Google Analytics 101: What you Need to Know

The rise of digital media not only provided new avenues of marketing, but it also provided the opportunity for businesses to more completely understand the prospective customer buying process and consumer lifecycle behavior on the web.

We now have readily available general insights on demographic information, how a visitor interacts with different content on your site and what content is most popular. More specific information is available as well. For example, you can see all the pages that someone visits before taking a desired action (like making a purchase or completing a form). 

All of this is made possible with analytic tools such as Google Analytics (Google’s free analytics platform for webmasters).

While tracking user actions through analytics platforms is of great value, what’s even more valuable is figuring out how to use the tools to best benefit your growing business. In other words, the real power of Google Analytics is when it moves from merely providing ‘descriptions’ of behavior to when it helps you arrive at ‘predictive’ analyses of behavior. This is when you begin using Google Analytics data to drive greater revenues and greater profitability for your business.

Why Businesses Need Analytics
Understanding how to use analytics will increase your ROI, period. And what you need to know is not difficult to access, if you set it up right to start with.
For instance, if you are buying traffic via Adwords or Facebook, would it be helpful to know that Facebook visitors interacted with your website completely different than Adwords visitors?
If you are creating content for inbound marketing, would it be helpful to know what topics are most popular and what content actually created new leads or customers?

Many businesses are doing a lot of marketing activities online including:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing

The question is, what is working? What should you do more of and what should you stop doing? Google Analytics can help a business make those types of decisions, so your limited marketing resources can be used most effectively.

Google Analytics: What is it?
Google Analytics provide website owners with detailed information about how visitors interact with their websites. Analytics tracks stats such as how many pages different users visit once they are on the site, the amount of time they spent on the site, and even whether they left immediately. This last stat is called the bounce rate, and it’s generally seen as an important measure of how well the site is keeping the interest of its visitors.

Here is what Google says about their analytics tool,“Google Analytics lets you do more than measure sales and conversions. It also gives insights into how visitors find and use your site, and how to keep them coming back.”

How to Get More Leads with Google Analytics
Google Analytics can help you get more leads, but to be effective, you’ll need to have proper goals set up and tracking on all the pages. One that complete, Google Analytics can tell you exactly where there’s a problem in your conversion process.

Once you have identified the goal and pages on which you want to increase conversions, you can use basic conversion optimization strategies to improve your conversion rate. Things you are already familiar with, such as A/B split testing and analyzing and improving high drop off points in your marketing.

Hopefully, you have some ideas on how to use Google Analytics to improve your marketing and understand the importance of properly setting up your analytics and using the data to improve your marketing results.
Even though the bloggers aren’t talking about analytics like social media or content marketing, don’t fall into the “what’s hot” trap. Smart and seasoned marketers use analytics.

You should focus on your analytics as much as any other marketing tool you use.  If you don’t you are missing out on traffic, leads and sales – there’s no other way to put it.

If you want to improve your Google Analytics effectiveness and increase your return on marketing investment, but don’t know where to start, contact our partner, GlobalDirective. They are an agency that specializes in helping you set up and optimize your Google Analytics platform for maximum value.

This is a guest blog written by Michelle Keyser, Director Content and Social Media Marketing, of GlobalDirective.  She is a strategist and blog contributor for the digital marketing agency.