How can Google Analytics help my business?
The volume of data that GA provides makes it an essential component of any website manager or marketer’s online toolbox. It processes this data intelligently, then generates reports to display it to you in a clear way. These reports help you understand who your best customers are, how visitors reached your website, what steps they are taking as they transition from marketing through to your products / services, as well as what your most profitable conversion paths are. And that’s just a few benefits.
But the scale of data can be overwhelming, and without a sound knowledge of Google Analytics, it can prove difficult to make data-driven decisions for your business. GA is seriously underused by businesses. It all comes down to how much time you have as a business owner. The more time you can allocate to analysing your GA data (or employing a specialist who can do this for you), the more insights and actions you can take forward for the benefit of your business.
Here are some examples of how GA can help your business:
Understand who your customers are
GA insights will help you better define your target audience.
GA’s Audience Overview section provides a general profile of users who have interacted with your website – where they’re located, what devices they use, how much time they spend on certain web pages, etc. It provides unique user numbers (all data can be provided for specific time frames), number of sessions per user, page views, average session duration, bounce rate, lifetime value of a user, cohort analysis, demography, age, the technology they use, their behaviours and interests… by working these metrics into your marketing strategy you can not only develop your website to better suit them, but you can engage with them more effectively within your marketing strategy. A win-win. (This data also confirms whether the customer you were targeting in the very beginning, is the right one!)
See where your traffic is coming from
The insights you can gain from GA reports can be vital to improving your marketing activity. Data collected can help you understand:
- How much traffic is driven to your site by different marketing channels
- Which websites refer the most visitors
- The conversion rate of visitors from different channels
- Where your site visitors are located
You can then use this data to tailor your marketing activity. Invest in the channels that are performing well, and move away from the unsuccessful ones. The perfect recipe for a successful marketing strategy.
Understand your top performing pages/popular products and services
What can you do to optimise your most successful pages further, for even better results? Can you add a more powerful call to action? Is there a particular product you’re launching that you could link to from one of these high performing pages? Can you add additional content to it to provide more value and draw even more traffic? Can you include an e-newsletter sign up box on the page to help build your email list?
If GA data tells you that your most popular content includes blog posts, consider writing additional content around these subjects, including a clear call to action (typically at the end of the post) and a couple of links to your products/services where appropriate.
Try to refresh the information in your best performing posts periodically to keep the text fresh and up-to-date.
There will always be some product categories that outperform others. There tends to be an 80/20 rule, where 80% of your sales come from 20% of your product categories. GA offers Product Page Analysis, which will help you learn about your most popular products so you can give them additional attention to increase their sales further (and shift your focus away from underperforming categories).
Improve your website to achieve your business goals
Google Analytics helps you to better understand and adjust your website in order to increase your returning visitors and communicate with them in a way to best encourage a conversion. You can set ‘goals’ within GA to measure how often users complete specific actions, known as ‘conversions’ e.g. make a purchase, download a guide, sign up to an e-newsletter, etc. Defining goals helps GA deliver critical information to you such as the number of conversions and the conversion rate. Without this information, it’s almost impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of your online business and marketing campaigns.