Make the most from your Google Analytics
If you’re running an online business it’s highly likely you have Google Analytics installed to help track your online performance. Google Analytics is a free but powerful marketing tool and a basic setup can be easily implemented on most websites – especially with tools such as Google Tag Manager.
Out-of-the-box Google Analytics will provide you with a variety of reports and information that can allow you to start understanding your website traffic. However, with many businesses not taking full advantage of their Google Analytics account, we have produced a short guide to look at how you can improve your reporting and get a better measure of your business’ online success.
What does Google Analytics do?
Before starting to analyse the data available from Google Analytics it’s essential to understand what Google Analytics does and what it can track. Google Analytics is far more sophisticated than simply tracking the volume of visitors to your website. It can also track:
- What channels are driving your traffic to your web properties
- Visitor behaviour and navigation around your site
- Online conversions including e-commerce transactions
- Audience demographics
- Website performance and site speed
1. Link other Google properties
It only takes a few minutes to join up other Google products such as Google Search Console and Google Ads to bring additional data Google provide into your analytics account.
Google Search Console allows you to get a better understanding of how Google ‘views’ your site and how it appears in the search engine results.
Google Ads you will no doubt be familiar with as a tool to help manage your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns whether you do this in-house or if you outsource to an agency / freelancer. As standalone tools you can use them in isolation, but by integrating their data with Google Analytics means your reporting can be achieved in one platform. Personally, I find this hugely advantageous for monitoring PPC spend and understanding how these visitors navigate our site before hopefully converting (more on that later).
2. Track full visitor behaviour, engagement and interactions
Monitoring increasing traffic volumes to your website may feel like a step in the right direction, but you want to make sure these visitors are taking a desired outcome.
Start by listing out all the types of interaction and conversion points you have on your website and then follow on by making sure each is set-up to be tracked either as an event, or as a ‘Goal’.
On our website as an example you might have noticed our video on our homepage. Once a visitor clicks ‘play’ we will track this as an event, and even track whether a visitor watches the whole 90 seconds or stops the video before the end.
Goal tracking, (found under Admin > Goals) we reserve for ‘macro conversions’, for example when a customer has clicked on a sign-up form, signed up to a newsletter or filled in an enquiry.
3. Track your phone calls
Like most companies with a website, it’s likely that you will have a phone number for people to reach you on, but it’s important to measure how successful your phone number is as a contact method in comparison to other conversions such as online forms discussed above.
Calltracks software allows you to automatically integrate your phone calls into your Google Analytics reports providing you with even more insight into your website performance. In our case our phone calls account for 78% of our conversions:
By simply integrating an additional bit of tracking code alongside your Google Analytics you can easily report which digital marketing campaigns generate the most effective calls, and also understand the full visitor journey from website to phone.
You can even enhance your remarketing strategy by excluding certain adverts from customers who have already engaged with you via the phone, or by converting through an online form.
4. Advanced Audience Reporting Features
Demographic and ‘interests’ data provides you with additional information on the age and gender of your visitors along with their interests expressed online.
Its exceptionally easy to add but does require you to enable the features first.
Under Admin > Property navigate to Property Settings and scroll to the bottom to switch on:
In summary this should give your Google Analytics reporting a massive boost to help you understand which marketing campaigns are working best for your business and enable you to tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
Using an integrated approach and including call tracking technology alongside other interactions and conversions you can take even more control over your performance and the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
Please let us know in the comments section if there is anything important you think we have missed off, or feel free to share any success stories or quick wins you have introduced to help make the most of your Google Analytics reporting.