So you have spent the last few weeks getting your new business website built and looking the way you want it and people are starting to visit your website. Friends and existing clients are telling you that it looks great. New callers are telling you over the phone that they found you on the internet. Great news… but does the phrase “on the internet” give you any useful information that you can use to improve your site even further and help your rank on Google? Maybe this is where Google Analytics come in handy!
So what is Google Analytics?
For the purpose of a simple introduction, Google Analytics is a comprehensive tool that monitors traffic activity around your website. It collects information on who visited the site, what they were doing and pages visited, and also the length of time they stayed. Very useful information when trying to figure out what information is getting you attention and it is also completely free of charge.
Why is it so important?
- Knowing how people arrived at your site tells you if a particular marketing medium needs to be improved. For example, if the majority of visits come directly from Google Search, then you may need to develop your marketing strategy within Social media like Facebook and Twitter.
- It tells you where visitors come from, enabling you to target a specific location that you may have missed in your marketing campaign.
- The keywords that were used in Google Search to find the site helps SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, as you can see which terms are working and the ones that are not.
- It lists what media devices people are using to visit the site. If the site is being viewed mostly from a desktop or laptop, then a responsive web design strategy should be considered to target mobile devices.
- One page on your website may get more hits than others. Is there a service that people want over another? Do other services need to improved? Asking these questions helps you to focus your efforts on popular services to generate more profit and to see where others are falling down.
- Reports can be sent out periodically by email to all parties concerned, giving an overall view of how the site is progressing and what may need to be done to improve a certain area.
Should your business be using it?
A good website is a living organism that needs to change, grow and be continually developed if it is to serve your business properly for years to come. Google analytics should be a cornerstone in understanding your website’s performance, its strengths and weaknesses.
At a very basic level, you can begin to teach yourself how to monitor things like the numbers of hits and page visits but for those interested in developing their skills and becoming a power user, there are many tutorials and courses online to help. At the high end, many businesses looking to harness the full power of Google Analytics, especially when combined with Google Adwords and other marketing tools and strategies, often tend to employ the expertise and help of a marketing agency.
When deciding whether to use Google Analytics or not, keep one thought in your mind – A website without analytics is like a car without a speedometer… you can only ever guess at how well your business is doing online!