Google Analytics is an invaluable tool for tracking website statistics.
The tool allows you to easily track:
- The number of unique visitors to your pages
- What keywords visitors use to find your pages
- How long visitors are staying for
- Where visitors are coming from
- How many pages are viewed on average per visit
You can even drill down into specifics such as which country visitors are coming from, what browsers they use, and even what operating system they are on.
And this is just from the dashboard.
Google Analytics gives a detailed look at your visitors. The best part is that the tool is free to install and you can get started in minutes. But the the tool is more than a pretty interface with graphs as it can be used to advance your marketing campaigns.
Google Analytics With Digital Marketing
Every competitive advantage counts. Google Analytics presents more than just data on visitors. Google Analytics can be easily be implemented with the following digital marketing campaigns in your business.
Search engine optimisation (SEO): SEO is simply the the practice of increasing a page’s rankings for certain keywords in the search engines. Analytics lets you drill down to exactly what keywords visitors are using to find your pages.
Analytics is an absolute goldmine that can be used to find valuable keywords which most tools would not be able to find. These keywords can then be used to form an effective SEO marketing strategy to improve their rankings.
Social media marketing: Social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ allow you to increase brand awanreness and engage with your target audience. Measuring user engagement and tracking conversions can easily be done with Analytics.
This lets you determine the true value of social media and its return on investment.
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO): A conversion can be anything for your business whether it be in the form of a purchase, a newsletter signup, an ebook download or even a share through social media.
Increasing these conversions is at the heart of a CRO campaign and can be done with Experiments inside Analytics. The idea is to compare two different versions of the same page and track their conversions.
Content marketing: This online marketing technique includes the creation and distribution of content to attract new customers. This can be done through blogging, creating infographics, distributing valuable reports, sending out newsletters, and even using video.
Not all content marketing methods work the same. Some will gain massive traction while others will fail to live up to its expectations. Using Analytics helps determine exactly which areas are most successful and where visitors are coming from.
Google Analytics gives you an enormous amount of information about your traffic which you can then use to form a solid online marketing campaign.
As with any software or program, there is a learning curve involved. But its true potential starts to reveal itself once you become more familiar with it.
Let’s start with getting Google Analytics installed.
Step 1: Sign up For Google Analytics
The first step is to sign up for a Google Analytics account if you don’t have one already.
Click Create an account to get started and click Sign up on the following page.
The next page is where you select whether you want to track a web site or an app.
Choose Web Site and fill in details about your website below.
The Account Name should be something easy to remember or simply your website name. Once everything is filled out click Get Tracking ID.
Before you can use Google Analytics, you’ll need to accept their Terms of Service Agreement. After reading through click I accept. The next page is where you get your tracking ID.
Please note that some data has been blocked off for privacy.
Step 2: Install the Tracking ID
The tracking code needs to be installed on every page. If your website is powered with WordPress, this is easy with plugins such as Google Analytics for WordPress.
In WordPress, go to Plugins then click on Add New.
Then do a search for Google Analytics For WordPress.
Then click Install Now for the first result.
Then click Activate the Plugin. To get it set up, under Settings click Google Analytics.
On the following page, you’ll need to authenticate your profile. Click Click here to authenticate with Google.
Click Grant access on the following page.
Then you’ll need to select which profile to track in the drop down menu:
Select your profile, scroll down, and click Google Analytics Settings.
If your website does not use WordPress, you’ll need to manually insert the tracking code into the heading tag of your website. Once the code is installed, it may take a few minutes to start tracking the data.
To check that your code is properly installed, go back into your Google Analytics account. At the top click Admin and click the Tracking Info tab.
If it is properly installed you will see Status: Tracking Installed.
If the account you created is new, then you will see a blank dashboard.
Even after installing the tracking code, it could take up to 24 hours before traffic data starts showing.
Step 3: Get Familiar With Your Dashboard
Your dashboard is where you can get a quick glance as to how your site is performing.
Visits: The number of visitors to your website. The more traffic you have the better but this is not always true.
Unique Visitors: The number of new visitors to your website over a specified time period. More unique visitors means that more people are finding your pages, definitely a good thing.
Pageviews: The number of pages viewed. This also shows how popular certain pages on your website.
Pages / Visit: The average number of pages viewed on each new visit. If visitors are visiting more pages, it means they are engaging with your content.
Avg. Visit Duration: The average amount of time visitors spend on your site. Ideally, you want visitors to spend as much time as possible on their visit.
Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors who leave without viewing other pages. A high bounce rate means that visitors are leaving immediately.
% New Visits: Percentage of new visits to returning traffic. Attracting new visitors is always beneficial and is often the focus for marketing campaigns.
Right below you can even go into details such as the country or city where visitors are coming from and even what operating system they are using whether from a computer or a mobile phone.
Google Analytics is a truly powerful marketing tool that can be used to track your campaigns.
Step 4: See How Visitors Are Landing on Your Pages
Once your site starts receiving more traffic, you have a deeper insight as to how visitors are finding your pages. This information can then be used to set the foundation for a solid online marketing campaign.
If you find a particular keyword is responsible for a majority of traffic, it makes sense to solidify those rankings with an SEO marketing campaign. Likewise, looking at traffic sources can also identify whether social media marketing efforts are paying off.
Under Standard Reports click on Traffic Sources then Overview.
The dashboard for Traffic Sources should look familiar.
The top part is where it displays a graph of number of visitors. The bottom part is where you can view more details such as what keywords visitors used to find your pages and even where they came from. For detailed information, under Overview click Sources.
