Google Analytics is a suite of visitor tracking tools that you need to be using.
If you’re not then you are potentially leaving a lot of money on the table. As a business owner in the global economy you can’t afford to ignore something that can give you a competitive edge.
Completely free to use, Google analytics has far more features and power the most paid analytical software out there. The only downside to it is that like a lot of Google tools, some of the options are not immediately clear to the end user.
Because of the power of Google Analytics and the sometimes confusing nature of its structure, there can be a learning curve involved. But sticking with it will bring potentially huge dividends to your business.
If you are not using Analytics to benefit your online business, then you are trying to navigate a ship into port in the dark. With a blindfold on. With your electronic navigation turned off. And no crew.
Oh, and the local lighthouse has had a power cut.
Get the picture?
Get The Lowdown On Your Visitors Using Google Analytics.
You need a Google account to access Analytics, but once you have that its free. When you start using it a profitable new world will open its doors to you.
Google Analytics allows you to track every page of your website. You simply paste a piece of code into each page you want to track. If you want to track an entire site then paste the code once into your header file. If you are using software such as WordPress you can get plugins which accomplish this without messing around in your site files.
You will be able to see data relating to website visitors. How many, what pages they visit, when they leave, how they leave, the paths through your site they take, and how long they stay to browse.
You can also link your Analytics account to Google Adwords account. This means you can track your Adwords traffic and conversions more fully, refine advertising campaigns and maximize your total spend.
If you run an ecommerce site, Analytics code can be plugged into your site to deliver you detailed information about your conversion rate. This can also work alongside Google Adwords, giving you superb detail on where every sale is coming from.
Ultimately, what Google Analytics does for you over time is to build up a profile of your business online. You can then act on that information to increase your traffic and conversion rate. This makes it an essential tool for calculating your overall marketing return on investment.
Use Analytics To Gain Insight Into Every Aspect Of Your Online Marketing.
Analytics is not just about your website. You can also track social accounts with Google Analytics. Facebook pages and Twitter feeds can be segmented and tracked in the same way as your main website pages can.
To track Twitter for example, from the dashboard of your Analytics account click on “advanced segments”. Create a new segment and complete the form using twitter URLs as the source.
Set up several sources in your new segment, including Twitter.com, T.co (this is the shortened version of Twitter URLs), TweetDeck, Ow.ly and Bit.ly. This will then allow you to track the main URLs that Twitter sends clickthroughs to your website from.
You can then take this fantastic new information segment and filter it further by adding metrics to it, such as visitor duration and visits with conversions. This will deliver for you great information on how successful your social marketing campaigns are.
Use Analytics To Build On Existing Success – Once You Spot it.
One of the classic mistakes that online businesses make is to reinforce failure, rather than success. This is a poor strategy that great military minds have been avoiding for centuries.
What happens is that the business owners look at their marketing plan as a whole, and regardless of results continue to market as a whole. Or they have a preconception about what will work and stick with it, often without even viewing data which would challenge their views.
The end result is wasted effort and money.
To use the military analogy, it means you are fighting on all fronts. You are trying to hold the line, rather than reinforcing where you are showing success – which could result in a breakthrough.
Google Analytics can highlight where you are being successful and deliver key data you can use to build on that success further.
Google Analytics Will Increase Your Conversion Rate
If I said to you that to increase your profits by 10% you need to increase your visitor traffic by 100%, you would probably feel despondent.
Quite rightly so.
Increasing your traffic by hundred percent would be hard work and expensive.
If I said increasing the conversion rate of your current visitors by 2% will increase your profits by 10%, that wouldn’t sound quite such hard work would it?
The reason it doesn’t sound so evil is because you are working with existing visitors rather than trying to generate new ones. For less work you can gain a potentially far more profitable result.
This is where Google Analytics comes into its own.
As well as allowing you to see the traffic sources which are proving most successful for referrals, Analytics also displays advanced data about how visitors are interacting with your site. There are no excuses for making assumptions, or reinforcing failure anymore.
By analyzing the visitor data Analytics gives you, and then testing variations of your site using that data, you can squeeze more out of your existing visitors. This is called split testing and it can help to increase the conversion rate on your site.
The great thing is this is usually very cheap to do. You are simply tweaking your existing infrastructure based on real-world data rather than guess work.
Find Out What Works Using Split Testing In Analytics.
You can undertake split testing using the new Google Experiments tool which has now been built into the Analytics dashboard.
Google Experiments allows you to track up to 5 variations of a single web page, each with its own unique URL. Using visitor data, you can then build up a picture, based on objectives you set within your analytics account, to see which is most successful.
This could be as simple as testing five different button colors for an email list signup page. That may sound like overkill, but the real-world testing done already suggests swings of up to 10% or more in conversion rates simply due to the color of form buttons.
This is just one example of how very small change in a website can increase your conversions. Glossing over the minor details such as the color of a button is easy to do. Using Google Analytics for A/B split testing, you can test every onpage element to squeeze the maximum conversion rate out of your website.
Ignoring minor details could be the difference between turning a profit or closing up shop for good.
If you are one of the 10% of websites on the Internet that uses WordPress, then using Google Experiments is even simpler. There are Google Experiments plugins out there which allow you to tick a box when you create a new WordPress post or page to opt it straight in to an existing Google Experiment.
Google Analytics Can Be Your Competitive Edge.
You may think I’m a bit nuts raving on like this in such detail. But if you have any knowledge of online business, you will already know how many of them completely fail to track website data or act on the data they do track. You may even be one of those people.
The words “no brainer” are thrown around a lot, but in this instance it is completely true.
Why wouldn’t you want to know if your marketing was working? Why wouldn’t you want to increase your conversion rate? Why wouldn’t you use free data to improve your profitability?
Even at its most basic level of use Google Analytics gives you visitor intelligence, allowing you to see which parts of your site they visit most. It shows you which pages they travel to through your site and which pages they exit from.
Such simple data allows you to quickly and easily restructure your webpages and your site navigation system to maximize customer satisfaction.
If you don’t want to increase your conversions and don’t want to improve the user experience of potential customers, then why are you in business?