Data is important even for small businesses. Data helps us make better marketing decisions and spend our marketing money wisely.
As a small business owner, you may spend a lot of money on your website. Think about it: your business website is your digital home base, and it is often the first place customers are introduced to your business. Having a website that stands out is important, especially when trying to reach a specific audience and/or demographic.
However, many small business owners find themselves questioning, where do I even begin? The answer is to think like your audience!
Did you know that every time someone visits your website, they leave behind a digital footprint that contains valuable data? This data contains a ton of information that can provide insight into visitors on your website and shape your marketing strategies.
What’s Working and What’s Not in Your Digital Marketing
Google Analytics is a tool Google developed to help webmasters understand their website’s traffic, including tracking how a visitor discovered your website, how long they stayed, and the content and/or keywords that kept them there. Analytics identifies the channels that are driving the most traffic and leads to your business online.
Google Analytics allows you to see the number of leads visiting each page on your website, including the paths that take them from one page to another. This data combined with seeing the conversion rates will help you improve the effectiveness of your website’s pages.
Who’s Visiting Your Site, When, and Why
Remember, knowing who your audience is and what they are searching for is key to designing and improving your website. Google Analytics contains the ability to enable an Audience Report, which allows you to track who is visiting your website.
You can target specific audiences, and analyze how they are performing based on specific metrics such as…
- Acquisition (how people get to your site),
- Behaviors (what actions they take when they get there), and
- Conversions (how they choose to interact with your site).
Once the reporting has been enabled, your website data is broken down into categories including Demographics and Keywords. Demographic data is based on age, location, and gender. This data can be viewed in various charts, graphs, and tables to allow a more visual glance.
The Keyword data is beneficial in tracking keywords that drew traffic to your website.
To access, first select the “Traffic Sources” tab on the left-hand side and click on the “Keywords” tab found below. Then, select a date range in the top right-hand corner that is at least 3-4 months long. This will display a range of data based on keywords on your website. Every keyword displayed has a conversion percentage associated with it, meaning these are the keywords to use in optimizing your site.
PRO TIP: Make sure you connect your Google Search Console to your Google Analytics for even richer keyword data.
What Pages are Performing the Best and What Pages Need a Boost
By now, you already know the purpose of Google Analytics is to understand what is working visually and what is not on your website. Let’s take a deeper look at how some pages may be performing better than others:
Google Analytics allows you to analyze each page’s data individually, to see which pages are performing better than others. This may be due to the lack of effective keywords or content found on each page.
The Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits. In other words, it is the percentage of visits in which a person leaves your website from the landing page without browsing any additional pages. It is recommended to evaluate the bounce rate for each landing page individually.
You can then compare each page to its past performance to determine progress. This allows you to make the most effective modifications to drive more visits and ultimately more business.
The ABCs of Google Analytics
Refers to how people (traffic) get to your site. Simply, you can use the acquisition reports to see how people arrive at your site. Acquisition reports are an excellent way to see which vehicles (keywords) are best for bringing traffic to your site.
This refers to what they do when they get there. The behavior reports allow you to see if visitors are in fact taking the actions you want them to take. It also measures the effectiveness of your website. If you discover visitors are not following your intended path, you can make necessary changes.
Tracks how many visitors take the next steps on your website, such as navigating to another page, signing up for an email list, making a purchase, etc. The conversions reports track every movement a visitor takes on your site. This data assists you with making detailed adjustments to your site that will maximize the process it takes to get the customer to get to your “goal”.
Setting Up Google Analytics
Setting Google Analytics up on your website takes a matter of minutes and is an essential tool for any small business that has a website. Take a look at the links below for detailed information for your CMS:
- Get started with Analytics
- Adding the code to WordPress (you can use plugins like insert headers and footers)
- Adding the code to Wix
- Adding the code to Squarespace
With Analytics data you can dive deeper into which necessary steps you can take to improve your small business website. While browsing through the data can be fun, it is important to know the metrics to work on.
Analyze information your visitors care about, where they’re coming from, and how they’re viewing your site. Take advantage of the free program available to you and your business. Google Analytics provides a way to make smart and strategic improvements to your website in support of your goals and ideally, your overall business.
Ready for the next step? Here’s how to annotate big events (and why you should!) in Google Analytics.