Direct: Refers to the deeper pages on your website that visitors are directly going to. This can be from a bookmark, clicking a link inside an email, or even from typing the address into the browser.
Referrals: This refers to external pages that are sending you traffic. In this section you can view which domains are sending you traffic, how much, the landing pages being visited, and even how visitors interact on your pages.
Search: Search engines such as Google send highly targeted traffic. Organic refers to visitors who click on your listings in the search engine pages while Paid simply refers to traffic from paid advertising campaigns such as Google AdWords.
Campaigns: Custom campaigns are an advanced feature that provide even more detail about your referral traffic including visitors from an email newsletter or another web property you own.
As social media becomes more prominent, it becomes essential to track every campaign from where visitors are coming from, how they interact with your content, and its overall value in the form of conversions. Under Social click Overview.
One thing to note is that using this feature requires setting up Goals, which are actions you want visitors to complete it whether it be making a purchase or registering for an event.
The Traffic Sources tab gives crucial information about your visitors. It lets you compare statistics from one source of referral traffic to another. And it gives deeper insight as to how your search engine and social media marketing are performing.
Google Analytics Advanced Features
The Audience and Traffic Sources tabs give more than enough information you need to make important business decisions. With constant algorithm updates from Google including the most recent Penguin 2.0, the data is absolutely invaluable.
If your site falls prey to any algorithm penalties you’ll know right away if you see a huge drop in traffic.
But those who really want to get the most out of Google Analytics should seriously consider using their other features: Experiments and Goals.
Set Goals With Conversions
Goals allow you to measure how well your site is performing in relation to the objectives you set. Setting goals allows you to measure conversions and even its monetary value. Examples of goals can be making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, downloading a guide, etc.
To get started click on Conversions. Then click Goals and Overview.
Click Set up goals and click Create a goal.
The next page is where you set more details about the goal including the name and type.
If you want to track purchases from an ecommerce store for example, you’ll want to check the Destination button. Every time a purchase is completed, visitors are generally led to a Thank you page which you can then input in the next step.
Once you set the details, click Next step.
Enter in the Destination. This is generally a Thank you page that signals a conversion has been made. This is also where you can enter in a monetary value (optional) and set it with a funnel (also optional) to specify a path to analyze all entrance and exit points.
Click Verify this Goal to test it and finally click Create Goal.
Keep in mind that it may take some time before it starts collecting data.
Goals are perhaps one of the most unused feature in Google Analytics but can be used to see exactly how your landing pages are converting. Pages that convert at 1% (one conversion out of every hundred visitors) are not necessarily bad but could further be improved.
Another feature where Google Analytics shines is with Experiments that lets you optimise your landing pages and improve conversions.
Optimise Landing Pages With Content Experiments
Content rate optimisation (CRO) is the practice of improving conversions and sales on a landing page. This is most often done with A/B split testing in which traffic to variations of a landing page are equally split.
The conversions are then compared. The variation that performs the best stays while the others are removed.
Variations typically include changing the following:
- Product details
And more. Just a single change can result in a significant improvement conversions but you would never know unless you test it. Doing it within Google Analytics is simple with Experiments. This is a rather advanced feature of Google Analytics as it requires some degree of copywriting and landing page design.
To get started click on Content then Experiments.
More details about Experiments are given after clicking through.
Consider testing your most profitable pages to squeeze out even more conversions. This includes your home page, landing pages, and product pages.
This is also another reason why setting goals is so important to assess how well or poorly certain pages are converting. Pages with low conversion rates should also be considered for testing.
To get started with a new campaign simply enter in the URL of a page you want to optimise. The following page is where you set more details about the campaign.
The Objective refers to the metric you want to improve. Options include transactions, revenue, pageviews, visit duration, and more.
Percentage of traffic to experiment refers to how much traffic you want to send to the variation page. Setting this value to 50% means that half of the visitors will be exposed to the original while the other half will be exposed to the variation.
The Advanced Options are where you can set how long you want the experiment to run for and a confidence threshold before Analytics decides on a winner.
Once everything is set, click Next Step.
The next step is where you configure your experiment.
Before you can start, you’ll need to create a variation page of the original and input its URL here once it’s live.
Then click Next Step. You’ll need to set up the experiment code.
Select Manually insert the code to get the tracking code. This will need to be inserted after the head tag in the original page.
After the code has been installed and the variations are live, click Next Step to review everything.
Any errors on the original and the variation page will be listed here. Fix them first before you can continue.
Once everything is finalised, click Start Experiment and the data will start tracking. You’ll then be able to see a clear view of how the variation is doing compared to the original.
The whole purpose of setting up experiments is find a variation that outperforms the original. This is at the heart of CRO and is an invaluable process that can be performed to improve all the pages on your site.
The key is to constantly experiment with new ideas to see what works and what doesn’t.
Google Analytics is an extremely versatile tool that displays more than just traffic figures. It can also be set up in a way to track goals and even optimise conversions on landing pages.
Using the tool requires a bit of technical expertise and tinkering to set everything up but the data it provides is absolutely invaluable for a marketing campaign.
Smart ROI offers comprehensive Google Analytics services. Combined with our other marketing services, Analytics essentially ties everything together and becomes a marketing powerhouse.
Our team of professionals work carefully with you to implement a highly effective marketing campaign that increases your reach to your target audience.
Contact us today for more details about what our Google Analytics services can do for your business.