Most business owners are spending more time working on their digital strategies, with the use of social media and other programs. The sky’s the limit as they say. “Brick and mortar” businesses can actually track their customer’s traffic, their needs and wants and even the sales in just one click! How is that possible? With the use of Google Analytics.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a free service (with some premium options) that helps analyze the traffic of a certain site and gives the complete data of who the audience is and what their needs are. It’s a program that connects every page on a website and through various dashboards and reports. This platform can provide the routes people take to reach the site, the content they viewed, how long they stayed, and even the devices they used to get there. The software can also measure sales and goal conversions. Bottom line is, Google Analytics helps you understand what’s working and what isn’t. It gives you the insight you need to make changes so you can meet your performance goals.
Why should you use Google Analytics?
According to medium.com, there are 10 good reasons why we should use Google Analytics and we pick the 6 best reasons.
- Automatic collection of data
With the use of Google Analytics, you don’t have to put the data into Google docs, Sites or Spreadsheets, it does all the work for you. You can also access your data immediately without any delay. To set up your Google Analytics account, all you have to do is copy a simple piece of code on your website. This will automatically enable Google Analytics to start collecting data from your website.
- To know the reason why visitors are bouncing off your website
Google Analytics provides a complete and detailed report of the pages that are experiencing high bounce rates. The bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your website after visiting only one page. As much as possible, it is extremely important to reduce the rate of this. The reason is that visitors are coming and visiting your website but are not able to find what they are looking for. Most of the time, this calls for immediate action to know the reason behind it. Some of the reasons for a high bounce rate could be because your website is not optimized properly or it could be your landing page is not that attractive enough for them to sign up. However, with a complete and detailed report of Google Analytics on the bounce rate, you can find ways and means to reduce the bounce rate of your website.
- To know your audience’s age, gender, interest, device, and location
In Google Analytics, there’s an Audience section where it provides a lot of information about the people who visit your website like their age, gender, interest, device, and location.
- Age – Age indicates where your audience spends most of the time. By knowing the average age of your audience will optimize your website accordingly.
- Gender – Gender describes your audience. This will determine how you will be able to communicate and engage online.
- Interest – Google Analytics can very well understand the interests of your audience and optimize your website according to their interest.
- Device – With the use of this section, you will be able to know what kind of device your audiences are using. This will help your website get more responsive to different kinds of devices. Not only this, in this section, you can also have a view on which kind of smartphone or tablet your audience uses.
- Location – According to the location of your potential customers, this section will help you to formulate marketing strategies, not only the country but the city where they are and even the language they use.
- To understand which social platforms to target
The social platforms are a great way to drive a lot of traffic and engage potential customers. With Google Analytics, you can calculate the performance of all social platforms that you are using and you can have access to see the complete and detailed data to what catches the attention of the users and place the ad accordingly. In this section, you can also check how much conversion value each of the social platforms is bringing, traffic entering referrals and how many users are talking about you.
- To know what kind of content you should write
Content will not only boost your website’s visibility, but it will also connect you to your potential customers. When consumers read your content, they start to generate an impression of your brand. If they find your content engaging, educational, and valuable, then they will start to think the same things about your business. This is the reason why so many businesses create blogs, infographics, videos to add value to their content. With Google Analytics, it will keep all the content that receives views and shares and generates a breakdown of the page views each of your blog posts receive.
- To check if you are achieving goals
One of the best features of Google Analytics is it helps you track how much your business is moving ahead and its progress. It will also help you track the customer’s journey based on their actions and help you to reach a certain goal. There can be different types of goals, like downloading an ebook, subscribing to a newsletter, making a purchase. With all this information, your website just converted a visitor into a customer and will all be a success to your business.
Setting Up Google Analytics
To understand Google Analytics more, you must know how to set it up first. It’s a bit hard but blog.hootsuite.com gave us a step-by-step guide for easy and simple set up.
Step 1: Set up Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager is a free tool that takes all the data on your website and sends it to other platforms such as Google Analytics. It also saves you a lot of time in updating and adding tags to your Google Analytics code without having to manually write code on the back end.
Here’s how you can set up your Google Tag Manager:
Enter your account name and country. You’ll then set up a container. According to Google, this is essentially containing all of the ‘macros, rules and tags” for your website. In this part, you’ll give your container a descriptive name which type of platform it will be associated with (Web, iOS, Android, AMP)
After filling up all the necessary information, click create, review the Terms of Service and agree to those terms. Once done, you’ll be then receiving the container’s installation code snippet.
Once done, click create, review the Terms of Service, and agree to those terms. After this, you will be redirected to a window with the container’s installation code snippet.
