4 Benefits of Google Analytics (avoiding the road trip to destination nowhere)

Our (ahem) roundabout intro to Google Analytics:
Remember those infamous family car trips?…The ones when Dad decided to treat the family at the Little Chef via a ‘lovely drive in the countryside’? Maps and routes mere details, cast aside in pursuit of ‘getting out of the house’; piling everyone into the car and speeding off in direction unknown…
2 hours later, miles from anywhere and now regretting it (but never admitting it); Mum yelling above the din to stop for directions (too late, no-one to ask); younger siblings squabbling, ‘faint’ from hunger. Later still, huddled together in pouring rain, at the lay-by off the duel-carriageway, eating a half-cooked hot dog from a grubby road-side caravan…
Halcyon days indeed…
Google Analytics ‘Sat-Nav’ can help navigate the digital wilderness and avoid the rain-soaked family road trip to destination nowhere…
The digital marketing equivalent of this tale is diving into digital marketing without first planning out a route or using any tools that can help guide you and tell you what you are achieving.
Is that a familiar feeling? Lots of digital activity going on and lots of time spent doing it, but you’re not quite sure what, if any of it, is worthwhile?
So, to help you with your digital journey let us introduce the ‘sat-nav’ user guide to Google Analytics…

What is Google Analytics and what can it do?

* Google Analytics is a user-friendly, web-based platform that allows you to collect data about anyone who visits your website.
* The platform can analyse the data you specify in order to provide key information about visitors to your website, to tell you if your marketing strategy is working or not.
* After analysing the data, if you realise you are not achieving what you had intended, Google Analytics can show you where and how you can make the necessary changes.
* The software will tell you how visitors arrived at your site, what they did while on your site and whether or not they converted (that is, purchased goods or services).
* Ultimately, Google Analytics can provide detailed, vital information about all website visitors that can then help you make important business decisions and improve sales.

Why should you use Google Analytics?

* Google Analytics provides a wide range of relevant and meaningful statistics that will help you direct customers to your site and convert them into customers while they visit.
* Google Analytics will help ensure bang for your buck! Or, (in clever speak) helps calculate ROI by providing the reliable data required to accurately evaluate digital marketing spend.
* Google Analytics is simple to install and use (or at least a quick job for your web developer).
* Google Analytics is free! If you need more capability, a premium, subscription version is available for advanced users called Analytics 360.

4 Key Benefits of Google Analytics

Talking of ‘bang for buck’, just what is the bottom line here? We have highlighted four key business benefits of Google Analytics; to help better understand where you are and where you should go with your digital strategy:
Google Analytics can help users to:
1. Understand and then maximize the effect of marketing campaigns.
2. Understand and improve the usability of websites.
3. Understand and improve target audience identification.
4. Combine steps 1 to 3 to better inform website budget allocation.

4 Ways to Reap Business Benefits of Google Analytics (using 4 Key Reports):

There are four 4 key report headings that you should run through Google Analytics. These reports, when run on a regular basis, will enable you to understand key questions that you need to answer about your digital presence – and thus help you to reap the 4 key benefits mentioned above.

1. Audience – understand who exactly is visiting your website.

* Audience reports and visitor segmentation – The audience and visitor segmentation reports will tell you everything you need to know about whoever is visiting your website. The reports will provide detailed information such as demographics, interests, location and language. This report also provides statistical breakdown on how often the different visitors view your website and the technology used to visit it.

2. Acquisition – understand how customers arrive at your website.

* Acquisition reports – These reports will tell you how your visitors locate your website and what other keywords your visitors type in in order to find you. You can view the traffic from social networks. You can also connect Google Analytics with Google Webmaster Tools to learn more about search traffic (SEO) and with Adwords to learn more about pay per click (PPC) campaigns that you are running, in order to assess the hits achieved through these campaigns.

3. Behaviour – understand what customers do when they get to your website.

* Behaviour reports – These reports will tell you everything you want to know about your content, the pages that are viewed the most on your website and the top entry and exit pages. You will be able to identify which pages and links your visitors click the most, work out the most popular pages and links and measure whether your optimisation campaign is pointing traffic to these pages.

4. Conversions – understand whether customers do what you want them to (ie buy stuff!).

* Setting up Goals within Google Analytics – This will enable you to see how many conversions your website has produced within a specified time span. You will also be able to clearly see the route that visitors took in order to complete the conversion. From there you will be able to fine-tune specific pages by resetting/rewriting copy in areas that do not convert well.
Have you started your digital road trip yet? If not, are you keen to make a start?
As we’ve mentioned previously, installing Google Analytics is quite simple, so why not get started on your journey to digital success?

Here’s our guide to a basic set-up:

* Sign up for a Google account (or log-in to an existing account)
* Verify your email address * Go to www.google.co.uk/analytics
* Click: Access Analytics
* Enter your website information
* Get the Google tracking code
* Paste the code immediately before the closing </head> tag at the top of each page
Set up tip: Configure the ‘Goals’ setting
* After installing your tracking code on your website, there is a very useful feature that you can enable called ‘Goals setting’.
* Click on the ‘Admin’ link at the top of Google Analytics, then click ‘Goals’ on the website’s ‘View’ column.
* Finally: You can create up to 20 goals on your website, but be selective and ensure the ones you choose are relevant to your business. The most important ones (for most businesses) will include: Lead Form Submissions, Email List Sign Ups and Purchase Completions.
If you are now an analytics ninja, that’s great – enjoy the journey to success! Or, perhaps this article has prompted you to launch your fist analytics road-trip on the twisty road to measurable strategy?
If you feel you need some assistance with planning your journey, then WebAdept are here to help.
Get in touch, we would love to hear from you!

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