Understanding your target market’s consumer behaviour is crucial to the success of your business. Google Analytics is a popular free tool that will help you learn where your traffic is coming from, the pages they are visiting, and how long they are staying.
It is a double-edged sword in that you are provided with a wealth of information and might not understand the most effective way to turn that data into actionable and meaningful information.
Here are several useful ways to use Google Analytics to get the most practical benefits for your business.
Verify Your Setup
Before you can properly use and benefit from the latest features in Google Analytics you have to make sure it is working correctly on your site. Although you are only required to add tracking code to your website, if you don’t copy it correctly or put it in the wrong place, it won’t work.
To ensure that your web-tracking code is setup correctly, you can check it by one of the following methods:
- Check real-time reports: If the reports in your current activity have data in them, your analytics are set up correctly.
- Sign in to your account
- Navigate to a view in the property where you added the tracking code
- Open “reporting”
- Choose “Real-time”, then “Overview” or “Real-time behaviour”
- Use Google tag assistant: This is a free Chrome browser extension where you can see if your tracking code is working
If you are having trouble verifying your code, Google offers assistance resolving issues with their Troubleshooter.
Without setting goals, how will you know if you are successful or not? Google Analytics helps you clearly define your goals, track them, and analyse the results. You can use a template or create a custom goal.
This, in addition to setting goals, helps you make informed decisions by seeing which of your campaigns provides the best ROI and who, among your site visitors, you should be targeting.
Google Search Console
When you sync your Google Analytics with Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools), you will be able to see the indexing status to help you optimise your website’s visibility.
These two powerful tools combined give you full access to Google’s new Search Engine Optimization reports.
The reports you will be able to generate are based on the geographical summary, queries, and landing pages. This information is valuable because:
- You will be able to see the countries your organic visitors are coming from
- By looking at how specific keywords and keyword phrases are performing, you can improve your click-through-rate (CTR) by changing the description and meta title of your pages
- For landing pages that have a good CTR but low average position, you will be able to use an on-page optimization procedure for those pages to get better rankings.
Make Use of Alerts
For busy professionals, logging into Google Analytics every day is not the best use of our time. That’s why using custom alerts is so helpful. Based upon your specific business goals and needs, you can create alerts for any number of behaviours or actions.
You can also choose to get the alerts based on a specific segment of your traffic or all traffic. Analytics will be sent to you via text or email based on the criteria you select.
Understand the Search Behaviors of Your Visitors
When you know what people are looking for while visiting your website, you can make sure the information they seek is easy to find and readily available. Google Analytics Site Search shows you if people can see what they are looking for on your site.
It will also let you know if specific pages of your content need to be revised with new or more specific information to encourage more visitor engagement.
Review Your Reports
Creating custom reports can provide invaluable information that will help you understand relevant data about the effectiveness of your website.
However, if you don’t monitor and analyse the data, you are wasting your time. Schedule weekly or monthly review sessions to monitor your website performance.
If you make any significant updates to your site, be sure to check your reports to make sure the changes you made do not negatively affect your results.
The capabilities of Google Analytics are powerful and every website owner should make use of it. By using this free tool, you will learn valuable information such as:
- Where your website visitors are coming from
- The number of people that come to your site on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis
- Which pages are the most popular
- Are your visitors using mobile devices
- How many of your visitors become customers
Google Analytics is a basic yet comprehensive tool. You can consider it an essential part of your online marketing and prospecting toolset and for that reason, it is worth keeping up with its functionality and usefulness.