Why Use Google Analytics?

By November 3, 2016Member Insights

Why Use Google Analytics with guest blogger:

Kristen McCormick of Propel Marketing

 

Google Analytics is a free service that will help you to obtain the most value from your business website. With all that it has to offer, it certainly takes time to get familiar with the platform and utilize it properly. However, if you start with the Google Analytics basics, you can slowly build your knowledge. It is well worth the time, because the insights you draw from Google Analytics can help you to improve your marketing, better serve your target audience, and obtain more customers. This post goes over the reasons why it is a good idea to use Google Analytics, as well as the benefits it offers, to help ensure that the platform is well worth the investment of your time.

General Benefits of Google Analytics

Cost

The first and most obvious reason to use Google Analytics is that it is completely free. You don’t need to purchase, subscribe, or provide credit card information. All you need is a Gmail account and the ability to install a tracking code on your website, and you’re ready to go.

Data Visualization

Data is only useful if you can make sense of it. Therefore, the data visualization offered by Google Analytics is the second reason to use it. This platform presents the metrics in various forms: lists, charts, graphs, pie charts, spreadsheets, and more—allowing you to see how your website is performing. With enough knowledge, you can create dashboards to display the metrics that are most important to your business’s goals.

Reporting

While data visualization allows you to make sense of data, reporting allows you to draw conclusions from it. By comparing metrics within the data, you can gather further insights and identify causes and correlations—another reason why Google Analytics can benefit your business.

With the platform’s reporting capabilities, you can collect, present, and compare any data set or combination of data sets. Report on content relevancy, traffic sources, traffic volume, date ranges, campaign conversions, and more. Use Google Analytics to make data-driven decisions and share supporting information with other decision makers.

Real Time

The fourth reason why Google Analytics is useful is that the data it collects is ongoing and in real time. This means that you can create reports, compare metrics, and check performance on whatever basis you want—hourly, daily, monthly, yearly, year over year, quarter over quarter. You can associate traffic changes with specific campaigns, take note of trends across certain time frames, and cater reports to your company’s reporting periods. You can also take note of peak times for your target audience, such as whether certain pages, SEM campaigns, or blog posts gather more interest at certain points of the week, month, or year.

How Google Analytics Benefits Your Business

Your Time

Google Analytics helps you to determine what makes a good business website for your target audience and industry—not through insight or opinion, but through data. Having a data driven approach eliminates time-consuming guesswork and enables you to learn, decide, and execute more efficiently. With data and analytics to guide you, you can act quickly but with confidence, and free up time to focus on running your business.

Your Target Audience

Demographics

Google Analytics benefits your business by providing you more insight into the people who visit your website. You can gather demographic information on visitors such as age, gender, and location. With this information, you can identify who among your target audience is most likely to convert, and then cater your website content accordingly. You also then know who to target in your advertising campaigns, as well as how to write your ad copy to better resonate with them.

Interests

Google Analytics even collects information on the interests of your visitors. Are they movie lovers? Travel buffs? Business professionals? The benefit here is that you don’t always have to appeal to the problems of your target audience that your business solves; you can also capture their attention with things that are of interest to them. You may even be able to find a niche within your target audience that you can serve.

Behavior

In addition to the characteristics of those visiting your website, Google Analytics also tells you what people are doing once they’re on your site. You can see how much time they’re spending on the site, whether it’s their first time visiting, how often repeat visitors are returning, and how much time elapses between visits.

You can also follow the path visitors take through your site, their behavior along the way, and see the actions they take before converting into customers. This is a major benefit of Google Analytics, as it allows you to design your campaigns around actions users are taking, or actions you want users to take, and then also to measure the performance of those campaigns.

Your Website Channels

The third Google Analytics benefit is that it lets you know which channels are leading people to your website, such as social media, emails, or landing pages. This is helpful in a number of different ways. For example, if a large amount of traffic is coming in through social media channels, you might want to focus your resources on those areas. Or, you might try using similar content, copy, and style on other channels that aren’t performing as well. You can also see which campaigns are most successful, whether in the quantity or quality of traffic they bring to your website.

Your Website Pages

In addition to gathering data according to visitors and channels, you can also look at it according to specific pages of your website. Google Analytics page breakdowns can tell you which pages get visited most frequently, which pages lead to more pages, which pages lead to conversion, and more. This reveals which information is most relevant to visitors, so you can optimize the user experience of your followers, visitors, and customers.  Use Google Analytics to determine what to put on your homepage, how to design your site navigation, and even what kind of content to put out on your blog and social media posts.

Technology

One last way that Google Analytics benefits your business is through technology. With the various devices in use today, even just by one person, it is important that your website functions properly in as many settings as possible. Google Analytics can look at performance indicators such as page load times, and can identify the operating system, browser, monitor resolution, and internet service provider of users.

This information can help you to ensure that your website works well on popular browsers and devices. It can also help you to provide a positive user experience on every step of the journey users take to conversion through your website—which will often involve multiple devices.

While Google Analytics is a powerful tool, it’s important to note that it does take time and practice to become proficient.  If you are limited in time or do not feel confident in your use of analytics, there are businesses that can provide this service for you.