You will be pasting this code into your website’s backend in order to manage your tags. As to what the instruction says, copy-paste the two snippets code onto every page of your website.
Step 2: Create a Google Analytics Account
Same with Google Tag Manager, you need to create a Google Analytics account by signing up on the Google Analytics Page
Enter your account name, review the account data sharing settings and then click next.
Choose what you want to measure (Web, Apps, Apps & Web).
Click next again and set up your property (Website name, website URL, Industry Category, and Reporting Time Zone).
Once all done, click create and review and accept the Terms and Services to get your Tracking ID.
According to Google, the tracking ID is a string of numbers that tells Google Analytics to send analytics data to you. The numbers are like this UA-000000-1. The first six numbers (000000) is your personal account number and the next one (1) is the property number associated with your account. Note that you cannot share your tracking ID with anyone publicly because this is unique to your website and your personal data also.
Once you got your tracking ID, we can now proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Set up an Analytic Tag with Google Tag Manager
In this step, you’ll learn how to set up specific Google Analytics tracking tags for your website.
Go to your Google Tag Manager dashboard and click the “Add a New Tag” button.
Once clicked, you will be taken to a page where you can create your new website tag.
On it, you’ll notice that there are two tags that you can customize: Configuration & Triggering.
Configuration – Where the collected data by the tag will go
Triggering – What type of data would you want to collect
Click Tag Configuration to choose the type of tag you want to create.
For you to create a tag for Google Analytics, choose “Google Analytics: Universal Analytics”.
In this section, you can choose the type of data you want to track. Choose your data and then click “Google Analytics Settings” and choose “New Variable” from the dropdown menu.
A new window will pop up where you need to enter your Google Analytics tracking ID.
Once done, go back to the “Triggering” section and select the data you want to send to Google Analytics. To do this, click the “Triggering” section and then “choose a trigger” page. From here, click “All pages” to send the data from all your web pages.
Now click save and finally, we’re almost done!
Step 4: Set up Google Analytics Goal
According to Google, goals will measure how well your site or app fulfills your target objectives. Having it properly configured, it will allow Google Analytics to provide you with critical information. Without this information, it’s almost impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of your online business and marketing campaigns.
In order to set your goals on your Google Analytics dashboard, click the “Admin” button (for some tools icon) on the bottom left corner and click goals.
And then click “New Goal”
A new window will pop up and there will be 3 steps to create the goal.
- Goal Set up
- Goal Description
- Goal details
Once you’re done, save the goal and Google Analytics will track it for you.
What important metrics to track in Google Analytics:
In managing your website, it is important to know what are the factors that greatly affect your traffic. Why? Because if you don’t know where your traffic is coming from, you’ll never know what could be the missing piece to make your website a success. In this part, we will introduce to you and explain what is the importance of each metric.
- Acquisition overview
- You can find this section in Acquisition > Overview. An Acquisition overview gives you a quick view or as they say, “a birds-eye view” because it’ll show how your audience engages in your site. This contains all the details in number per session, the percentage of new sessions, average session duration, bounce rate and more.
- Bounce Rate
- As mentioned previously, the bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your website after visiting only one page. As much as possible, it is extremely important to reduce the rate of this. However, with a complete and detailed report of Google Analytics on the bounce rate, you can find ways and means to reduce the bounce rate of your website.
- Traffic Sources
- Your traffic sources are located under Acquisition>All Traffic>Source/Medium. This section will provide you an overview of all your sources in a table chart. Each row has all the details to a single source of traffic and includes total sessions, new sessions, average session duration, bounce rates, and goal conversions. Tracking them can be a bit complicated because as your business grows, your list will expand. In case you’ll have a hard time, focus on a few underperformers that you feel have great potential if you think you can improve them.
- Conversions, on the other hand, is the specific action your visitors do based on your goal. It could be subscriptions to mailing, purchases, and more. You can actually track anything, we can even count as conversions if a visitor takes a specific predefined action.
- Interactions per visit / Behavioral Flow
- In this part, you can follow the journey that visitors go from the moment they arrived until they left.
- Exit pages
- Don’t confuse this with Bounce rates. Exit pages are the metric referring to the number of times visitors have left a site from a specific page. In monitoring the exit page, this will help you understand the performance of each page on your site. The page that has the most and highest percentage might need to improve the most.
- As mentioned previously, goals measure how well your site or app fulfills your target objectives. As the owner of the website, you can pick any action you want and set it up as a goal. Whenever someone achieves your goal, Google Analytics will count it as a conversion.
Google Analytics might be a bit complicated at first but once you get along with it, it’ll make your life so much easier! Of course, you must put an effort first and after that, you’ll get success on your website, you reap what you sow as they say. So start now and we hope this article will be a good guide for you.
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