Google Analytics can seem a bit daunting when you are trying to find your way around it. Here are 5 quick tips for using Google Analytics for your business:
#1. Familiarise yourself with your Google Analytics Account pages
When you log into your Analytics account and click your website profile. Then head to the Reporting section on the left hand side you will see 4 key report areas which you can browse into:
Audience – who is visiting your website
Acquisition – how did they get to your website
Behaviour – what did they look at on your website
Conversions – what action did they take (you will need to set this up – we will explain a bit more about this below)
The date range top right on your Analytics pages is defaulted to the last 30 days but you can change this
easily by clicking the Dates then finding the first date you are interested in and then the second date and clicking Apply.
You can also compare different time periods e.g. this time last year which is a handy option. To do this, click the Compare to checkbox and pick from the dropdown to define which time period you want to compare the current one to.
Spending an hour browsing around these 4 key areas will give you a bit more confidence about using Analytics to help you with your marketing and business strategy.
#2. Know Who Your Audience Is
Click on the left hand option Audience Overview. This will bring you to some information about how many sessions (visits), users and pageviews you have had.
Analytics tracks the pages that a visitor browses on your website and calls it a session. If the visitor (user) stops looking or moving to a new page for longer than e.g. 30 minutes, Analytics considers that session finished. So the next time the visitor comes will become a new session. This is why your sessions are usually bigger than your users as often people come back to your website more than once in a time period.
The pageviews are the number of pages that the visitor looks at during their session. This page also shows you the number of New vs Returning visitors, how long people are staying and what the bounce rate is (will explain that below).
Click the Location option on the left hand menu to see which countries your website visitors are coming from. You can drill down into the map to get more detail about location.
So things you might be interested in examining here are:
Are your website visits growing over time?
How many new visitors are coming to your website?
What the bounce rate is. This tells you how many people are coming in to look at a page and going straight back out again.
This might be important to you if you want people to browse around your website but equally it can be a sign that people found the information they needed quickly too.
It depends on your business and web strategy and objectives as to exactly what you measure and analyse, but measuring these key things is part of checking how your business web and digital strategy is performing.
#3. Understanding How Your Visitors Got There
Click on the left hand link Acquisition Overview. You will see some overview stats on how people arrived at your website. It looks at 6 key sources
1. Social, who came from social media,
2. Direct, where the person typed in your website address straight into their browser URL bar
3. Organic Search, where they came as a result of searching on a search engine
4. Referral, they came from a link on another website
5. Email, they came from your direct mailing campaign
6. Other, if you are using 3rd party content delivery such as dlvr.it
Click into All Traffic to see your top 10 traffic sources. You get some interesting information in here. For example, how many new visitors are coming from those sources, how long are they staying on your website (avg session duration), how many pages they looked at.
You should also find out what people searched on to reach you by clicking Campaigns, Keywords, Organic.
This will show you the keywords that people used to search on Google or other search engines where they then clicked on the search result link to come to your website.
So for mykidstime one regular keyword is “rainy day activities for kids”.
Why is this important? It tells you how your digital marketing is working. If you have an ad on another website and that website is referring traffic to you then you can see that. Looking at the keywords tells you how well SEOd your website is.
#4. Discover What Content People Are Viewing
Click the link Site Content All Pages to find out what content people are looking at on your website. This report will default to your page URLs so sometimes clicking on Page Title is handy if you’re not familiar with the URLs but more familiar with your page and post titles.
You will see how many people viewed each of your pages and how long they spent looking at it. It also shows you how many people exited from that page.
You can also filter this report by typing in one or more keywords into the search box over to the right below the graph and click the little search icon. Here is the filter box with a keyword:
Why is this important? You might
– have created a landing page for a new marketing campaign and you want to see how effective it is.
– want to check how many people are clicking on your newsletter sign up page.
– want to see how many viewed an information page for a new product.
Looking up this report can also inform your content marketing strategy, you can see what types of content are working on your blog which ones are most popular.
A handy tip: above the page URL or Page Title you will see secondary dimension box, click this and you can add other attributes to the report. For example you might have written a blog post that you pushed out on your e-newsletter to your customers and also on social media. You might therefore be interested in seeing where people came from that looked at the blog post.
Filter your report by your blog post then click Secondary Dimension, click Acquisition then click Source. You will now see a new column to the right of your page column which shows you who came from where to read your blog post.
If you have filtered your report to that one page then click Secondary Dimension, click Acquisition, click Source and that will add a new column showing where people came from.
Examining this report lets you see what content works and how you brought people to it.
#5. Set Up a Goal
You can set up a goal on Google Analytics which helps to track conversions on your website. Maybe you are interested in seeing who signed up for your newsletter or who bought something from you. Here’s how to set up a goal:
1) Find the link on your website for the end of the action you want to track. So for example the Thank you for Signing up page or Thanks for purchasing page on your website. Copy that link and paste it into a notepad or wordpad.
2) Go to Admin on the top menu on Google Analytics and at your Account page on the 3rd column you will see Goals, click on that option.
3) Click the new goal red button. There are some options such as people creating an account, downloading or other options or in this example, click Custom and next.
4) Type a name for your Goal e.g. Purchased or Signed Up. You can do different types of goals, but in this case we are going to do Destination. Click next step.
5) Paste in the URL for the end action page that you saved. You can click Verify this goal to see how the goal would have converted in the last 7 days.
6) Click Create Goal button.
When your goal is created, you can now go back to your Reports and you are able to see how many of the people who purchased from your website or signed up came from different sources or browsed different content or where they were from.
Here’s another example to see how your referral traffic performed for your goal. Click on your Acquisition All Referrals report.
Above the graph you can see the Goal Set 1 option link, click that and you can now see your goal rate for each referrer on the report. Here’s an example showing Twitter and Facebook with goal conversion rates in the 3rd column:
Why is this handy? Well you might want to check how your different referral sources are converting. Do some referral channels do better for you on signups or purchases? This can help you tweak your marketing. So in my example even though Twitter brought less visits for Mykidstime, the conversion rate was higher for our newsletter signup than Facebook:
We might decide to do a special gift on Twitter for users that sign up for our newsletter to reward them, or we might decide to offer a special gift to our Facebook fans for signing up to encourage that goal conversion figure to increase.
So this type of information informs your Marketing and CRM strategy as well as tracking the success of your calls to action on your website.
There’s a ton more functionality on Google Analytics but I wanted to cover 5 quick things that you can do on Google Analytics today to help you with your business.
Want to learn about more about Google Analytics to help with your digital marketing? Contact a member of the Mykidstime team on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Mykidstime on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
The award-winning Mykidstime.com runs highly successful, targeted, integrated digital marketing campaigns on behalf of a range of clients. If your business needs to targets adults, parents or families you will benefit from a promotion to the highly engaged Mykidstime.com audience be they website visitors, e-zine subscribers or social media audience. Mykidstime.com is happy to offer a discount of 25% off any of its regional promotional packages booked by SBC members and readers.