Imagine you start a small flower shop in your locality. You want to let the locals know about your business, so you go about sticking flyers all over town. After a few weeks, business isn’t that great and you wonder if the flyers are really helping or not. What if there was some way to find out who all have seen your flyers and who all stayed to read? It would be helpful to know the best places to post flyers; places that would attract more customers. Well, Google Analytics does just that, and a lot more.
What is Google Analytics?
Sorry to let you down, Google Analytics has nothing to do with flyers. But if you had a website for your shop, GA would tell you everything you need to know about its visitors! Having a website is crucial for every business. Your website is the face of your company, especially to those who don’t know you. Your website could potentially be one of your biggest sources of customers. Naturally, a lot of time is spent polishing websites to make them look pretty and load faster. You also need to know if anyone is actually visiting this pretty website of yours. This is where Google Analytics comes in.
Google Analytics is a free analytics tool you can use to monitor the traffic your website receives. It gives you detailed information on your website’s visitors. Each visitor is categorized under different demographics, and you get a ton of information about their location, time spent on your site, the pages they visited, where they came from, and much more. It is up to you to use this information to plan a strategy to get more hits on your website. You can also use the data to improve your website. Google Analytics is used by over 50 million websites all over the world. Let us quickly go through how you can use GA to improve your digital marketing strategy.
Using Google Analytics to Improve Your Marketing
Every time someone visits your site, Google Analytics collects data on them. There are mainly two types of data collected by Google Analytics; User Acquisition Data and User Behaviour Data.
User Acquisition Data: Information about visitors before they visit your site can be found here.
Each “pageview” gets categorized under different age groups, gender, location, and other demographics. This gives you insights on the type of people who visit your site. For example, if the majority of your visitors are aged between 18-24 years, you should plan campaigns to target them specifically. You can change the appearance of your site to look more modern to make it more appealing to the youngsters. If you have very few people visiting your site above the age of 50, it is not worth spending time and money on targeting them. Depending on their location, you can target your ads to attract more people from a particular area. In the case of a flower shop, if you are getting a steady number of male visitors, maybe throw in a few offers for them? Flower shops are important for men, especially after an argument!
Google Analytics also provides you with information on how visitors reach your website. This can be categorized into the following:
Direct: Viewers that have visited your site by typing the URL into a browser or by clicking a bookmark. Having a catchy and easy to remember URL helps.
Organic: Viewers from search engines like Google and Bing. Good numbers here are a sure indication of an effective SEO strategy. Give your content writers a raise.
Paid: Visits from paid sources like Google Ads.
Referral: People who have clicked on your link from another website.
Social: Visitors from different social media platforms. An effective social media marketing strategy will be reflected here.
Also, if you’re getting a lot of visits from Instagram, make sure your website loads like butter on mobile devices. Nothing ticks people off more than a buggy and slow website.
Email: Visitors from your email campaigns.
GA also shows you the devices people have accessed your website from. Use this data to optimize your website on all devices.
User Behaviour Data: Information that is collected when someone visits your site. Details like the number of visits on each page, time spent on each page, etc are shown here. Here are some stats that can help you improve your website:
Bounce rate is the percentage of people who have left your website from the first page they visited (landing page), without checking out any of your other pages. The lower your bounce rate, the more engaging your site is. This data is also categorized under different demographics. This is a great way of knowing which pages different people are least interested in. Bounce rates may be high if your visitors don’t find what they need on the landing page. It can also be high if you have a visually unpleasant and cluttered page. Improve your web pages and make it easier for people to find what they need. Increase loading speeds since slow websites are one of the biggest reasons for a high bounce rate. Be wary, this data can be misleading too. People accidentally click links all the time and leave without clicking anything else.
Another feature of Google Analytics, called “Content Drilldown”, gives you information on the number of visits on each page of your website. It also shows you the amount of time spent on each page. This information shows you how organized your page is. It is also a great way of knowing what visitors are interested in your site. Similarly, “Landing Page” shows the number of visits on the pages that people are visiting first. This is a good way of finding popular pages on your site. If that page has a specific type of content, it would be wise to make more of such content. All these different stats show you what people are interested in. You can use this knowledge to make your website more appealing to your visitors.
Other Features of Google Analytics
Google Analytics has some really useful extra features. When you manage your own website, you’ll probably visit it a hundred times each day. These views could also add to the overall stats, giving you incorrect data. In order to prevent this from happening you can exclude your visits by switching on a filter in the Admin section. Another cool feature is the ability to check how well your website is running on different browsers. You can observe load times and bounce rates for different browsers. This information can be used to fine-tune your website to work smoothly across all browsers. Speed is a very important factor in user experience. You could lose a lot of potential customers if your site is slow. In a world of lightning-fast websites, nobody has the patience to let a page take its own sweet time to load.
To summarise, Google Analytics gives you a ton of information about the traffic your website is receiving. You also get information that you can use to make your website more popular, make better content, improve user experience on your website, and also sell a ton of flowers!