Google Analytics: the golden key to getting more business from your website – but why don’t we use it?

Google AnalyticsWeb Tonic registers all our clients’ websites with Google Analytics. It’s actually free to everyone with a website, and makes it possible for you to access all the data available about your website; where the traffic is coming from and what demographics and behavioural information you can gather about the visitors to your site.

The reality is most people don’t even look at their Google Analytics information, even when they know there is important data there that can help them with their business.

Why don’t people use the data available from Google Analytics to improve their websites?

If data were a person, it would probably need therapy for all the hang-ups it would have. Data isn’t cool or popular because most people think it’s boring. A lot of people are afraid of data and it is frequently misunderstood and generally avoided, consigned to hanging with the scientists and research types who are only interested in exploiting it or manipulating it into supporting their ideas. In that crowd, it rarely has an opportunity to speak for itself. Poor data!

In truth, if you took the time to get to know it, you would realise that data is not horrible. Data is beautiful. It can paint a vivid picture of how your business sits in relation to its competitors, the marketplace and your goals.

In fact, data could be the best friend you ever had. Share with it your concerns, fears, hopes and dreams and it can tell you if you are on the right track or way off the mark. It can help you make key decisions around what direction you take in product development, market direction and where to invest in your business that is likely to net you the best returns.

Data is not going to go out if it’s way to tell you things; it is only going to share its knowledge with you if you know how to bring it out of its shell.

Getting your head around your Google Analytics data

Google Analytics provides a lot of data about your website. On the surface, this is good: the more information you can get on how your website performs the better you can use this information to your advantage.

The problem is, there is so much information available – layers and layers of the stuff – you can have trouble just finding what you want to know let alone getting your head around your Google Analytics data.

The solution lies in creating a custom dashboard and custom reports that work for you.

Custom Dashboards display what you want to know at a glance about your website’s performance. The tools built into Google Analytics allows you to control how the information is displayed and what you what to know. You can switch from the “data” table view to the “comparison” table view in order to compare different metrics, and put in filters to make the information you are getting even more relevant to your business.

Custom Reports allow you to receive only the information you ask for each month in an easy to read

format that you can absorb and make informed decisions around. Again, you can control how the data is presented, employ filters to sift out what you don’t need, leaving just the important details for you to measure and respond to. Custom Reports can also be set up in conjunction with a set of goals for your website so you can monitor performance and track your progress toward these goals.

With these customised data tools in place, suddenly the fear and misunderstanding surrounding Google Analytics is replaced by friendly, helpful data that you can look forward to spending time with on the journey to getting better results for your business from your website.

Examples of custom dashboards and reports

Each business is different and therefore, the type of data that is useful and relevant will vary. These are just some examples of customised configurations of data from Google Analytics:

Visitor Acquisition Efficiency Analysis Reports

Choose key metrics that reveal the efficiency and performance of each stream of traffic to a website. Include things like total sessions, unique users, new visitors, goal conversion rate and goal value per session, and organise them by source and medium.

Customer Behaviour Reports

You can select metrics to show how behaviour varies between distinct visitor types, for example new and returning visitors, in terms of overall traffic, conversion patterns and event completion.

Hours and Days Report

You may want to see which day of the week and at what time of the day your website receives the most traffic. If you set a large time span––say a couple of months––you can use this data to guide experiments with social media and blog post times.

Content Analysis Dashboard

Providing data that will help you evaluate the efficiency of the content in your website. You can get a page by page breakdown of key visitor behaviour metrics to show which pages are doing well and which are underperforming and adjust your content strategy accordingly.

Social Media Dashboard

Want to know how social media is performing for your brand? Create a dashboard with a view of Off-site activity, On-site activity, and Conversions/Outcomes, to make it easier to evaluate user activity throughout the conversion process.

What type of data from your website would help you with your business?

Web Tonic has key members of its web development team with Google Analytics Certification. We can advise on and set up custom reports and dashboards with the data that is relevant to your business.

Contact Web Tonic for more information