If you ask a typical already-overwhelmed small business owner if they’d like to begin using Google Analytics, the typical response is wide-eyed fear, dreading tackling the buckets of data that Analytics can provide. Who’s got time to learn new things when there’s work to be done?
The reality is, Google Analytics will help make that work go far more efficiently and of course profitably, if you are willing to jump in and start utilizing it in a targeted, specific manner. Start with asking the right questions: what are my goals, and what do I need to know to achieve them, and which of these website metrics will help me make it happen.
Each business possesses its own needs, or course, but here are a few common needs.
- Total visitors - The number of both “unique” (first time) visitors, and total visits, which includes returning visitors.
- Keyword phrases - Which keywords are people entering to get to your pages? This is critical data, and will enable you to learn how to target your marketing.
- Most popular pages - See which of your pages are receiving the most visits.
- Visitors country of origin - Where in the world are these folks coming from.
- Referral pages - Seeing which pages are driving traffic to your site is very valuable information. This may be from affiliates, video, images, social media and many other sources.
- Search engines - Which of the search engines are delivering the most traffic to your pages.
Use these advanced Google Analytics features to help you sort the data
Three advanced features are incredibly useful with regards to deciphering and sorting the data.
Custom reports enables you to craft a version of Analytics that suits your business specifically. You pick out the data that’s helpful to you, and organize it in whatever way you need to.
Advanced segmenting gives you the ability to view various segments of your traffic, like mobile or tablet traffic.
Intelligence events, similar to Google Alerts, sends a notification your phone or email when anything significant takes place on your website, such as an up or down spike in traffic.
Don’t make the mistake of not using Google Analytics. Take the time to make it work for you!
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