Digital marketing has gotten a huge boost from Google Analytics. This data collector from the folks at Google has an overwhelming amount of features that can help anyone with a website reach out to not only to those that access their site, but also new channels and potential areas of outreach. Analytics allows you to see what users are doing on your website, the most visited pages of your site, where your traffic is coming from – both on the web and geographically – and much, much more.
Analytics pulls information from each of your website visitor’s IP addresses – although it hides individuals IP addresses from you – and lets you know where on earth they are: country, region, and city. The first look at Analytics tells you how many visitors came to your site each day for the past 7 days, but you can change that to any length of time. It also tells you whether visitors are a new or returning user, how long users spend on your site on average, whether they interact with your site, and how much of your site they looked at.
As you drill down the selections on the left side of the screen, you will notice lots and lots of options for data views.
And that isn’t even all the options in the Audience section.
Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions contain some pretty informative and powerful data sets that could be blog posts on their own.
Drill down under Traffic in the Acquisition menu and you will find the Source/Medium option. This data set collects where all of your traffic is coming from: other website referrals, social media, organic search, paid ads, email campaigns, etc. This is a huge insight into your users and a massive win for how to reach out to them. Have you been spending a lot of time on Facebook, trying to get visitors through this social media channel? Now you can see if it is actually working and if it isn’t you can focus your attention elsewhere. Maybe Twitter is bringing in traffic, maybe Yelp or Pinterest.
So now you can see where your traffic is coming from, but what about where it is actually going? That is where the Content Drilldown under the Site Content option in the Behavior tab comes in. This is where you can see each page on your site and see how much traffic is coming to it, how long visitors are spending on it – super important for blog posts – and if they are leaving the site from a certain page or continuing through the site.
Lets say you have a simple site that sells health care products with about 3 pages on it: Home, Blog, and Contact. You go into Analytics and you see that you are getting a ton of traffic from Twitter, but your Facebook campaigns are simply not working out. You also see that your blog post on “Five Wild Uses for Foot Cream” has been getting tons of traffic, but people aren’t spending much time on the page. On the other hand, your blog post for “What’s Really in Your Toothpaste” has a decent amount of traffic and people appear to be reading the whole post. What do you do with this information?
You could promote the toothpaste blog post heavily on Twitter, lightly on Facebook and add a link, like Contact Us, to your Contact page. Then you sit back and watch, because all of this takes time and data and users to move through the funnel you just set up.
Adding a goal to the Contact page will also set up a trigger in Analytics that will notify you when someone has clicked the button while tracking their progress through the site, but we will get into that more soon!
Let us know if you are overwhelmed by all of the data in Google Analytics! Contact us with your questions: we love a good puzzle!