If you are a marketer or someone managing a website, you should be using Google Analytics. This is especially true if you sell products online, particularly this time of year with the holidays happening and Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales!
The amount of data available in Google Analytics can be overwhelming to dig through if you’re new to the platform, but we’re here to help!
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a powerful set of tools that helps you analyze the data and metrics related to visitor activities on your website. It provides businesses deeper insight into the flow of traffic, visitors coming to the website, their behavioral pattern(s), and a wide range of other crucial information that can enable more informed decision-making capabilities.
There are several web analytics providers, but Analytics, like any other Google product, stands out in a crowd. For starters, it’s a totally free analytics service that provides website owners a wealth of information regarding the source of traffic, the popularity of a webpage, historical data of visitors, and a flood of other data related to your website.
What’s Special About Google Analytics?
Google's analytics services can deliver critical data about pages that are frequently visited by users, allowing you to customize the content for pages that are considered relevant by your viewers. The integration of engaging content into popular pages prolongs a visitor's stay on the site, significantly increasing the scope of lead conversion.
For example, if you create and sell CBD products online for pets, you may want to know what information is most popular on your website, so you can create more content and incorporate relevant keywords to rank higher in search results. If a large percentage of visitors to your website spend a lot of time on a page about the benefits of CBD for their dog, you could use that data to start thinking about a campaign specific for dog owners and how CBD can help their pet.
Important Google Analytics Metrics
New users of Google Analytics are often confused as to which metrics to look at, especially if they have no prior experience with the platform or website analytics. If that’s you, here are eight basic metrics you should pay attention to.
- Mobile Traffic - Now that Google is stressing on mobile sites in its search engine index, businesses should make use of Google Analytics to track the volume and engagement of mobile visits in order to improve the ranking of their website in Google search. In 2019, you’ll want to make sure your site is using SSL as this has become a requirement for Google rankings.
- Site Speed - Site speed has become an important ranking factor in recent times, as Google is pushing slow-loading websites down in its search results. The site speed is a key metric to look at using Google Analytics, as sluggish websites not only affect user experiences but also reduce visibility in search. Using large images, or video content, on your home or major landing pages can slow down the page load speed.
- Bounce Rate – Bounce Rate refers to the percentage of visitors who enter your site and immediately leave. This “bounce” metric tells you which page they bounced from and can offer insight into the pages you should improve. A bounce rate percentage at or below 50% is good, but at or below 25% is even better.
- Conversion Tracking - Syncing all Google products like YouTube and AdWords and setting up Google Analytics conversion tracking can help marketers effectively determine the performance of paid and unpaid campaigns. Conversion tracking can help you understand how many people fill out a contact form, access/redeem a coupon code, etc. Great advice if you have Black Friday online sales or discount codes!
- Benchmarking - Google Analytics can display the performance of a website’s content as compared to the content of other companies based on aggregated industry data. As a pet product retailer, you can compare your website’s performance by social channels, geographical locations, devices, and flow of traffic, to other related businesses. Benchmarking gives you a comparison of your site to relevant competitors.
- Demographics - Enabling Google Analytics ‘Advertising Reporting’ feature can provide critical information about visitor demographics, including their age, gender, interests, and purchasing activities. This will help you to better target your website messaging and even opportunities for promotions and sales activity.
- Frequency & Recency - The Frequency & Recency metric allows businesses to see how many times users visit their site, and the interval between the visits. This is particularly helpful to understand how many visits it takes a user to convert into a customer.
- New vs. Returning Report – This metric displays how well the site’s content is performing in terms of bringing visitors back. Returning visitors often end up being loyal customers, so this metric is important to pay attention to.
Google Analytics also provides a host of other services like social reporting and revenue tracking, subdomain management, outbound links, email reports, and search statistics. Clearly, this is one extraordinary tool that every marketer and website owner must have in their repertoire to run effective marketing campaigns and increase their online presence.
Now that you have a basic understanding of some of the main tracking metrics in Google Analytics, you now know the value of this free tool. There’s so much information you can get out of your customer and website data that can have a positive effect on your future campaigns and marketing.