If you run a small to medium-sized business, you know that Google Analytics is a little like yoga: You know it’s good for you, that many of your friends enjoy its benefits, and that you should take it up, too. But there’s that strenuous learning or conditioning curve to get over, and you just haven’t found the time to start.
Again, like yoga, the good news is you don’t have to work too long to begin seeing some benefits. That’s because Google is the keeper of every data breadcrumb your prospects drop on their way to your site and once they get there. And Google Search, at least as often as not, is your prospect’s last stop before calling, clicking or buying from you.
With your free Google Analytics account, if you’re making any changes to your marketing efforts, the results are going to be made visible in your website traffic.
Those efforts may be SEO-related – like upping your organic search position on Google by getting inbound links on respectable, relevant sites – or in the form of great social media posts, traditional advertising campaigns or your own relevant content on other pages of your website. GA can tell you how successful you’ve been at all of these. It can also tell you where to do more of same; where to do less.
If you’re paying Google by bidding for AdWords, you can see how well your paid search is doing and which search terms worked best at not only at bringing traffic, but also – if you configure the dashboard and your tracking correctly – how good that particular traffic was at putting money in your pocket (i.e., if they bought something from your e-commerce site, left their lead info, or asked for a quote.) If you’re not paying for AdWords, you can still see what search terms/keywords visitors to your site have used through a separate Google Marketing application, Search Console.
Other things Google Analytics tells you:
• The gender, age, language, and geographical location of visitors, which can help you customize your marketing approach to various audiences and determine where best to invest your digital marketing dollars.
• The platform (Phone? Tablet? Desktop?) and operating system your visitor is using.
• If you enable Google’s Advertising Features, you can even slice and dice visitors by Interest Categories. Are the Green Living Enthusiasts signing up for your DVDs? How about the Health and Fitness Buffs? Who’s buying more?
• How long visitors stay on each page. This statistic can reveal which page’s content is most effective and keeps readers most interested, as well as which landing page leads to the most purchases.
• Which pages are the most frequently visited so you can be sure to house your most important information there.
• The number of clicks on your website’s links. This can help you streamline your website’s interface by prioritizing the most visited links and potentially eliminating others.
• Spikes in traffic over time periods. This shows the impact of recent email or other campaigns.
To permit us one more yoga analogy, Google Analytics and its integrated marketing tools make up a deep discipline, with many long avenues for further study. Perhaps unlike yoga, however, it is one discipline whose hard-won skills need ongoing refreshes.
Just recently, changes to Google AdWords – now renamed just plain “Google Ads” – have tried to simplify the whole confusing process of keyword bidding. Recognizing that much of Google’s advertising space now runs on mobile devices, on YouTube, and on other properties that have nothing to do with search, the company has tried to offer web customers a chance to simply state their business, their budget, and their goals – whether they be clicks, views, or conversions. The advertiser then picks a bidding strategy to match and lets the constantly evolving smarts of Google’s Marketing Platform figure out the rest.
If you’re looking to stretch your media dollars via Google Ads, to make website enhancements based on Google Analytics or to appear organically on page one of Google based on specific keywords, Turchette would be glad to assist. Our Google-Certified Media Director, Interactive Director and Account Management team can keep an eye on all of these things for you and help guide your marketing efforts, even while in the downward dog position.