Think for a second about driving a car. There are a lot of things that affect its performance. Not only can the conditions of the road affect how your car handles the road, your engine oil level, tire pressure, & brake pads have an impact on how well your vehicle performs.
A website is like a vehicle in this way. Just think if you had no way to judge how your website is performing. That would be a lot like driving your car with a blindfold on. You would have no idea where your vehicle is going. The same applies to website performance.
How can you expect to reach goals with your website or greater digital presence if you do not know exactly how your website is performing?
As any rational person would agree, driving with a blindfold is not a good idea. On the contrary, you need to be able to see where you are going as well as understand the performance of your vehicle in order to operate your vehicle at optimum.
When it comes to your website, an analytics tools allows you to see how a site is performing. And, if you can see how your site is performing, you can then make optimizations to improve performance.
Among the most popular analytics tools is Google Analytics. The tool also integrates with the Google Ads platform, making Google Analytics a must-have for advertisers.
The rest of this article explains what Google Analytics is & why you should care.
What Is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is Google’s very own web analytics tool. The tool allows you to see tons of helpful informations, such as:
- who is coming to your site
- how many users
- new vs returning
- from where
- geographic data (actual location of web user)
- from which site or channel (paid advertising, social media, organic)
- for how long
- how many times
- from what device
- how many users
- which pages your site visitors are viewing
- what actions your visitors are taking on your site
Therefore, we can group Google Analytics data into four buckets that each answer specific questions:
- user – who is visiting my site?
- session – how many times? for how long?
- pageview – where did they go while on my site?
- event – what actions, if any, did they take?
As you can see, Google Analytics does offers a bunch of relevant information that can help you understand how well your site is performing.
What Can Google Analytics Help You Do?
Google Analytics supplies you with tons of data that you should then use to optimize your website. However, this is no easy task. Even well-trained marketers have trouble doing this. Nonetheless, optimization is a never-ending process.
No two sites will require the same optimizations. With that being said, I will list a few scenarios to illustrate how Google Analytics can be used to optimize your website.
- If you see that your homepage has a lot of pageviews, but your products & services page doesn’t, then you may want to include more calls-to-action on your homepage that direct traffic to your products & services page.
- If you notice that your site visitors are spending an average of 10 seconds on your site (which is an extremely low average session duration), then you may want to add engaging content to retain the attention of your visitors upon arrival.
- You see that only a small amount of traffic (less than 10%) is coming from referral sites. As a result, you build out your online listings on directory sites to improve your reach.
- Let’s say you have set up event tracking to track click to calls or appointment inquiries. However, you feel that, given the amount of users that are visiting your site, you should be receiving more conversions. You could add more CTAs to your site to lead your site visitors down a journey.
Needless to say, Google Analytics will then allow you to judge the performance of the changes or additions you make to your site. Therefore, Google Analytics serves two purposes: helping you identify growth opportunities as well as monitoring the performance of your optimizations.
Making Sense Of The Data Is Difficult
Returning to our car analogy, not everybody knows their way around a car. As a result, people outsource the task of maintaining & optimizing their vehicles to trained mechanics. The same goes for web analytics. We often hear that our clients previously had no idea what Google Analytics was before working with us, much less how to make sense of the in-depth data that the platform provides.
Nonetheless, making informed optimizations is key when it comes to digital marketing & that’s where we come in. We even send out weekly Google Analytics reports to our website clients in order to maintain transparency & common end goals in our client relationships.