In today’s highly technical world that seems to center around Google, the majority of business owners have at least heard of Google Analytics or have made an attempt at trying to use its features for improving and measuring their website’s traffic. So, what exactly is Google Analytics and why is it important to your business?
Google Analytics is vital to your business!
Whether you have a blog or traditional website, you must be utilizing Google Analytics to answer the following, highly important questions:
- How many people visit my website?
- Where do my visitors live?
- Which pages on my website are the most popular?
- What blog content do my visitors like the most?
- Which websites send traffic to my website?
- How can I improve my website’s speed?
- How many visitors have I converted into leads or customers?
- What marketing tactics drive the most traffic to my website?
- Where did my converting visitors come from and go on my website?
Steps to Use in Preparation for Performing Google Analytics
Installing Google Analytics
The first step in using Google Analytics on your website is setting up a Google Analytics account. If you have a primary Google account that you use for other services like Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar or Google+, you should set up your Google Analytics using that particular Google account or if you don’t, you’ll need to create a new one. Keep in mind that you should plan to keep this account indefinitely and which only you should have access to. You can certainly grant access to other users, but you should ensure that one person is set as an administrator on the account for security purposes.
After you’ve set up your Google account, navigate to the Google Analytics tab and select the “Sign into Google Analytics” button. You will then be greeted with three steps you must complete, in order to effectively set up your own Google Analytics.
If your business uses more than one website to sell its products/services, please keep in mind that Google Analytics provides the option of organizing them via hierarchies under one main Google account, which allows you to have up to 50 website properties under one Google Analytics account.
Installing Your Google Analytics Tracking Code
After you’ve finished signing up for and installing Google Analytics, click the “Get Tracking” ID button. You will then be provided with a popup of the Google Analytics terms and conditions, which you must agree to before moving forward. Afterward, you will receive your own, unique Google Analytics code. This distinctive identifier must be installed on every page of your company’s website.
Setting Goals for Your Business (Website)
After you install your Google Analytics tracking code on all the pages of your website, you’ll need to configure a setting in your website’s profile on Google Analytics, which is your “Goals” setting. You can locate it by clicking on the “Admin” link at the top of your Google Analytics page, and then clicking on “Goals” under your website’s “View” column.
Your “Goals” will tell Google Analytics when something important has happened on your website. For example, if you have a website where you generate leads through a contact form, you will want to find (or create) a thank you page that visitors finish on, once they have submitted their contact information. Or, if you have a website where you sell products/services, you will want to find (or create) a final thank you or confirmation page for visitors to land upon once they have completed the purchase. If you have multiple goals, you can use the dropdown at the top of that section of data to switch to the goal you want to view or you may view all of your goals simultaneously, if you prefer.
Viewing Your Google Analytics Data
Once you’ve set goals for your business/website and your pages have had some time to be analyzed using the Google Analytics tracking code on each of your website’s pages, you can begin to learn some valuable information about your website traffic aka your customers. Each time you log in to Google Analytics, you will automatically be taken to your “Audience Overview” report, which is the first of more than 50 reports that are available in Google Analytics. You can also access these reports by directly navigating to the “Reporting” link at the top.
Google Analytics Reports
This report allows you to compare your data from a specified date range to a previous date range for metrics, such as visitor’s top ten languages, countries, cities, browsers, operating systems, services providers, and even their screen resolutions.
Audience reports provide specific details about your website’s visitors, such as their age and gender (demographics), their general interests (Interests), where they come from (Geo > Location), what language they speak (Geo > Language), how often they visit your website (Behavior), and the technology they use to view your website (Technology and Mobile).
Acquisition reports describe what drove visitors to your website (All Traffic). You will also see your traffic broken down by main categories (All Traffic > Channels) and specific sources (All Traffic > Source/Medium).
You can learn everything about traffic from social networks (Social). You can also connect Google Analytics to AdWords to learn more about PPC campaigns and to Google Webmaster Tools / Search Console to learn more about search traffic (Search Engine Optimization).
These reports will tell you everything you want to know about your website’s content. Particularly, the top pages on your website (Site Content > All Pages), the top entry pages on your website (Site Content > Landing Pages), and the top exit pages on your website (Site Content > Exit Pages).
In addition, you can learn how fast your website loads (Site Speed), as well as find specific suggestions from Google on how to make your website faster (Site Speed > Speed Suggestions).
If you set up Goals within your Google Analytics, you can see how many conversions your website has received (Goals > Overview) and what URLs they happened upon (Goals > Goal URLs). You can also see the path that visitors took to complete the conversion (Goals > Reverse Goal Path).
With regard to goals and conversions, most of the tables within Google Analytics standard reports will tie specific data to your conversions. For example, you can see the number of conversions made by visitors from Wisconsin in the Audience > Geo > Location report. You can see the number of conversions made by visitors from Facebook in the Acquisitions > All Traffic > Source/Medium report. You can see the number of conversions made by visitors who landed on specific pages in the Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages report.
Segments allow you to view all of your Google Analytics data based on a specific dimension, such as all of your Google Analytics data based on visitors from the United States. You can also use them to compare up to four segments of data, such as United States versus United Kingdom traffic, search versus social traffic, mobile versus desktop traffic and more.
If all of this seems confusing or even daunting…not to worry! The consultants at Debra Lopez Public Relations has the tools, expertise and experience to assist you with setting up your Google Analytics account and oversee the administrative process. We have the capability to ensure your website is performing above your competitors by analyzing and monitoring the data, while performing the revisions needed to take your business from good to outstanding! Contact the Milwaukee PR consultants at Debra Lopez Public Relations to increase your business’s visibility and boost your customer base in today’s highly competitive marketplace.