I talk a lot about how small businesses need to measure all their marketing activities. It’s such an important part of marketing. I know many business owners don’t do this. And you know what? They’re missing out on a wealth of information that could really impact their businesses.
I started to think about what I measure and what’s making an impact on how I approach my marketing. One of the tools I use regularly is Google Analytics. It’s an invaluable tool which tells me exactly how my website is performing.
There is a mine of information that you can access in Google Analytics. I’m going to take you through the five things that I check regularly.
If you don’t have a lot of time, this is a great way to check your stats quickly. As it suggests, it’s a dashboard of the main metrics. Here’s what it looks like.
Below this, you can see the summary of how people found your site, where they come from, what devices you use, which pages they visited and few other things. For an ‘at a glance’ view, this works just fine and gives you a snap shot of what’s happening.
Do you know the breakdown of your audience? Well, here’s where you find out. This is what it looks like.
For the time frame you’ve chosen, you’ll be able to see the following things:
- New vs. returning visitors
- Number of sessions
- Number of users
- Page views
- Pages per session
- Average session duration
- Bounce rate (how many people left the site)
- Percentage of new sessions
Why is this information important?
Well, armed with this, you can see whether you’re attracting people from the right location, you’ll be able to compare different time frames and see the progression you’ve made. Ideally, you want people to spend as much time on your website as possible so the ‘pages per session’ and ‘bounce rate’ numbers are important to keep an eye on.
Need to attract the right people to your website? Read this blog post.
I sometimes get lost in this one. I think that I’ll take five minutes to look and before I know it, I’ve been there half an hour. Acquisition is where you see how people arrived at your site. It looks like this.
Take a look at the pie chart. You can see how the traffic has been driven to this website. Everyone strives for good organic traffic, and you can see here that 50% of the traffic is organic. But take a look at the green segment. That’s social media. And the yellow segment is email. This is where your social networks and email list come in. Sharing content from your website helps guide people to it.
Why is this important?
It helps you understand which methods are the best at driving traffic to your website. If there are one or two that you’d like more traffic from, you can focus on those to see what you can do to increase traffic.
Want to know how to write emails that get action? Read this blog post.
This helps you understand what people do once they arrive on to your website. This is what it looks like.
Within the time frame you’ve chosen, this will show you which page people started their visit on, and then show you where they went next. Remember the pages per session metric we talked about above? This is the visualisation of those pages as the visits happened.
Why is this important?
It will show you whether people find your content interesting. This will help you figure out whether you need to change what you post, or whether to post more similar things.
I think this is my favourite! Setting goals helps you understand how successful your content is. This is what it looks like.
In the above example, you can see that there four goals being tracked. Each time someone completes one of these goals, Google Analytics registers this and shows you what your conversion rate is.
Why is this useful?
Well, your website should be registering a sale (if you have products) or it should be capturing leads. Goals help you understand how many of the latter you have achieved.
Want to know how I manage the leads I capture on my website? Read this blog post.
I always say that you need to measure the impact of your marketing regularly. By using Google Analytics, you can make sure your website is playing its part in helping you achieve your marketing objectives. Don’t guess, rely on the metrics that will help you understand what’s working and what isn’t. It’s really worth taking the time to get to know Google Analytics better. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can start to investigate the more advanced metrics. Dive into yours today!
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Also published on Medium.