Spend Marketing Resources Wisely: Use Google Analytics
As a business owner or manager, there are always more tasks to complete than time to do them. Wouldn’t it be great to know which marketing efforts are driving website traffic? Would you be less frustrated with posting Facebook if you knew it was sending visitors every week? Might you be more motivated to post your blog routinely if you could see a huge jump in website traffic every time you published?
Google Analytics provides a wealth of information to help you learn where to spend your marketing resources. It has a very intuitive interface which allows you to customize your data view by time period, or drill down on individual metrics to get more detailed information.
Where’s your traffic coming from?
One of the key items I always look at is the traffic sources. Where on the web were your visitors, just prior to visiting your site? You can learn how many of your visitors came from search engines, and which ones specifically. Drilling down, you can see referral sources, including social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, and other sites such as associations you may be a member of. Traffic sources also shows the number of visitors who accessed your site directly (by typing in your website url), providing you a sense of the effectiveness of your brand building activities.
How long are visitors spending on your site?
Just look at the time on site. Also note the bounce rate, which is the percent of visitors who land on your site and leave without exploring beyond the landing page. Generally, a high bounce rate is bad; you want to see yours drop over time.
The demographics data available in Google Analytics is also very useful. Starting with a world map, you can drill down to country, state and town to see exactly where your visitors are physically located. Use this information is for targeting networking activities, advertising and local marketing efforts.
Which pages are your visitors seeing?
Let’s say you are going to write a blog post and are trying to decide on a topic. The content section of Google Analytics shows you which pages users have viewed most, so you can see which of your blog topics resonated with users. If you have key pages that aren’t being viewed very often, you may need to review the verbiage or revisit your navigation to increase the visibility for those pages.
Along the same theme, the traffic sources overview shows keywords, which are the terms that users typed into a search engine to find your site. Review the most common terms to learn the terminology used by your customers. Speaking in user-focused language is important to being found; if your customers say “tomahto” you might want to rephrase “tomato.”
If you’re trying to decide which of the myriad marketing tasks you should tackle, look at your analytics to learn which efforts have driven traffic in the past. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or increase visibility for your events, use your analytics to measure the effectiveness of different tactics, and spend more time on the ones that work best.