What is Google Analytics and what can it do for you?

Google Analytics logo on a wordcloud background. The caption reads "What is Google Analytics and what can it do for you?"

What is Google Analytics and what can it do for you?

Monitoring and analysing data captured by Google Analytics is more than just tracking the number of visitors your website has received. Google Analytics is a powerful tool that allows website owners, administrators, and designers to capture, collate, and review data and metrics gathered from users visiting their website. This data will include demographic data about your visitors, from age and gender to geographic location. As users our digital fingerprints are everywhere and Google builds a profile based upon our digital history and consumption habits. It uses this data to inform you of the hobbies and interests of the users that visit your site. Using this data you can tailor your online content to the interests of your audience or even discover entirely new market segments.

Google can also provide you with the routes users have taken to reach your site, highlight the content they viewed, and even the devices they used to get there. By tracking the digital journey of users and customers as they navigate through your website you will be able to identify issues with the user experience and spot problem pages simply by analysing the online behaviour of your visitors. The data from your marketing funnel can be analysed and modified to improve performance, and you will be able to make informed decisions on the best way to improve your business. Click here for more information on our Website Services.

One of my favourite features of Google Analytics is the Real-Time dashboard. Last year I had a great time showing off this feature during a post-graduate digital marketing tutorial at the Kedge Business School. Google’s reports are continuously updated and each hit is reported just after it occurs. The students watched in real time as we lit up Marseille on the map with hits to the demo website. This feature means that, at any time, you can see how many people are on your site, which pages or events they’re interacting with, and which goal conversions have occurred. It’s a way great to observe the online reaction to your digital campaigns or new content.

Google Analytics Real Time Dashboard
You can see real time data including location, traffic sources, viewed content and conversions using the Google Analytics dashboard.

How can Google Analytics help me achieve my goals?

Broadly speaking, there are five types of websites; e-commerce, lead generation, content publishing, online information, and branding. Your website objectives may cover two or three of these elements. It is a great tool to monitor and analyse pay-per-click, social media marketing, and search engine marketing campaigns.

  • If you operate an e-commerce website then your primary objective is to sell your products or services. The data gathered by Google Analytics can help you improve sales and conversions, and it will record the performance of your website over time.
  • If your website is intended to generate leads then your goal is to collect user information by funnelling users towards a contact form or engagement with your company. You can use Google Analytics to test strategies and landing pages to identify the most effective lead generation method.
  • If you are a content publisher then your aim is to encourage repeat visitors and user engagements (likes, shares and comments on social media). In this case you will be focussing on the content that Google Analytics links to high user engagement and interactions.
  • If you want your site to be a hub for online information then it’s important to make sure that visitors are able to find what they are looking for. Google Analytics can help you identify navigation problems on your website by tracking user journeys.
  • If you want to use your website as a branding tool then your want to improve online visibility, awareness and loyalty. Much like content publishing, you will want to use Google Analytics to see if your site is being shared, linked to, and engaged with on the greater web? User engagement is far more valuable than simply the number of people who visit your website.

Crash Course in Google Analytics

Paul Thomson Digital offer a short training course on site that covers the basics of Google Analytics; how to set it up and link it to your website, how to read and interpret the data, and how to apply it to your online business model and website. Contact us for more details.

This training course is currently only available on site in Ayrshire, Glasgow, Inverclyde, and Renfrewshire.

 

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