When you create a website for your business, you want to accomplish certain goals. Maybe you want to sell people a product, persuade them to use your services over a competitor’s, get them to visit your physical location or make an appointment, or even provide information and resources to support your cause.
But how do you know if your marketing efforts are working? How do you know that your website is accomplishing your goals? To gain a real understanding of how effective your website is, you need to look at the who, what, where and when. And for this, you need Google Analytics.
Watching Website Analytics
The term “analytics” can be pretty daunting to the uninitiated. You might have just launched your first website yesterday. But don’t worry, you’re not the only one new to this game! Even beginners can get a basic idea of what is going on through tools like Google Analytics. You can expect a bit of a learning curve, as it will take some time to understand all fine points of analyzing website data to determine possible actions to take. But, as long as you know the right questions to ask, you can gain valuable information on how your site is performing.
Here are some of the most important questions to ask when looking at GA, and where to find the answers:
1. WHO is visiting my website?
- Unique Visitors – This shows you the number of unique people that are coming to your site. This gives a more accurate estimate of the number of potential clients/customers than does overall “Sessions” (which may or may not include multiple visits from the same person).
- Location — This shows where in the world your visitors are coming from. You can drill all the way down to the city level to get an accurate picture of whether your local advertising efforts are paying off.
2. WHAT are they doing when they get here?
- Average Visit Duration – This shows the average time visitors stay on your site. The longer they stay, the higher the chance they will do what you want them to do – like buy something.
- Bounce Rate – This shows the percentage of people that leave your site after only briefly viewing a single page. Typically the lower the bounce rate, the better; BUT, a high bounce rate is not necessarily a bad thing: depending on your business, some visitors may be simply searching for contact information or address, for example, and landing on your contact page find everything they need without going further into the site.
- Top Pages – this shows the top pages people are viewing. Can be good for diagnosing whether your landing pages are working properly; if users are viewing a specific service or product enough that you should feature it on the homepage; and a myriad of other potential takeaways.
3. WHERE are they coming from?
- Acquisition > Overview – This can show you a lot about where your traffic comes from, like from organic searches or from social sources. It can also show you the bounce rate for each type of visitor.
4. WHEN are they visiting?
- Day/Week View — Zoom into the charts to find out when your customers are visiting. Are they visiting on weekdays or weekends? Are they on late at night? Knowing this information can help you determine when to have key staff available via chat, when to post new content or blogs, and more.
- Define your date range, and easily compare to previous periods to determine if your marketing, advertising or SEO is having a positive effect.
You Should Be Using Google Analytics!
At Siskey Productions, we install Google Analytics on every website we build so that you are better able to track how your website is performing over time. We can also provide monthly reports based on Google Analytics data to save you the trouble of logging in and doing your own analysis each month! If you would like to learn more about how to use Google Analytics to diagnose the health of your website, or need help elevating the efficacy of your online marketing, contact us now.