I’m often surprised when I ask business owners what sort of traffic their website gets. Why? Because most of the time, they have no idea!
Google Analytics is definitely one of those tools that can appear too technical, or like the data can just go over your head.
But without any idea of the statistics your site has, how can you expect your website to be a well-optimised and high-converting marketing tool?
Data, testing & measuring and statistics are a great foundation for new marketing efforts, measuring your business conversions and seeing where you can improve. So in this post I’m sharing five helpful ways to use Google Analytics for your business. Don’t worry, they’ll be simple and easy to understand, so you can begin to implement some actions!
Before we begin – if you don’t know how to access Google Analytics for your website, chat to your web developer (or whoever made your site) to see if they have login details. You should always have access to your own GA account.
Except for point five, the below features are all listed under the ‘home’ tab on your Google Analytics account. You can go into a lot more depth with each of these features. But for now, here’s an introduction to some of the most important metrics five ways you can use Google Analytics for your business.
One: Assess what your most popular pages are
We’re starting with the basics. On the home tab in your GA account, scroll right to the bottom. There, you should be able to see a chart with the title, ‘what pages do your users visit?’
This will give you a list in descending order of the pages that have had the most visits on your website. keep in mind that a ‘/’ page is your homepage.
Are you surprised by the results, or are they what you expected?
One way you can utilise this is by analysing your most popular pages. Now you know how much traffic they’re getting, would you say those pages are optimised for converting those visits into a sale, sign up or visit of some sort?
This can be as simple as adding a ‘book now’ on popular pages, or assessing what the obvious next step for someone viewing these pages would be.
If you’re a restaurant getting lots of hits on your menu page, is there an easy ‘call to book’ or hyperlinked phone number, so that people can easily click to call & order via phone? Prompt your users to convert with a simple, easy action.
Two: See Where your Traffic is Coming From with the Referrers graph
In Google Analytics, your ‘referrers’ are other websites that direct traffic to your site. Other methods of traffic acquisition include direct (people tying your URL in), organic referral (people finding you in search engines like Google), and clicking through from socials (whether that’s Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest).
This gives you an idea of what’s working and how people are finding you, and what’s worth spending your efforts on. For instance, if you’ve been consistently cranking out the social media posts and directing people to your website, but only a couple of people are clicking through? Maybe you need to focus your efforts elsewhere, or at least change up your tactic.
Similarly, if you notice you’re getting a lot of traffic from a specific channel, maybe SEO or even Pinterest, it could be worth spending some more time optimising those channels so that you can reign in more valuable traffic.
Three: Assess whether your website is engaging its users with Session Duration
At the top of the home tab, you’ll notice a graph where one of the measurements is Session Duration. This is basically the average time that a user spends on your site.
Keep in mind that the internet is fast-paced, so if your average session duration seems like not long at all, remember a lot can happen on a website in a minute or so! The average session duration is around two minutes, with a longer session duration indicating that users are more engaged with your site.
This can obviously vary greatly and may not always be a true indication of what’s really going on – for example, if someone clicks through to your site to quickly grab your phone number, view your contact page or similar.
But if your session duration is low, you may want to consider if your content is engaging enough, or if your website is easy to navigate.
Four: Assess whether your page content is relevant with Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is a term used to describe when a user visits your website and leaves, only viewing one page. It’s a popular metric in SEO as an indication of whether people found what they were looking for on your site.
Bounce rate can be an indication of clickbait page titles, slow page loading times, or the page content just generally not matching the heading of the web page.
Keep in mind that unlike most metrics, generally the lower your bounce rate is, the better. You can see in the image above that the bounce rate has gone down by 4.5%, marked in green. This is a good thing!
Five: Target your ideal customer with audience insights
Did you know that Google Analytics could be this powerful? Under the audience tab, you can view stats such as your audiences’ age, gender, location and interests. It could surprise you to find out who is really searching for your business!
Utilise this information to create content with these demographics in mind, update or create an ideal customer persona or gather details about similar topics, products or services your audience might be interested in.
If you’re unsure whether you have an up-to-date policy, read our blog on Granny Panties and Privacy Policies for help.