Google Analytics for Small Businesses
If you’re a business owner with your own website, how do you make sure that your efforts are paying off? How do you know if your website is reaching the right people? Are potential customers reading your product pages or blog? The answer to all these questions is in Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a free tool that helps you inspect the details of your website. Imagine it as a surgeon that can search and operate on your website so that it functions better.
Google Analytics helps you analyse the behaviour of your website’s visitors so you can improve their online experience and ensure the success of your business.
How does Google Analytics work?
There are many things in Google Analytics that can help you improve your online presence. With Google Analytics, you can:
- Understand your customers, their preferences and online behaviour.
- Find the keywords that are used to find your products and services.
- Identify how traffic comes to your website and the mix of that traffic.
- Discover the different segments (like age, gender, nationality, etc.) that visit your website.
How do you set up Google Analytics?
Step 1: Create an account
Sign in to analytics.google.com and create an account using your email address.
Step 2: Set up your property
“Property” here basically means your website. Input your website address or URL under the +Create Property tab.
Step 3: Add a tracking code to your website
Add the tracking code to your website so you can start collecting data in your Analytics. The tracking code can be found under Property then click Tracking Info > Tracking Code.
What can you measure with Google Analytics?
With Google Analytics, you can measure various metrics in real time or during a certain period in the past. Do you want to see how many people visited your website last month compared to this month? If you’re being visited by more women or men? Or if you’re getting visitors from different countries? There are specific reports that answers those questions.
Of course, the best way to manage your website and monitor your online presence is with a fibre broadband that ensures your website’s reliability and agility.
Here are the basic metrics and reports you can explore with Google Analytics:
The Realtime report shows the number of users on your website and real-time activity on your website.
The overview report will show all the important information. But you can use more options like traffic sources, content, event, and location to get more details about your website’s real-time performance.
This part gives you a deeper look into your website visitors – their demographics, countries. You can also find out if they visit your website using mobile phones or desktops.
For example, if you go to Geo report, it will show you the countries that drive the most traffic. This way, you can create content and optimise your pages, keeping in mind your visitors from different regions.
This part discusses where your traffic is coming from, how you “acquired” a website visitor or how a visitor discovered your website.
What do we mean by traffic? Traffic is just the technical term used for visits in your website.
Google Analytics will divide your web traffic into four categories:
- Organic Search:Traffic that comes from search engines
- Direct:Traffic from someone who types in your website’s URL, opens your website through a bookmark or when Google cannot recognise the traffic source
- Referral:Traffic that comes from any source other than search engines, such as a link on another website or a YouTube video
- Social:Traffic that arrives from social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter
For instance, if you want to know which search engine is bringing in the most organic traffic, select Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium. It will show exactly how many visitors come from which search engine.
What are your visitors doing on your website? To know the answer, you need to look at the Behaviour report in Google Analytics.
In its Overview, you’ll be given a quick look at your visitors’ behaviour:
- Pageviews: The total number of pages viewed by your visitors.
- Unique pageviews: When an individual user has viewed a certain page at least once on your website.
- Average Time on Page: The average amount of time a visitor spends viewing one web page on your website.
- Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors that only view a single page and leave after interacting with it. Many may say it’s bad to have a high bounce rate. However, if your goal is just for your visitors to visit a specific page, like a promo page where they enter their details, then a high bounce rate is not so bad.
- Percentage Exit: This part simply tells you how often visitors click out of your website’s page or set of pages.
For example, Site Content is where you can see the pages that are doing very well, like a specific blog post or a product page. It would be worth analysing why these pages are doing well so you can replicate the strategy for future posts.
The last section is Conversion. What does this mean? It is any activity with an equivalent monetary value that a visitor completes in your websites. An example would be downloading a video, buying a product, or subscribing to your newsletter.
These activities or actionable items are called Goals. It is up to you to choose what goals should be measured in your website, depending on your business needs.
Under Conversions, another important part is the E-Commerce store. If you’re running an online store, the Ecommerce section shows you an individual product’s performance, sales performance, order size, and time of purchase.
How do you improve your performance in Google Analytics?
If you’re a business owner with a new website, don’t feel disheartened if your website isn’t getting a lot of traffic yet. You must slowly but surely establish your authority and continue posting content on your website that supports your business objectives.
Consider learning about Search Engine Optimisation too — it helps you understand how Google would rank your website when people search for products or services related to your brand.
Building your website and making sure it functions properly with the use of Google Analytics sure sounds like a lot of work! Lighten your load by partnering with a reliable fibre broadband provider like Virgin Media Business.
Check out the VOOM Collection, perfect for small to medium-sized businesses who are getting started on their websites!