Understanding Google Analytics

Do you know how many visitors you get to your site each month? Do you know what pages they viewed? What about how long they stayed on your site or how they got there? These and many more questions can be answered by Google Analytics. It’s important to have analytics for your site in order to provide this useful information that will help you know your audience better and how to target new customers.

This blog will be a very basic overview of Google Analytics. Many marketers and business owners go through training in order to become Google Analytics certified. To gain more knowledge or work toward certification, you can visit the Google Analytics Academy. Our purpose here is just to help you understand more about why analytics is important for your website and how to understand some of the information it provides.

For our online marketing clients, one of the first things we do is set up their site with Google Analytics. Especially on the marketing side, analytics helps us see where we are succeeding and places that need some work. Before we dive into that, let’s start with some basics.

Understanding Google Analytics

What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a free web service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google launched the service in November 2005. It is now the most widely used web analytics service on the Internet.

Why is it important?
As mentioned before Google Analytics helps you know who’s coming to your site. You can see where they are coming from (such as a search engine or social media site), how long they are staying on your site, what page(s) they are visiting and more. Google has various reports that help organize all this data.

What reports does Google Analytics provide?
Google Analytics has four basic categories of reports. Each of these can be broken down into more specific data. The four main reports are:
1. Audience – Learn about your visitors, including where they come from geographically, their age and gender, their general interests, the technology they use to view your website (mobile, desktop, etc.), and how often they visit your site.
2. Acquisition – Learn how visitors arrived at your website. This includes organic search, social media, referrals (other sites), direct (typed your url in the address bar) and paid ads.
3. Behavior – See how visitors interact with your website. This report shows what pages are visited most, how much time visitors spend on a page, how they navigate your site and more.
4. Conversions – By setting up goals within your Google Analytics account, you can see how many conversions your website has received. You can also see the path visitors took to complete the conversion. A goal can be almost anything from completing a newsletter sign up to making a purchase.

Now what?
Once you understand more of what Google Analytics can do, you may be wondering what to do with this information. The options here are endless! More than anything, Google Analytics provides crucial information to help you market your business better. By learning the type of people who visit your site, you are better able to target your audience. Knowing how they get to your site can help you know where to put more efforts – on social media, organic search, blogs, etc. Knowing how they interact with your site can help you make changes and adjustments to keep them on your site longer or to lead to a sale or other conversion.

You can also compare one year or month to another to see if you are getting more or less traffic to your site and try to determine why that is. If you do a specific ad campaign, you can see how many people respond and if those responses lead to sales or business.

As online marketers, Google Analytics is extremely helpful to let us know what we are doing right and what needs improvement. We can see what landing pages or social media sites bring people to a client’s website. We can also see trends with their traffic compared to the work we are doing.

In the end, it all comes down to making your business more successful. Anytime you have a tool (especially a free one!) that can help you meet your goals, it’s worth your time to use it, or invest in professionals who know how to use it!

At WebDrafter.com, we can help with your online marketing. From managing your social media, to writing blogs and landing pages, to monitoring your site on Google Analytics, we can help you meet your business goals. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call at 866-421-3723 or Contact Us.