Do you want to know the most comprehensive statistics regarding your website visitors including how they convert, where they lose interest and most of all your profitable channels? Do you want to track the traction you get from your Facebook and Email Marketing? If so, you have to acquaint yourself with Google Analytics today. Most of you will probably have Google Analytics. But be warned! Most of the time it’s just been installed and doing bare minimum to help you make accurate decisions about you Marketing/Sales efforts.
Google Analytics (GA), one of the most powerful web analytics applications available today, not to mention being completely FREE! GA is used by many businesses to reinvent their marketing strategies, drive accurate decisions, remove the guesswork and create a better understanding of how they can acquire, nurture, and convert their customers.
Generally, these are the things Google Analytics can do for your business:
- It allows you to get to know their followers more. By checking their demographics, interests, technology used, among others; you’ll find out a bit about the customers you’re trying to win.
- It allows you to check where or what sales channel of yours they came from; and
- It allows you to know which of your products are working best and with whom.
Without going into full nerd burger territory, not many understand and know how to use Google Analytics. So today, we’re sharing this comprehensive beginner’s guide to Google Analytics. Follow these steps below:
If you don’t have GA, here is how to setup your Google Analytics Account
Step 1: Sign up using your GMAIL account by visiting the Google Analytics website.
Step 2: Fill in the form carefully. Remember, your information affects how data appears in your reports, so make sure to double check it.
Step 3: Get your tracking ID and code on your website. Then, wait for at least 24 hours for the code to collect and send usage data to your Analytics account.
Step 4. Once you have filled in the forms and selected your options you’ll be presented with the install code. You will need to install this on ALL pages. If you’re using wordpress there is a ‘Insert Header and Footer’ plugin which will install it on all pages. Every platform is different. If you’re using Magento, Siteground have a nice tutorial.
If you’re afraid you’ll break the site you might want to hire a freelancer at oDesk or Freelancer to do this task easily for you. Don’t worry, it would only cost you around $20 or less. If you choose the latter though, make sure that you have him/her set it up using your account. You want to own the data! Not anyone else. This applies for your web agency too.
Best Ways To Start Using Google Analytics
Now that you have your Analytics code installed properly, you can start checking the data gathered from your site. Here is the most valuable data you can get from your Analytics account:
Analytics monitors your website’s traffic to detect significant statistical variations. When there is a huge change in your traffic, Analytics takes note of these as “Intelligence Events”. There are two types of Intelligence Events that you can check:
- Automatic alerts cover all significant changes in the traffic pattern from your site.
- Custom alerts cover a specific change in your traffic pattern. For example, you can set a custom alert to appear when traffic from Melbourne decreased by more than 20%.
Intelligence Events are useful in checking whether a specific campaign worked or not (Use a UTM code and you’ll get more granular data). For example, if you did an ad campaign in Facebook, you can check this section if there was a spike in traffic during that day.
From the title itself, “real time” gives you real time data of the traffic from your site. Some of the best features this can give you are:
- Right Now: Number of users currently viewing your website. How cool! If you are thinking of installing or have installed a live chat solution you can gauge the capacity of your labour commitment.
- Top Referrals: The websites where most of your visitors came from. (e.g. Facebook, Pinterest). This tool is excellent because you will know where to focus your campaign effort.
- Top Active Pages: The pages / posts in your website that gets the most visitors
- Top Keywords: The most searched keywords in your site. This fantastic tool can assist when buying (retail), developing content (blogs), campaign development and search strategy
- Top Locations: The place where most of your visitors came from (e.g. Melbourne, Victoria)
The best piece of information that you can get from Real Time is knowing where your visitors came from, and what they are currently looking at in your site. This way, you’d know which part of your website is most valuable to your followers, and which areas need more improvement.
If you want to better understand who your users are (without running a survey), this is the section to see! Here are the bits of information that you can get from the Audience section:
- Demographics. This section gives you an insight about the age and gender of the people who visit your site.
- Geo. This section gives you an insight about the location of your audience and the language they speak.
- Behaviour. This section gives you an insight whether most of your visitors are new or returning, how frequent the returning viewers visit you (As Seth Godin would say: “your tribe”), and how much engagement do they have whilst on your site (viewing other pages, sharing your posts, posting comments etc).
- Technology. This section gives you an insight of the kind of browser, OS, and network which most of your visitors are using.
- Mobile. This section gives you an insight to the kind of mobile device mostly used by viewers to see your site.
- Custom Variable. This section gives you an insight to the custom variables that you made for your website. This tool is a retailers’ and databases best friend.
- Users Flow. This section gives you an insight to the reading flow of your website viewers. You can see what links they first check, then what link they go to next, and where they usually drop off.
With this data, it’s a lot easier to tailor future campaigns and content so they become valuable to readers.
If you want to know which campaign is working best for you, you may use this section. Acquisition helps us know which gets us the most traffic: organic search, social media, referral, direct, and email.
I’ve really only covered the basics here. Google Analytics is truly a gold mine of information about your new and existing customers interactions on your site. Through the data you can refine or re-define your website, ad campaigns, traffic, resource and product strategies so you attract and convert people into paying customers who come back again and again.
Let me know if you need help with your Google Analytics okay! Leave me a comment and I’ll email you about a free GA Audit so that you can start milking the GA goldmine.