Let’s face it, Google has taken over the internet. They’ve become the oven that cooks a crispy consumer crust around the digital marketing efforts of online retailers, and to get your hands on a piece of the pie you’ve got the play the Google game. A good place to start, whether you’re a freshly baked small business or an ambitious, experienced entrepreneur, is by digging into Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is one of many marketing resources the company has in its digital toolbox, and making the most of everything Analytics has to offer can be a little intimidating.
Getting Started with Google Analytics
After you’ve set up an account, which should be a top priority once a website comes into the picture, there are plenty of websites and publications you can take advantage of to brush up on Google Analytics basics. Analytics Academy courses are compiled by the pros to offer insights into not only getting started but also polishing essential skills needed for mastering the platform and creating actionable goals based on all that delicious data you’ll be gathering.
Google Analytics Standard Reporting
Again, there’s a lot to digest after setting up a Google Analytics account, but making sense of the information on the screen doesn’t need to be difficult. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll find in the left menu bar, where you’ll access various reports based on customer/visitor data gathered.
1. Audience: Visitor attributes and demographics are gathered and itemized in various audience reports. Age, gender, location, language, and website visitation frequency as well as device preference is all broken down and available for analysis.
2. Acquisition: Acquisition reports are where you’ll find all the information related to traffic and what brought visitors to your website. Digital arrows can be traced back from social media integration, PPC campaign ads, and keyword-fueled search traffic, and it’s here your marketing team can learn more about who’s coming from where and how best to open up the floodgates for more traffic.
3. Behavior: To determine how your site is performing and what pages, categories, and content are most popular, behavior reporting is where you’ll want to look. Here, you can narrow down which entry and exit pages visitors are hitting most and how fast those pages are loading (site speed is important). Behavior reporting is also where you can track AdSense ad performance.
4. Conversions: Conversion reporting helps you set and track traffic goals. You’ll find detailed URL-focused time-on-page data as well as new user and bounce rate statistics that can be leveraged against future design ideas or content strategies.
Making sense of the Data
Getting the most out of a Google Analytics account really hinges on customizing various reports and integrating complementary campaigns so you’re presented with the most valuable, most actionable data available. Different departments can take advantage of focused reporting, from sales to marketing to design, and Google Analytics gives you all the tools you need to paint a clear picture of what’s happening around your website.
When in doubt or if you need a refresher, a quick Google search returns tons of useful information for tailoring your Analytics account to your needs and goals. Google your Google Analytics questions. We dare you.