Did you know that the secret to optimizing your online business is in tracking what works and making the necessary changes based on that data? And what better way is there to get access to such insights about your website and campaigns than to use Google Analytics for free and together with all its powerful features.
Summary: 5 Minutes read, Level: Expert
Many online business owners still aren’t aware of what Google Analytics is capable of, so we decided to go through the most important metrics of Google Analytics in this article. We believe that will help you learn how it works and make the most of it. All this information is at your disposal already, you just need to know where to look for it.
Once you verify your website with Google Analytics and set it up (which is a pretty straightforward process and you can easily watch a quick video on the topic), you’ll be ready to head to the Analytics dashboard and see all that it can offer you. Let’s go through some of the most important metrics and functions:
To begin with, you can use Google Analytics to see how your campaigns are performing. Seeing the big picture as well as digging into the smaller details can be beneficial to your next steps. Thanks to such information, you can come to the conclusion that some activities should be stopped, some channels need more of your attention, and some campaigns perform so well that it’s worth investing more resources in them.
Targeting an audience is one thing, but getting to know those who actually land on your site and engage with your content is completely another. By heading to the Audience section in your Google Analytics, you’ll have the chance to see what users are doing and get to know them better. That, in turn, can help you with your content creation and distribution strategy.
Google Analytics gives you an overview of your audience. You can see your traffic and where it’s coming from. But below, you also get to find out more about the Demographics, including Age and Gender. After that, you can check out the Interests of your visitors. Their location and language are useful if you want to offer them products they would be interested in or make them click on your ads.
Learning whether most visitors use tablets, phones or laptops when browsing your site is also crucial and can even affect website design decisions down the road. While your website should absolutely always be mobile-friendly, you can further improve the user experience by putting in extra effort into this.
Another one of the features of Google Analytics you can easily fall in love with is the option to set and measure goals. Maybe you want to track sign-ups, downloads, sales, or else. Whatever the goal, you need to keep an eye on the numbers and how they perform.
Set a goal by clicking Conversions and then Goals in your Google Analytics dashboard. Set up your first one and even combine it with Funnels to see what buyers are doing and clicking exactly before they make a purchase/join your mail list/click a button/etc.
Whenever you open Google Analytics, you can visit the Real-Time section and see who’s on your website right now, where they come from, what platform referred them, what pages they are at, and more. All that at a glance can show you what’s happening on your site at any moment of the day, which can then be used to achieve the objectives you set in Google Analytics.
Depending on your current business goals, you might want to monitor a different set of metrics. Thanks to the customizable dashboard that Google Analytics offers, you can choose the elements you want to keep track of. Then, every time you enter the web analytics service, you’ll see all you need right away.
Who doesn’t want to know what type of content performs best so they can produce more of it and increase their income? Plenty of businesses invest in paid services for that, but truth is, Google Analytics can give you enough data so you can take your content creation strategy to the next level.
See the pages with the highest bounce rate and go optimize them. Check out your top performing posts and try to give people more of the same content. The Behaviour section is filled with valuable data. You can see how long people are staying at different pages and determine where to place another call to action or add more content, for example.
Under Acquisition -> Social, you can learn a bit more about your traffic from social media. What network brings you visitors and which one should you focus on more? What pages do these new visitors see first and what do you want them to do once they are on the site?
A lot can be done after you get access to such insights so make sure you head to the Social feature of Google Analytics and use the data in your marketing efforts.
Now that you know how Google Analytics works, what it can do for your business, and what features you should check out first, head to your dashboard and start clicking and experimenting. Once you’re ready to set a goal, don’t forget to track your progress and make changes accordingly.