First off, I wanted to say a big thanks to Andrew and Kim for sharing my knowledge on their blog. I’ve only just started on my blogging journey so it’s fantastic to get an opportunity like this.
I’m here to chat with you about how to use Google Analytics or GA for short. If you have a website, you probably know what I’m talking about. Google Analytics (GA) is the world’s most widely used analytics platform. This is mainly because it’s free but also because it’s powerful.
I often meet business owners who invest thousands in their website and their online marketing, but have never looked at their GA. This seems totally nuts to me. GA can tell you what’s working and what’s not, which allows you to grow your business, so why not take a look?
So I’d like to help you by doing three things:
- Explain in a general way how the information is organized inside GA
- Tell you the big secret to using that information effectively to grow your business
- Give you some simple examples on how people use it every day
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics collects data on your website visitors and then displays that data for you to use. The data that it collects falls into four broad categories:
Audience: Who are these people? You can find out their age, gender, where they came from, what operating system or mobile device they used and how often they come back to your website.
Acquisition: How do they get to your website? Find out how your visitors got to your website. Whether it was that email you send out a few days ago or Google Adwords or from people searching.
Behaviour: What do people do once they get to your site? Which pages do they visit? What pages do they leave on? Behaviour is great for figuring out which pages are working hard for you and which you can change to help grow your business.
Conversions: The really good stuff. What do people buy? How many people downloaded that case study or filled in the contact form. Conversion reports most help you determine your return on investment.
For a more in-depth look at how GA is organized I’ve linked to an excellent resource at the end of this article.
How do you use it?
So, that’s a lot of data. It’s actually more information than you’ll ever need. And when I’m talking with people, this is where they get stuck. There’s so much going on that you don’t really know where to begin.
Want to know the big secret? You have to go into GA already knowing what questions you want answers to.
I’m going to repeat it in a bigger font and quotation marks.
”Go into GA already knowing what questions you want answers to”
This is a rule that I follow as a professional online marketer every day. I write down what I want to find out and then I open up GA. I do this because it keeps me focused on getting the information I need. You knowing what questions that you want answers to will keep you from getting lost in flood of tables and graphs.
Ask yourself, what information do you need to make your next decision? It seems simple enough but it makes a crucial difference. This is one of my big secrets to using Google Analytics to help grow your business.
Let’s run through some examples
Example One: You’ve just run a small marketing campaign with some Google Adwords and also sent out a huge bunch of emails using MailChimp. It’s been a few days and you’d like to find out how the campaigns are performing.
Solution: Head over the to the acquisition menu my friend. Google Analytics will split out how people got to your website from each campaign and, if you have conversion or ecommerce tracking setup, tell you whether or not they bought something or got in touch. Easy way to work out ROI.
Example Two: You’re going to re-design your website and you want to find out more about how people are using the website currently. You want to get an idea of the most popular parts of the website and also the least popular.
Solution: The Behaviour reports are the right place to get this information, particularly the Content report. This will tell you how many times people visited each page and what pages they visited before and after so you can get an idea of their travels on your site.
Example Three: Everyone around you is going on about how important it is to be mobile friendly. But you’re not so sure. You want to figure out how many people are using mobiles to visit your website and how much they are worth.
Solution: You need to visit the Audience reports and look for “Mobile”. This will tell you how many visitors you get from mobile, even what type of mobile they use. You could also figure out how much your mobile visitors are worth if you’ve got your conversion tracking setup.
I’ve only just scratched the tip of the iceberg with what you can do in analytics, but I hope I’ve given a clear idea of the type of information you can get from analytics and what you can do with that information.
Google Analytics is a free website analytics platform that tracks what people do on your website and how they got to your website.
The data is broken down into four sections:
- Audience: Who are these people?
- Acquisition: How do they get to your website?
- Behaviour: What do they do once they get there?
- Conversions: Did those website visitors do what I wanted them to do?
The amount of data in GA is massive. Know what questions you want answers to before diving in. This will help keep you focused and give you the best results from using GA in helping grow your business.
Thanks again to Andrew and Kim (the other Kim) for letting me onto their blog. I love their videos and webinars, if you haven’t seen their one about getting featured in the media I’d highly recommend you watch it.
Kim is the founder of Insight Online. A small online marketing consultancy focused on helping people grow your business. He is passionate about demystifying online marketing and helping people use it to generate more sales and leads.
To find out more about Kim Voon and his services you can find out more on his Insight Online website