Three reasons why 2018 should be the year you embrace Google Analytics
At this time of year, I often get companies contacting me saying “I need help with social media” or “can you help me with SEO”. More often than not, the business assumes they’re under-performing because one aspect of their marketing isn’t up to scratch. But is that really the case? How can we be sure social media is the culprit if we haven’t analysed current performance. The first place I always look for answers is their Google Analytics account. If you have a blog or a website you should be using Google Analytics (or any other website analytics tool) to track and measure performance.
For those of you that may not be familiar with it, Google Analytics is a free tool that you can use to monitor and measure activity on your website. You can find out more about Google Analytics here. You simply generate a piece of code which then needs to be added to all pages of your website. This can be done by a web developer (or you can do it yourself if you’re familiar with the back-end of your website).
As a marketer who previously had a genuine fear of data (!!!), Google Analytics can be daunting place at first. However if you spend time getting to know the interface and leveraging the power it can offer your marketing planning, you’ll never look back. There are far too many valuable pieces of data within Google Analytics to mention so instead I’ve listed my top 3 favourites below to get you started.
1. Understand Your Audience
In the menu on the left hand side, you’ll see a section called “Audience”. This is a great place to get to know the type of people who are visiting your website. You can see everything from country of origin, age, sex, preferred device type to name a few. You might think that you’re targeting males from 18 to 25 years old but you could discover that the traffic to your site is actually females 25 to 35.
There is also a section called “Interests” which allows you to see what other interests your audience has. For example, are they gamers, do they like to travel, are they interested in shopping. This affinity-type segmentation can be used to help you find similar people when running marketing campaigns.
2. Uncover Top-Performing Marketing Channels
If you’re running multiple marketing campaigns on social media or Google Adwords for example, there is a section called “Acquisition” which tells you which channel is sending the most traffic to your site. In the screenshot below we can see that organic search (non-paid listings on Google) is the highest driver or traffic (blue segment). This tells me that the website has a strong SEO strategy (you can find out more about SEO in a previous blog here). However, social media (yellow segment) only accounts for small portion of traffic to the site. I would advise this client to increase activity on social media channels to improve this performance.
3. Track Conversions By Creating Goals
Goal setting is one of the easiest and most useful ways of tracking conversions in Google Analytics. The goals that you create should be highly important to your business. For ecommerce sites, a goal could be a transaction or a sale. However, depending on your business objectives, goals could also include lead form submissions, email sign ups, PDF downloads. By setting up goals, it’s possible to determine a conversion rate for your website. I.E. How many of the website visitors are actually converting (or completing a goal). You can also tell which channel is converting best. In the example above, SEO was the main drive of traffic but you could find out that it leads to very few conversions. Although the social media channel provides a smaller amount of traffic, these people may be more likely to convert. The Google Analytics support team have more information about setting up goal tracking here.
Find Out More About Google Analytics
Like I said, there is so much Google Analytics can do for your website that it’s impossible to get everything into one blog post. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line here. Alternatively, you can join my new private Facebook Group. This group will be your personal marketing resource where you can ask me questions and get advice and tips from the group. You can request access to the group here.
Until next time,