DISCOVER THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOGLE ANALYTICS FOR YOUR BUSINESS – AND HOW BEST TO USE IT.
Google Analytics (or GA) is one of the most powerful business tools. Yet it’s under-used by small and medium companies. No organisation or start-up would consider operating without a website, but many don’t gain the maximum insight about theirs. Why use Google Analytics? It’s the next logical step.
Businesses fail to take advantage of the tool for various reasons; frequently, they don’t understand the benefits of Google Analytics. Through being involved in the marketing strategies of many organisations, at Hoxby we’ve often witnessed the remarkable transformation delivered by Google Analytics for business.
People often believe Google Analytics is only useful for large organisations that run multiple marketing campaigns and have marketing teams who measure performance. In our experience, Google Analytics can have a greater impact on small businesses who are still defining their strategy, evolving their product and getting to know their target audience.
Our seven Google Analytics tips
1. Define your target audience, easily
Where do your visitors live? You may be in the UK with a go-to-market strategy set for the US. Thing is, today’s digital interconnectedness means that everyone can find your product or service, wherever they are. Surprising things do happen and you may discover that prospects view your website from locations you didn’t plan to offer your product or services.
Google Analytics’ geography data lets you drill down into your visitors’ location and check for anomalies. This data can tell you whether you need to re-focus your efforts elsewhere. Moreover, GA lets you review the language your visitors use in their browsers – and the respective bounce rates – so you can gauge whether you need a multi-language website.
2. Check your page load speed
The time it takes to load on a visitor’s computer can be a huge factor in your website’s success and Google search ranking. Consider that as many as 70% of customers say that site speed impacts their purchasing decisions, having to wait a second too long can be a deal breaker.
Only 15% of websites operate at an acceptable page speed, so most businesses are missing out. Google Analytics offers data on page load timings; most importantly, it provides speed suggestions with specific recommendations on how to improve certain areas of your site.
3. Raise your mobile performance
Mobile friendliness greatly helps earn conversions. Mobile phones generate more than half of all website traffic and 61% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase from their mobile, as long as they’re using a mobile-responsive website. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on a huge audience.
GA helps you understand mobile usage with an overview of your visitors by device category and devices used. This data can be valuable in optimising your website and double-checking that it’s responsive on all browsers and devices.
4. Get more insights with site search
Adding search to your site is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Simply, Google Analytics will list and analyse all the search terms your visitors use.
This information is gold-dust. Not only can you use these search terms as keywords for your site content, blog articles and advertising campaigns; you’ll start to understand whether your on-site customer journey and SEO are well optimised.
Consider adding a set of FAQs to help prospective customers or move a downloadable resource to your homepage so it can be easily accessed. Or create a separate category for a particular product type – to make it simpler to find.
Both options are a great way to use Google Analytics for business.
5. Understand if your customer journey is working
Why use Google Analytics for customer journey insights when you can plan it all in advance? Sure, the ideal customer journey is a given when developing a website, but tracking where your converting visitors come from and how they use the site offers powerful insight into optimising your customer journey.
Google Analytics shows entry and exit pages, for example, and can visualise the paths visitors take. Be sure to use these features.
6. Find out if your advertising is effective
Most social media platforms offer in-depth analytics that guide you through targeting your ideal audience and optimising ad performance. Yet there’s often a problem when you try to match the data with your Google Analytics account.
The reason lies in how the different platforms calculate their metrics. If the user clicks an ad by mistake and exits the landing page before it loads in the browser, your advertising report includes this as a success. Google Analytics by contrast doesn’t take these actions into account, and rightly so.
Google Analytics is being objective here. While advertising providers have an interest in ‘improving’ the numbers, GA can help determine the true effectiveness of your advertising campaigns. It’s a reliable source of data that advises on your marketing efforts and can help you take the right decisions.
In fact, GA helps measure the effectiveness of all marketing tactics that drive traffic to your website. By using the Google URL Builder to create tracking IDs for your campaigns, you will be able to see and compare the performance of email campaigns, newsletters and social media campaigns, at a glance.
7. See what’s happening on every page
Google Analytics can also show what people click on most on your website. Say you want to test different calls to action, or gauge whether visitors are watching an embedded video. Both are easily possible. Why use expensive software or a heat-mapping tool when you’ve free access to the equally capable Google Analytics?
The bottom line
These are just a handful, or rather a handful and a half, of reasons why Google’s data analysis platform can be so powerful in your business arsenal. You can explore countless other capabilities and Google never stops evolving their product, with new features regularly added and piloted.
Once you start using Google Analytics for business, it’s only a matter of time before you discover a treasure trove of data.
Unsure where to start? How Hoxby can help
Hoxby Marketing can support you in gaining full insight from GA data and create easily digestible dashboards for you.
What’s more, we can help you map user experience (UX) for your products or services, define the ultimate UX and answer your challenges with tailor-made UX and UI design teams and services.
To find out more, contact us at email@example.com.
Ivana Galapcheva is a senior B2B marketing specialist with expertise in driving growth for tech start-ups. She’s part of the Hoxby community.