When you’re a business owner, marketer, or department head, you hear that data offers you a prime advantage. Google Analytics, in particular, is supposed to be useful because it’s mostly free and constantly updates to bring you fresh insights in real time.
But what do you do with all that data?
You probably started using Google Analytics because you heard about its value, but following up and deciphering the stream of numbers and reports is a bigger task. It’s essential for you to grasp the purpose and utility of Google Analytics to improve your marketing.
What Google Analytics Measures
Before you can use Google Analytics to its full advantage, first understand what it is and the services it offers. Basically, it tracks data using a unique tracking code.
You install the code on every page of your website so Google Analytics can record information regarding your viewers and their actions. The tracking code specifically measures dimensions and metrics.
Dimension refers to the specific attributes of the data, including the geographic location of the visitor or the social channel he or she comes from. This tells you about the source of the traffic.
Metrics refer to numeric measurements of your traffic source. They reveal numbers for advertising effectiveness, traffic, and how many visitors land on the page, for example.
The information for the measured dimensions and metrics can be found in the “Site Usage Statistics” section. You can also take a closer look at the performance of such details as back links and your content.
Specifically, Google Analytics helps you understand the source of your traffic. You might see the connection between your site and a referring one, or recognize the keyword that led them to your page.
One of the most critical analytics that comes from this data is the identification of your top content pages, or the most-viewed pages on your website. You can learn this information in the Content section when you look under Top Content.
This shows you the ten most-visited pages on your site. This information looks at such indicators as keywords and calls to action to inform you what inspires visitors to stick around.
What Google Analytics Can Do for You
Collecting this kind of data isn’t sufficient to support real work on your site, though. You have to follow up and apply the information, whether you wish to foster growth or generate more effective marketing.
Even if you think you know what the analytics are telling you, taking a closer look will reveal insights you might not have expected. “The results you find in your Google Analytics data may surprise you,” says Eric Siu, a marketer at Single Grain.
“People may react better to pages you didn’t even think they’d notice, while your site may be found by keywords you never considered. That’s why it’s so important to analyze and react to the data you’re able to generate about your visitors’ behaviors. You never know what opportunities you’re missing out on until you take the time to review your metrics.”
Putting It Into Practice
Google Analytics delivers all its findings in a visual and easy-to-read report. What you have to do is take that information and put it into action.
Here are some of the things you should be doing with your Google Analytics Data:
Acquisition: Detailed insights will tell you to replicate or abolish certain metrics for more customers. Look at bounce rate and conversions to see which search engines are driving the most traffic, how many consumers start a new session, and which content referred users to your site. From there, you can enhance certain practices or make alterations.
Content Creation: You can recognize the popularity of your content as well as the unpopular facets to guide content creation. “If people are connecting with certain pieces of content on your site better than others, it makes sense to add more similar content in the future,” Siu says. Similarly, you can avoid rehashing mistakes in content that doesn’t perform well.
Campaign Planning: The data will also reveal which of your specific marketing campaigns are most successful in terms of conversions and traffic. In the Advanced Segments tab, you’ll identify top performers, and discern how to allocate your advertising funds.
Target Your Audience: Thanks to demographic data, you’ll unveil useful details such as geographic location, age range, and behaviors of your target audience, which will help you create highly targeted messages.
Improve Website Pages: When you know what your top-performing pages are, you also learn which ones are performing poorly. You’ll uncover the areas that require much-needed improvement on your website.
Alter Cart Abandonment Rates: In e-commerce, understanding why customers choose not to complete a transaction is priceless. Data will reveal the points on your page where customers failed to complete a transaction. From there, you can understand what may have stopped them, such as poor navigation or hesitation based on external factors such as money.
There are dozens of uses for Google Analytics in your business. Don’t let this free information go by the wayside when you could use it to perfect your marketing campaign. Data is the future of business, and embracing it now will give you a competitive edge.