Why do you need Google Analytics?
Google Analytics has been around for a while and amazes me to know that majority of Small and Medium businesses are not leveraging this gold mine of data to optimize their online marketing campaign performance. Some business websites don’t even have their website linked to analytics profile, let alone analyzing their website traffic. So, at WSI, we have made it our mission to educate businesses on how to collect data with Google Analytics tool and use that data to track & optimize their campaign performance.
Google Analytics (GA) helps you analyze visitor traffic on your website and give you a complete picture of your visitors and their behavior on the site. You can track just the traffic on your website or you can track your other marketing campaigns, such as Google Adwords, eCommerce Transactions, etc. GA is a FREE tool, why not use it?
Setting Up Google Profiles for your Business
Let us say you are a business owner & you have invested in getting a professional website built. Before we discuss how we implement Google Analytics for your site, let us talk about some background work we need to address for Google Analytics to work. Your webmaster should take care of the following, before making the site live on the internet.
- Create Google account for your business, if you don’t already have one. You may want to look into Google Apps for Business if you have not already.
- Add & Verify your site with Google Webmaster Tools
- Generate sitemap & submit to Google Webmaster Tools. Even though the majority of the traffic is coming from Google, I do recommend to submit the sitemap to Bing/Yahoo Webmaster Tools as well, since you may get some traffic from those search engines
- Create Google Analytics Profile & link the website to the profile. Google will not collect statistics on your website unless this step is done
- Connect Webmaster Tools Profile to the Analytics Profile. This will allow you to track SEO data on your Analytics profile
Start Using Analytics Data
Make sure you are logged into your Google Account from Google.com to access Google Analytics Profile. Once you get into the analytics area, click on the profile linked to your website. This will take you straight into the Dashboard that will look like this.
The GA dashboard gives you a high-level picture of traffic data on your website, such as total visitors, unique visitors, page views, bounce rate, duration per visit, new vs. returning visitors, etc. It is important to pay attention to duration per visit & bounce rate. If the duration is too low and the bounce rate is too high (above 50%), then you have to dig more into which pages on the website are the major contributors to this bounce rate. We are going to look at these performance indicators in subsequent posts.
By default, the data shown is for a month. You can customize the duration by choosing a date range. You can also compare traffic data between two sets of dates, to measure the change in traffic patterns over time.
Generating basic reports is fairly simple. Now, you can start digging into data at a more granular level, such as the
- source of the traffic,
- geographical area (demographics),
- search engines vs. direct traffic,
- referral traffic,
- mobile devices, etc.
With this intelligence data, you can evaluate whether the marketing dollars you are spending align with the data reported by Google. If not, you have to take proper measures to optimize the campaign and measure the performance all over again.
We are going to cover analytics more in-depth in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for our updates. In the meantime, you can learn about our service on our Digital Marketing Services Website.