If you plan on doing any type of Digital Marketing for your business, it is imperative that you learn how to use Google Analytics (GA). This tool holds the answer to almost any marketing question you have about your website. Through GA can track each part of the marketing life cycle. The “ABC’s” neatly represents this cycle in GA.
Acquisition involves how many users are coming to your site, how a user becomes aware of your site, where they are coming from, and what devices they are using to access the site.
Behaviour deals with user engagement. This includes how users are interacting on the site. How long was spent on the site, what pages were viewed the most, and how many left without reaching the goal.
Conversion revolves around the most important question in all business minds. Did the user do what you wanted them to (buy the product, provide an email, click the link)?
All of this data is gathered quickly by one source, the standard subscription free, and already installed on most websites waiting to be activated. Let’s break it down a little further. What metrics does GA provide and which one’s are useful for your purposes?
The second question is entirely up to your business goals, which you must determine before you can use GA to its full potential. Once you know what you want to achieve, you can set a goal for users, and campaign tag content, so you can effectively track what is working for you. Once you’ve done this, you will be ready to use the metrics GA offers effectively. A few of GAs’ most helpful features include:
Channels is a measurement of how people are finding your site. Are they coming from social media, SEO, Referrals, or direct traffic? This is a quick easy way to determine what source is getting you the most traffic and where you need to focus your efforts. This does not mean neglect other sources; focusing on one platform won’t help you gain business, but you can and should use the information given to you to strengthen your weaker platforms and push the ones that are working harder.
Landing Pages/ Entrances
These are actually two different sets of data, but they serve very similar functions. Landing pages show what content is being viewed first when a user comes to your website. This will include what page they clicked on from Facebook and shows you what headlines caught the user’s eye and what you should write more of. Entrance is very similar. It measures each page individually and shows how many times each page was a landing page. Again, this can show you what content your visitors are interested in and guide your marketing campaign in the future.
Average Session Duration
This metric can gauge how long someone is spending on your site, and tell you whether or not your site is catching user interests.
Time of Day/ Day of Week
This feature will easily break down what time of day and day of the week you are getting the most clicks. Meaning this can tell you when posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or sending out a newsletter would be most effective to gain new visitors and retarget past users.
This measures how many people exited the site without achieving the goal you’ve set. This data alone, may not be all that helpful, but if you look into other data provided such as the average page loading time you might find that the page people left on loads slower than your other pages.
In short, Google Analytics is a great tool to use if you plan marketing digitally. Without Google Analytics or a tool like it you wouldn’t have information on what is working on your site. However, it is important to note that Google Analytics only provides data; it cannot interpret the data for you, but it can indicate what is working and what isn’t. This is one reason why you should determine your goals for marketing early on. Once you know where you’re headed, you can use this tool to guide the rest of your marketing campaign.