It amazes me how many people will say their website isn’t working for them, yet when asked if they measure traffic or use a tool like Google Analytics, the response is usually ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I think I have access’.
Now the thing is, many companies’ websites don’t work for them and they don’t generate enough or the right kind of traffic. However, as with any form or marketing, measurement is absolutely key, so you can see what’s working, what’s not, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Unfortunately some people don’t measure their web traffic at all. This could be because they are unaware that tools like Google Analytics are actually FREE and can be installed relatively easily with a basic understanding of HTML coding. If you’re lucky enough to have a good content management system, 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 investigating Google Analytics have often only scratched the surface of how powerful this FREE tool is.
The most common use is probably for checking the amount of traffic a website receives, along with the source of the traffic and the keyword someone typed in, if it came via a search engine.
However Google Analytics can provide much more relevant and useful information, for example ‘Bounce Rate’ can be a very important metric i.e. the percentage of single page visits where the visitor left your site from the landing page without continue to view any other pages on the site. So you might have a lot of traffic, but if your bounce rate is high, that would suggest that the page isn’t relevant to visitors and your site probably isn’t working for you. Conversely, this could be the very page your specific campaign is targeting. In this case the ‘bounce rate’ shouldn’t be daunting.
You can also view the average time people spend on your website, again if this figure is low and you are not getting requests, just like the “bounce rate” this could suggest that your site is not perceived as relevant by visitors of your website. It could also be an indication that navigation to other relevant pages, such as a “contact us” function, is unclear.
The main exit pages can be another great piece of information, if visitors are browsing various pages on your site, but you are missing them without getting prompts, you may need to review your main exit pages and try to change/improve them.
Google Analytics is an amazing and underused tool with features that could fill a manual. The purpose of this article is simply to highlight its availability so that your business can start benefiting from its application.