What is Google Analytics?
In simple terms, Google Analytics is a free web service provided by Google. You add some code to your website and it will start to track and store all kinds of very useful information about how people find and use your business website.
Why Google Analytics is so helpful.
In the days before the internet, businesses had to rely heavily on traditional advertising and word of mouth. Some of these methods were effective. However, it was virtually impossible to measure just how effective or ineffective these methods were.
More often than not, we had to make assumptions and they weren't very accurate. Most of the time, we just hoped the money we used to attract clients was being well spent.
The new office
As a business owner in the 21st century the most likely first impression point that potential clients will interact with your brand is not your physical office, or a newspaper ad, but with your business website.
"Think of your business website as your ‘virtual office-window’ and Google Analytics as an all-seeing camera that keeps track of everyone arriving at, wandering around and leaving your office."
What you can learn from Google Analytics.
- How visitors found your website (via search engines, social media, or links on other sites etc)
- If they are first-time visitors, or returning traffic.
- How visitors moved through the site e.g. did they stay a while and read? Did they click on different pages? Did they get bored and leave straight away?
- How they accessed your website in the first place e.g. were they on a mobile phone? Or were they using a desktop computer?
- What web pages are the most effective at converting visitors to clients.
- The success (or failure) of key conversion points on your site: i.e. the pages on your website such as “newsletter sign up”or "contact form" where potential customers can "convert" to a lead by entering their details.
In fact, the above is just a small portion of the metrics that Google Analytics allows you to track and interpret on your business website.
The real benefits to your business
In short, Google Analytics allows you to:
- gain invaluable insights into your customer's behavior
- examine facts rather than assumptions or guesses.
- confidently make educated decisions on how to improve your website.
In the long term, this means more of the right traffic, sales and profit.