6 Ways to use and understand Google Analytics

There is no doubt that at this point you must have heard of Google Analytics. It is a great web analytics tool that businesses can use to analyse their website’s performance.

It was initially released in late 2005, with many updates and developments taking place since then. It is without doubt the most popular and widely used website analytics tool on the internet.

The trouble is, if you aren’t a marketeer or accustomed to the system, it can be tricky to understand and get your head around at first.

We have picked 6 key ways in which you can use and understand Google Analytics to help you with your website’s visitor traffic.

  1. Crunch the Numbers

With Google Analytics, you can see the exact number of visitors that are returning to your website as well as those visiting it for the first time.

Naturally, if your website has interesting and engaging content and has been optimised for SEO then visitors are more likely to come back anyway. Under ‘Frequency and Recency’ is where you can see which visitors are newbies or regulars. You can also determine which pages on your website are being viewed the most often, therefore allowing you to tailor your marketing messages towards these

  1. Check the Engagement Rate

Using this function within Google Analytics allows you to see and understand exactly how long visitors spend on your website and the specific content which is gaining their interest.

It is important to keep in mind, at this point, that Google only measures engagement if a visitor moves from one page to another.

Reviewing your engagement levels is vital in order to determine whether or not your content really is engaging and worthy of being there. If rates are low, then you might want to focus your energy on developing better content.

  1. Know your average pages per visit

Looking at the number of pages your visitors click and view before leaving the site is important. If the number is low, you should look at creating some call-to-action buttons on there. You could even embed some links to other pages within a specific page’s content. Alternatively, you could provide recent or related posts at the bottom of the pages to get visitors to visit other pages.

If the number of pages your average visitor clicks to significant increases, then this implies you have managed to increase the engagement value of your website.

Finally, you can monitor the duration of which visitors spend on your website and each page. Pages with visitors who have a longer period of time are obviously doing better than pages with visitors who only stay on for a matter of seconds. Comparing successful to unsuccessful pages will help you determine what the common factor attracting visitors is.

  1. Be aware of your bounce rate

The bounce rate of a website refers to how often a visitor lands on your website and literally bounces back out without even stopping to take a look around. All your hard work on building it just for someone to come straight back out of it – annoying, right?!

This can be caused by a huge number of factors though; unattractive homepage, confusing layout, no recent updated posts, poor design.

To reduce your website’s bounce rate, you should try designing your homepage to be more visually appealing or add more topic content with seductive titles.

  1. Count the number of email conversions

Another great tool within Google Analytics is the ability to see how many of your visitors have subscribed to your website via email. What’s more, you can also discover how many of your subscribers actually visit your website via email links.

Using this information will allow you to ascertain if email marketing is an effective marketing strategy for your business.

By clicking into the ‘Technology Reports’ category, you can also learn which browsers, internet service providers and operating systems your audience are using .The ‘Mobile Overview’ category also tells you if your visitors are using computers or mobile devices to visit your website.

  1. Flick through language and location

Within the ‘Geo’ section of Google Analytics, you can find data concerning the language and location of your website’s visitors and it is readily provided.

This function is particularly useful if the content of your website was developed with the intention of targeting people in a specific location or country. If your target strategy has been successful, then Google Analytics will tell you.

You may even stumble onto an accidental winner here. For example, Google Analytics may provide data which shows that you are getting more visitors from specific locations or regions – providing a sales and marketing opportunity for you to take advantage of. You could simply start inserting relevant content or nuggets of information that complement the regions which are attracting more visitors.

This ‘Language and Location’ category of Google Analytics use the standard charts to display behaviour of your website’s visitors and conversion rate. The ‘Location’ part uses a map to display the location of your visitors. This information is useful when it comes to targeting social and search ads towards areas you are already popular in or would like to become more popular in. Whichever way you look at it, the map will inform you of your success or failure.

Conclusion

Google Analytics is an incredible tool for businesses and this list could have really gone on and one. There is a plethora of fantastic ways in which the platform can help you provide better content and more value to your target audience, as well as generally improving the all-round performance of your website.

Getting used to the platform can be tricky and time consuming but persist and you will inevitably see the rewards. It is important to begin with that you do not rush into making too many changes. You should look to see trends and patterns over a period of time before deciding to move forward and implement your changes.