After publishing our recent Google Analytics blog, we received several questions about taking next steps. Now that you know the importance of using Google Analytics for your small business, you’re probably wondering how exactly you go about doing that. Before you take the next steps, though, it’s important that you know about some of the key metrics available.
Google Analytics is a dynamic measurement tool with many features. You can expect to find metrics such as:
- Landing and Exit Pages—these pages tell you what page (home page, contact page, etc.) your visitors are see when they arrive on your site and which page they are on when they leave. To refer back to our store example from the last blog, you want to think of your landing pages in the same way grocery stores are laid out. It’s no coincidence that salsa racks are often found near tortilla chips, or that croutons are usually found near salad dressing. Craft your landing pages in a way that looks nice and ensures your visitors can and will easily find what you’re offering them. When thinking about exit pages, the goal is for your visitors to leave from a conversion completion page rather than the home page or an unfilled form. You can’t expect this with every user, but you should make some changes to move users around the site more if you see that everyone is leaving from the same page.
- Sessions—these are groups of tasks carried out by a user during a period of time. Each session is unique to an individual and may contain just a few or several steps on your website.
- Acquisition Overview—this is an overview of how and where your site visitors found your site. It also helps determine how many visitors derive from each traffic source.
- Bounce Rate—bounce rate shows you the percentage of visitors that landed on your site and then left before clicking to any other pages. This metric is helpful for gauging the performance of specific pages.
Although these are just a few important metrics available in Google Analytics, there are many more which may be helpful to your small business.
OK, I Know the Key Metrics. Now What?
Unlike some analytics tools, Google Analytics is completely free. While it will take you some time to learn where everything is and how it works, the interface is fairly user-intuitive. After signing up for an Analytics account, you can place a tracking code in your website and begin tracking within a few days. Once you start seeing tracking information, focus on major components such as what your best source of traffic is, how long visitors are staying on your site or your percentage of valuable action conversions.
If Google Analytics still sounds overwhelming, you might consider hiring a marketing consultant to get your site set up for tracking and to provide reporting and optimization. Don’t miss out on this valuable, strategy-building tool for your business. Take the first step today to get Google Analytics set up on your website, and start seeing the results right away!