Do you ever wish you could have your customers tell you exactly what they want from your website? Wouldn’t it be nice if they would let you know in advance which articles they would read, offers they would respond to, and ads they would find compelling?
While you’re not likely to get these kinds of insights in an email or survey, the information isavailable to you if you know where to look. The only problem is that most business owners and marketers ignore the one reliable source of data they have on customers and behaviors: Google Analytics.
Completely free and immensely valuable, Google Analytics can tell you a great deal about where your potential customers are coming from, what they want, and why they do or don’t buy from you. In order to decipher that from their on-site behavior, however, you have to know what to look for. Luckily, we’ve put together a quick guide to point you in the right direction.
First Things First…
To even obtain this valuable data, you first need to install a snip of code into your site to collect the data. Then after a month or so, you’ll have something to review. To create your account, visithttps://www.google.com/analytics/.
#1 Website Visits
How many people are coming to your website each day, week, and month? Is that number rising or declining? By looking at raw traffic stats, you can get a sense of whether your website popularity is growing or shrinking. That can give you some clues into the effectiveness of your Internet marketing.
You’ll find these stats on the main dashboard by viewing the ‘sessions’ number that’s listed for the applicable date range.
#2 Visitor Demographics
Google can tell you where your visitors are coming from (geographically), let you know whether they are using computers or mobile devices, and tell you other things like age, gender, and language. Over time, that kind of info can be used to fine-tune your marketing messages.
To learn about demographics, look at the navigation bar on the left side of your control panel. You’ll see a ‘demographics’ tab that breaks out into ‘overview,’ ‘age,’ and ‘gender.’
#3 Traffic Sources
You don’t just want to know where your potential customers live, but also how they are arriving at your website. Whether they are following links, responding to email offers, engaging you in social media, or even finding you through a certain set of search engine phrases, this information can tell you what’s working.
To find your top traffic sources, click the ‘acquisition’ tab on the left side of your control panel. From there, you have several options for analyzing visitor sources.
#4 Popular Pages
You might be surprised to know which parts of your website are most popular, and which pieces of content are drawing the biggest responses. By examining the most popular pages and the time spent with certain articles or messages, you can give buyers more of what they want.
If you want to know which pages visitors love, click the ‘behavior’ tab on the left side of your control panel, then click on ‘content.’
#5 Entry Pages
In a perfect world, you might want customers to arrive at your home page, see your About or Service pages, and then click through to the specific resource they need. In reality, they may arrive on any page (through a search engine listing or because they’ve bookmarked it). If you know that, you can adjust your content accordingly.
To see where visitors are coming into your site, click the ‘behavior’ tab, followed by ‘content’ and then ‘landing pages.’
#6 Time on Site
Once the visitor arrives at your website, how long are they staying? By finding that answer and examining the specific pages they do visit and stay on, you can understand the flow of traffic from one section of your web presence to another.
You’ll find this data on your main dashboard under ‘session duration.’ You can also see it by clicking the ‘behavior’ tab on the left side of your control panel.
#7 Bounce Rate
When someone “bounces” from your site, it means they leave without reviewing any further pages or taking any additional actions. They simply look at your content and go elsewhere. A high bounce rate suggests you‘re either appealing to the wrong audience, have a confusing web layout, or aren’t doing enough to build up your credibility in the first few seconds.
Bounce rates are shown on your main dashboard when you first log into Google Analytics. You can also see them by clicking on the ‘behavior’ tab to the left.
#8 Exit Pages
When visitors leave your website, what is the last thing they view? By answering that question, you can eliminate bottlenecks within your content, or adjust your offers so that potential customers decide to stay a little longer and take the next step.
To find out where visitors are leaving your site, click the ‘behavior’ tab, followed by ‘content’ and then ‘exit pages.’
With a bit of tracking code, you can tell Google what constitutes a conversion on your website (i.e., a successful sale, newsletter sign-up, etc.). Then, you can track conversion rates to see how many of your visitors are turning themselves into leads or customers on a regular basis.
Conversions analytics have their own tab on the left side of the control panel. The specific bar you’ll want to click will depend on the goals you have set for your site.
#10 Cost Per Conversion
If you are using Google AdWords to bring buyers to your website, then you can also track your cost per conversion. Those figures are incredibly valuable because they let you determine how much you should be willing to spend for individual clicks, and which keywords or campaigns to keep funding.
Cost per conversion is most easily found through your Google AdWords account. Once you’ve logged in, click on the ‘reports’ tab to find this data.
If you can watch these 10 statistics and have a good sense of what they mean for your business, you’ll have your finger on the pulse of your online marketing efforts – and be way ahead of your colleagues and competitors. So, if you haven’t been using Google analytics already, or don’t feel like you’ve been making the most of its capabilities, now is the time to make a change.
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