It amazes me how many people will say that their website is not working for them, yet when asked if they measure the traffic or use a tool such as Google Analytics, the answer is usually ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I think I have login’.
Now the fact is many companies websites do not work for them and are not generating enough, or the right kind of traffic. However, as with any form or marketing, measuring is absolutely critical, so that you can see what is working, what is not working and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Unfortunately some people do not measure their web traffic at all. This may because they are unaware that tools such as Google Analytics are actually FREE, and can be installed relatively easily with a basic understanding of HTML code. If you are lucky enough to have a good content management system, then this is made even easier without needing any understanding of website coding. Of course most good web development companies should do this for you as part of the process of launching a website.
I think it’s fair to say that some people who have started to investigate Google Analytics have often only scratched the surface of how powerful this FREE tool actually is.
The most common use is probably checking on how much traffic a website receives, along with the source of the traffic and which keyword someone has typed, if they have arrived via a search engine.
However Google Analytics can provide so much more relevant and useful information, for example, ‘Bounce Rate’ can be a very important piece of data, this means the percentage of single page visits where the visitor left your site from the landing page without continuing to view any other pages of the site. So you might have lots of traffic, but if your bounce rate is high then this would suggest the page is not relevant to visitors and your site is probably not working for you. Conversely, this may be the very page your specific campaign is targeting. In this case the ‘bounce rate’ should not be discouraging.
You can also view the average time people are spending on your website, again if this figure is low and you are not receiving enquiries, just like ‘bounce rate’ this might suggest that your site is not perceived as being relevant by your website visitors. It could also be an indication that navigation to other relevant pages, for instance a ‘contact us’ feature, is not clear.
Top Exit pages can be another great piece of information, if visitors are browsing various pages of your site, but you are losing them without receiving enquiries then you may need to review your top exit pages and try tweaking/improving these.
Google Analytics is an amazing, under utilised tool with features that could fill a manual. The purpose of this article is simply to highlight it’s availability so that your business can start benefiting from it’s application.