I love data. Whether it’s website traffic, social media stats, or the amount of sleep that I get, I love analytics. However, as good as digging into data is, it’s what you can do with that data that’s truly awesome.
Let’s look at one data tool and what we could possibly do with it: Google Analytics
One Tool to Rule Them All
Google Analytics (GA for short) is a free tool that measures website usage. From unique visitors to what pages are the most popular, you can read everything that you’ve ever wanted to know about your website usage.
But what could GA show me about my business?
Are you on “The Google?”
First, you need to find out if you have a GA account.
If you are a Good Marketing Group customer, you already have one. When we built your website, we either got your Google account information and added GA to your site by using your old GA number, or created a new one for you. If unsure how to access your GA account, just contact us.
For you’re not a Good Marketing Group customer, check any Gmail accounts that you have by logging into Google, then going to https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/. It’s going to tell you if you have a GA account or not. If not, reach out to your website developer and ask them if Google Analytics is on your website (IT SHOULD BE) and how to access YOUR account.
Once you get into your GA account, you are going to be presented with a lot of charts, data, and stuff that will be overwhelming and make you want to hide under your desk. While you could spend literally days going through all the reports and pages, I want us to focus on three specific things:
One: Website Health Statistics
Let’s start with the page that you are on. You should see a graph that shows the traffic for the past week right in front of you. That graph has data that shows you Users, Sessions, Bounce Rate, and Session Duration as well as whether those results were better or worse than a prior time period. Below that graph you can change your time period to a month, 3 months, 6 months, etc.
While Users (people who visit your website) and Sessions (how many times people have visited your website) are important numbers, it’s the latter two that I’d focus on:
Bounce Rate: Are They Staying on Your Site/Page or Jumping Out
Since Bounce Rate is the percentage of sessions that are just one page, you can see if people are only coming to your website, looking at something, and then leaving. Now, if it’s just to get your phone number and they are calling you, then that’s okay. But if your phone isn’t ringing and your bounce rate is high, then your website isn’t cutting the mustard.
Ways to improve:
- Buttons that encourage action and/or link to other pages.
- Sidebar with promotions or company information like store hours, driving directions, FAQs.
- More hyperlinks in content to keep people on site longer.
Talk to your web developer to create content and mechanisms to encourage users to visit more pages. You’re shooting for a bounce rate below 50%.
Session Duration: How Long are they Staying
Since ‘Session Duration’ is telling you how long people are staying on any given page, this tells you if they are engaged by your content. Could it be just the folks popping in to get your phone number? Sure! But the same logic above applies that if your phone isn’t ringing off the hook and your session duration is small, your website could either have problems or is not engaging.
Ways to Improve:
- Add videos – relevant videos, not cats and babies.
- Evaluate your content. Is it too technical? Does it lack substance? Can it be “sexied” up?
- Add more hyperlinks and buttons to other pages. Improving your Bounce Rate can also improve your Session Duration.
Again, talk to your developer on ways that you can improve the Session Duration on your website.
Two: Where Are People Looking?
On the left-hand side of the dashboard, click Behavior, then Site Content, then All Pages. This report shows you the top pages that people look at on your website. The top one is probably your Homepage but look at the next couple of pages listed. Is your About Us page listed? Contact Us? Services or Products that you offer?
The pages that people look at the most tell you what areas of your business they are most interested. If you look at Good Marketing Group’s analytics, our About Us, the Good Marketing Group Story, and every team member’s bio page are the top pages listed. To me, that means who we are is just as important as what we do. People want to know about US before choosing to work with us.
How do you describe who you are and why you do what you do? What about your team, if you have one? Are you giving your prospective customers the information that they need to become customers?
Three: Calendar-Proof Your Business
Go back to Home on the left-hand side and to the first page you saw when you came to Google Analytics. I want you to click on the down caret for the time period and choose the last three months or six months. Look at the dips and spikes in your traffic and see if they correspond with the times that your business has been slow over that time period? Does your website traffic track with those ebbs and flow? If you have years of Google Analytics data, can you go back to 2018 and see that same sort of pattern?
If so, what are some ways that you can lessen the dips in website traffic and business? Can you increase your marketing efforts prior to those slow periods so that you are bringing in more qualified leads? Are you posting more to social media prior to those slow periods?
If not, what are some ways that you can better utilize your website to improve those slow business periods? Could it be adding promotions to the website to entice people? Could it be adding more forms so that people can reach out to you?
Turn Data into Information
In the end, data is only data until you do something with it and make it engaging information.
“Session Duration” is only a time period until you look at your website and implement more ways to keep people on a page.
“Page Views” is only a number until you utilize social media or email marketing to get more people to those pages.
“Google Analytics” is only a tool that provides statistical data until you do something with that data or insight to improve your business. That’s where the rubber hits the road and you can start to get somewhere profitable with your website as your most important marketing tool.
Want Great Marketing? Get GOOD Advice…
We’d love to hear where it takes you. Contact us and let us know what you learned from your GA or even if you have a specific question and want to walk through it together. We can even share screens – isn’t technology great when it is used for GOOD!?!