs to be a top priority in your website’s design. Under Site Speed > Page Timings, you can find a report that shows you how fast or slow specific pages are. You can also go to the Speed Suggestions Report for the average load times of your website’s pages and recommendations for how to improve them.
If you find that pages with many visitors have high bounce rates, you may want to check how fast the page loads. If it takes a long time to load, improving the page’s speed may lower your bounce rate and lead to higher conversions.
What Leads My Customers to Make a Purchase?
Under Conversions > Goals > Reverse Goal Path, you can find a report to track your website visitors’ actions leading up to a sale.
Using this report can help you see which pages your customer was on before they decided to buy your product. For example, your customer may have visited the homepage, the About page, and then the Products page before making their final purchase. Analyzing this data allows you to deduce what path most customers take to buy your product. Using this information, you can direct future potential customers towards this same path in your marketing strategies.
What Do People Search for in Google That Leads Them to My Website?
Under Acquisition > Search Console > Queries, you can see what keywords people have searched for to reach your website. This can be incorporated into your content and marketing strategies to increase SEO and get more traffic to your website.
Is My Social Media Marketing Effective?
Looking at social conversions, which are under Acquisition > Social > Conversions, you can see how many conversions are attributed to your social media platforms. For example, if you are getting a lot of conversions from Instagram but not Facebook, you can put more effort into Instagram marketing and curate your content more specifically for your Instagram audience.
Where Are My Website Visitors Coming From?
Are people arriving at your site through a Google search or another website? You can find this out by looking under Google Analytics Stats > Acquisition > All Traffic > Source Medium. Here, you can see the exact websites that are leading visitors to your website. If another website linked yours, you can reach out to them to build a relationship and perhaps start a collaboration or marketing campaign to increase audience engagement for the benefit of both parties.
Which of My Webpages Is the Most Popular?
You can answer this question by looking at Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages. By focusing on page views, you can look at which posts have been viewed the most throughout a specific date range. If you’re looking for content that is consistently bringing people to your website, you can widen the date range to give you a more holistic look at which content performed well in its lifespan and which didn’t.
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