Google Analytics is a database that collects data for every activity taking place on your website. How else can you tell whether your website is achieving the intended goals? Definitely, you will need a tool that monitors and reports results. Even though there are other tools, I find Google Analytics to be the most ideal.
Gone are the days when website owners used to rely on guesswork to ascertain their performance. Today, many tools are available to make your data collection and analysis effortless.
How to define Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a web analytic tool by Google that tracks, measures, and reports on every aspect of your website’s traffic. Every website owner needs this tool which is free and easier to use. Probably, your website has the best content which resonates with the masses. But if you don’t have a tool that gives you those insights, then your efforts are in vain.
Therefore, Google Analytics can track and report on a site’s performance. You will know when your efforts are translating into intended outcomes or not.
The importance of Google Analytics
- It’s free to use and install on your website
- The tools collect data and generate various customizable reports that are easy to analyze and make decisions.
- You can integrate it with other tools such as Google search console and Google AdWords
- It’s a database for all website’s traffic
- You can use it to measure the overall site’s performance
The list is endless; I have just enumerated a few.
Courses in Google Analytics
But as a beginner who wants to have in-depth knowledge and establish a career in web analytics. I will recommend that you take this course from Google analytics academy. The course itself is google analytics for beginners. You can proceed with advanced google analytics and further your knowledge.
The course is pragmatic because you will learn through a demo account. The demo account will show you how to navigate various dashboards and reports. Induct yourself with this tool and perfect your analytic skills.
Though Google has rolled out Google Analytics 4 (GA4) which is more sophisticated than the current analytics. Keep yourself abreast with new trends with GA4.
Which Google Analytics reports to check?
They have alluded severally that “What gets measured can be managed”
In essence, we say that anything you’re able to measure you can improve. Therefore, Google Analytics is there to help you collect and analyze data. Depending on the outcome in the future, your decision must be based on data. Data are the insights into what you’re trying to measure. They reflect upon every activity you are trying to track.
Google Analytics will gather data as reports. On the right-hand side of your dashboard, this is what you will see.
Consequently, knowing your customers is the beginning, but understanding them in depth is beneficial. Audience report tries to segment your web visitors using these attributes;
Demographics is free information about the age and gender of your website visitors. If the largest percentage of your website visitors are women. Then you can personalize the content that appeals to women. Check the age bracket of your web visitors and target them with appropriate content.
Behaviour this compares new users versus returning users. The surge in returning users is good for your business. It is a sign that your brand can keep customers (your brand is good at customer retention). In particular, you can use this information to better your content and optimize your website properly.
On the other hand, an increase in your new visitors then it means you have attained a brand awareness goal. Your content is reaching and connecting to a larger audience.
Geo will help you know where your visitors are geographically located. The report highlights every country where your visitors are. This is a very important insight you can incorporate into your marketing strategy.
Devices Lately most users are accessing websites through mobile phones. This trend has seen the dominance of desktop drop. Therefore, you need to ensure your website is optimized for mobiles, desktops, and tablets. Ensure that you give your visitors a good user experience by having a mobile-friendly website. Such actions can reduce your bouncing rate and increase the duration users spend on your site.
Get into your Google Analytics account and let’s walk together. On your report dashboard go to your audience report. This report is very crucial because it gives traffic sources upon which visitors arrived at your website. Precisely, there are 4 traffic sources and are as follows.
Organic search traffic; This traffic is an assurance that your website is visible, and it is showing up for organic search results. For you to drive organic search traffic your website must be optimized for search engines. This process will ensure that your website is optimized with relevant keywords. Each time a user conducts an online search, your website will appear in the search results.
Organic traffic is the dominant web traffic
According to BrightEdge organic search is the largest web channel that brings the most traffic to a website. Of all traffic channels, organic search delivers 53.3% of all the web traffic than all other traffic channels combined.
Therefore, if you don’t create SEO-friendly content, you will miss out on this traffic source. Have an SEO strategy in place to tap on organic search traffic. It can boost your conversion rate which will push up your ROI.
Referral traffic: This is traffic that emanates from a third-party website. Any link from a third-party website pointing to your website will always refer traffic to your website. This could be because of a guest post you published on their websites. Referral traffic is a strong vote for your website.
Social traffic: This is another traffic that comes from social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. Each moment you share your links on social networks. Some people may click the link that will direct them to your website. Google analytics capture such traffic as social traffic.
Direct traffic: When a user clicks your URL into their browser or a link they have bookmarked and saved in their computer. Google Analytics will record it as direct traffic.
How do you measure this traffic with google analytics?
Basically, the acquisition report will show you how visitors are accessing your website. The above 4 channels are the most common traffic sources. Google Analytics will measure the traffic that each channel drives to your website. The channel with the most traffic should be given much-needed attention. This is to get the most from that traffic.
For instance, if the organic search is the traffic source that brings the most traffic to your site. Then you need to invest your time in creating SEO-rich content. Secondly, if your traffic is from social networks invest in Facebook and Instagram ads.
Most importantly, identify the channel that can give you the most leads that will eventually convert customers. It makes little sense to pull a large audience that can’t convert. The end game for any business is to make a sale from a customer.
This is another important piece of information on Google analytics. It’s all about how your web users are engaging with your content. Navigating through this report can give you insights into how visitors are consuming your content. Google Analytics will record the most performing content to the least performing content.
Significantly, you can use these insights to create content that your website visitors love most. Such content will reduce the bouncing rate of your website by a big margin. Again, such content will increase the average time of your pages.
Your content must map out each section of the buyer’s journey. Website visitors need content that can guide them in every stage of the buyer’s journey. This will ensure a good number of your web traffic translates into leads.
Determining where your website visitors are coming from is just the tip of the iceberg. Check how they are interacting with your content. These insights are crucial in pointing out whether your website is attracting relevant visitors. For any business to thrive, it needs a paying customer. Ask yourself, is my website converting visitors into leads and eventually into customers?
If your answer is yes, then your return on investment will be attained. But, if your answer is no, then something must be done. Look at Google Analytics critically. You will realize there are obstacles in your sales funnel that need to be fixed. Once fixed, look at analytics again. If there will be an increase in your conversion, then it means your sales funnel is well optimized.
For example, you may discover some of your leads are leaving shopping carts. Google Analytics will give you the numbers according to your goal setup. You can analyze those numbers and re-target those visitors with more personalized content. Automated emails can work magic for these segments of your audience. Give them discounts as a way of increasing conversions.
Running a website without analytics is like going to war without weapons. Your enemy will wound you. Equally, having Google Analytics besides your website is a step in the right direction. You will be armed with real-time data to expedite decision-making. This will keep you ahead of your competitors.
Data-based decisions will ensure that you provide value to your customers. Since you know what works best for them. Embrace web analytics to progressively grow your business.