If Google Analytics isn’t your best friend, mistress, soul mate, [insert favorite affectionate term here], then you’re missing out. It should be. Google Analytics is the best thing to happen to marketers since the Internet began.
As a business person and/or internet marketer, you should check Google Analytics (GA) at least once a week. But, as you truly fall head over heels for it, the real challenge will be closing the browser window to keep your eyes off GA Real Time so you can actually get some work done. Let me explain more why I love GA and how it can be helpful to you, too.
1. GA helps me know what’s working and what’s not.
Say I spent 80 percent of my efforts on Twitter but I wasn’t really sure whether it was paying off. GA gives me that information. Looking at Acquisition>All Traffic, I can see whether Twitter is driving traffic to my website. I can also customize the fields to show onsite engagement like Bounce Rate and Pages a Session. So if Twitter is showing traffic and engagement greater than or equal to the effort I’m putting in, then fantastic! If not, then I either need to adjust my effort on Twitter, or move my efforts to another platform.
2. GA helps me understand my audience demographics.
I can learn more about the visitors to my website—their ages, gender, location, and more—under the Audience section. Knowing who is checking out my website will help me gauge whether I’m reaching who I intend to reach or whether I should adjust my business practices to target an unexpected audience. Maybe there is a market for your product that you didn’t anticipate. Adjusting your marketing to cater to this audience could really benefit you!
3. GA helps me know who to thank and who I should work closer with.
By looking at Acquisition>All Referrals, I can see which sites drive the most traffic to my site. Sometimes it’s surprising, but it lets me know that perhaps I should send a thank you to bloggers who are referencing my business. It also lets me know which websites and bloggers are more or less useful to work with.
4. GA tells me which pages are helping and which pages are not.
By looking in the Behavior section, I can see which Landing Pages are bringing in the most visitors. Having this as a starting point helps me focus my efforts on what is likely to be most effective. For instance, I can see which services are compelling people to action the most.
On the other hand, I can see what the primary Exit Pages are. Which pages are people looking at just before they leave my site? Are they fulfilling any of the goals I have set up for my website like filling out a contact form or signing up for my newsletter? If not, then I need to take a closer look at why people might be leaving my site prematurely and whether these Exit Pages are part of the reason.
5. Visitor Flow is like eavesdropping on a website visitor’s conversation with the brand.
Which pages are visitors checking out first, second, third, and exiting on? What’s the connection? What are they looking for and are they finding it? Exploring Visitor Flow helps you understand a little more about what a site visitor experiences and whether you are enabling them to discover the content they need.
While these are my top five reasons why I love Google Analytics, there are many more. Sign up for our monthly email newsletter so you don’t miss out on more actionable digital marketing insights!