21 Jul How Google Analytics Helps Grow Your Business (And Why 50 Million People Use It)
By Melvin Figueroa, Designer/Marketer
If you’re a business owner, chances are you’ve got a website. It’s your digital storefront. It’s how your business connects with its customers. If you’re conducting any type of marketing, you need a way to track its performance. That’s the only way you can measure its success.
With so many digital tools available nowadays, you can get lost in the shuffle. Which one is the best? How do you know if it’s working? Is it free? If not, how much does it cost? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Eventually, analysis paralysis sinks in and you do nothing, thinking you’ll be able to “figure it out.”
No. That’s not the way to go about it.
Fortunately, it’s not as complicated as you may think. There’s just one tool you need. It’s simple to use and it’s free: Google Analytics.
What’s Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that provides website owners with tools to analyze and track their site’s traffic. If you want to know how effective your digital marketing efforts are going, this impactful tool measures everything from search ads to social media ads to everything in between.
Offering insights into your customer’s needs provides a deeper understanding of where to focus your marketing efforts. Topping over 50 million website users, Google Analytics has become the standard, used by businesses of all sizes worldwide.
How Does It Work?
Tracking code is placed into the code of your website. When a user visits your site, the code records the activities the user performs. It gets detailed, providing gender, age, likes, dislikes, etc. Once the user exits your site, all of that information is sent to the Google Analytics server installed in your website.
The two basic data points collected by Google Analytics are dimensions and metrics.
The dimensions are broad data points such as where the data is coming from (geographical location), which page it’s on, social media channels, file downloads, etc.
Metrics are the numerical values of those dimensions. If reading your dashboard, you see that 15,000 paid sessions came out of San Francisco, the 15,000 numeric value is your metric.
The collected data is then categorized, “primarily by four levels:
- User level (related to actions by each user)
- Session level (each individual visit)
- Pageview level (each individual page visited)
- Event level (button clicks, video views, etc)”
The devil is in the details. It’s one thing to know the number of people who visit your site but knowing their wants, needs and desires along with their age, gender and location makes a huge difference. It is only then that you can get a clear picture of exactly who your customers are. This will dramatically affect all future digital campaigns.
Why Use Google Analytics?
The ways in which your customers interact with your brand is limitless. You have no accurate way of knowing what areas to focus on if you can’t track the data.
“Google Analytics makes it easy to keep track of your customer’s journey by connecting customer behavior, channel performance, and much more across your sites and apps in robust reports and dashboards. You can even connect online to offline so as to better understand user behavior across CRM, points of sale, call centers, devices and the Internet of Things”
Google Analytics integrates seamlessly with other applications like AdSense, AdWords, AdMob and others. If you want to understand how your customers navigate your sites and apps once they click through, the data provided by these insights reveal an invaluable glimpse into the minds of your customer.
Page views, lead generation, sales and file downloads can all be successfully tracked. Your metrics will determine the framework. Whether it’s conversions or the quality of your landing page; the dashboard, motion charts and scorecards make viewing and interpreting the data even easier.
Receive custom reports, email-based sharing and communication, and “analysis of subsets, such as conversions.”
How To Install Google Analytics
Getting started with Google Analytics is easy. Start by creating an account or signing in at google.com/analytics. If you’re already an existing user click SIGN IN > Analytics. If you don’t have an account, click SIGN UP. It’s free.
Set up your website or app in your account. Google will prompt you to “set up a property in your Analytics account.”
You’ll then be prompted to “set up a reporting view in your property.” Views let you apply filters to all data being analyzed. This could mean specific cities, IP addresses, and much more.
For a detailed list of next steps click here.
Running a business is hard work. Your website is your storefront. It’s how you build relationships with your customers. Wouldn’t it be great if you could gain a deeper understanding into what they’re thinking? Or, refocus your marketing efforts in more relevant areas that will increase your sales?
It helps to know your audience. If you’re curious to see how Google Analytics can help with your marketing efforts, head over to www.google.com/analytics and sign up today. It’s free.