We like Google Analytics because it reveals a ton of useful information about your website, and did we mention it’s free? A frequently asked question regarding social media is, what’s the ROI? Installing Google Analytics on your website makes it much easier to track the ROI of online marketing than its offline counterpart. You can see where your traffic is coming from, whether or not your recent Facebook campaign caused a spike in traffic to your website, what pages people visit most often and spend the most time on, and much more.
For advice and tips on setting up Google Analytics on your website, check out our earlier blog post.
Why you should be using Google Analytics
1. Measuring your website performance over time. Using Google Analytics, you can easily compare your site’s performance with its past performance over a specific time period. We like to compare both this month versus last month, and how we’re performing this year versus the same time last year.
2. Visitor loyalty. It’s great if your website is getting tons of hits, but if those people visit once and never return then something isn’t resonating with your target audience. Analytics tracks all visitors to your website and determines how many are first time visitors versus returning visitors.
3. Integrate your adwords account. If you already have a Google AdWords account, you can integrate it with analytics to collect campaign, ad group or keyword specific data. The data collected includes cost, conversions, impressions, clicks and whether the ad resulted in a sale. You can even see your profit margin for each ad that led to a sale.
4. Dashboard customization. The basic Analytics dashboard comes with all kinds of useful tidbits of data; including, most popular pages on your site, visitors, bounce rate, time on site, traffic sources, etc. But, there’s a lot more to Google Analytics than the dashboard. These other metrics, such as the Adwords overview, top landing pages, goals, and the keywords entered into internal search must be accessed manually from the left hand navigation bar. If you find you use manually accessible features often, you can add them to your dashboard using the ‘add to dashboard’ button at the top of the page. Once you’ve added something to your dashboard, it will stay there until you choose to remove it. It’s also possible to rearrange your dashboard to your preferred layout.
5. Internal search. If you have an internal search bar on your website, Analytics tracks exactly what people are typing into that field to find things on your website. It also tracks what page they were on when they made the search, and where they ended up after completing the search.
6. Assign access to your account. You can give people two types of access to your Analytics account. Administrator access gives key people full access to your account, whereas read-only privileges allow people to run reports, but they are unable to make any changes or access your website specific Analytics code.
7. Set goals. It’s easy to set up a goal for almost anything you would like users to do on your website; including, visiting a certain page, making a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, ad conversions, etc. This will give you a clear idea of whether people are taking the steps on your website that you would like them to follow.
8. Scheduled reports and easy exportation. If you can never remember to check your Google Analytics account, it’s possible to set it up so that regular reports get emailed to your inbox. Or, you can schedule reports to regularly be emailed to key employees, in a variety of handy formats. It’s also possible to export your data in a CSV file where you can view and manipulate it in Excel.
9. Funnel visualization. This is a great tool that allows you to see when visitors are backing out of the conversion process on your website. For example, it lets you know if most people quit trying to buy your product at the shopping cart step, or if people stop signing up for your newsletter when they realize how much personal information they have to divulge. This information lets you know what it is about your conversion processes that are deterring your customers.
10. Bounce rates. The bounce rate is the number of people that immediately leave your site after landing on it. You can look at the bounce rate for each individual page to determine which ones are ‘sticky’. If the majority of people land on a page of your website and leave right away, you may want to rethink the copy or layout of that particular page.
Need help installing Google Analytics on your website? Contact us; this is one of the many services we provide our clients.