Ever wondered how someone landed on your website, where they got your business details from, what page they visited and how long they spent on your website, and if previous customers are coming back again and again?
This is where analytics comes in. At Seed Websites and Digital, we use and recommend Google Analytics. Why? Because Google is the largest and most used search engine in the world. The tracking and reporting Google provides showing how your customers are behaving on your website is invaluable. And the best part? It’s free.
What is Google Analytics?
Analytics is the most effective way of showing if a website is performing well. Analytics can show you which products or pages are ranking the highest in the search engines and which areas of your website may need a little work.
What is User Experience?
Google is all about user experience. Google wants customers to stay on websites for at least a few minutes, find the information they were looking for, or purchase the item they intended to buy when they first went online.
In the digital world, we refer to user experience as UX and in Google’s eyes, it is very, very important. If you provide a wonderful user experience for your customer, they convert to a sale, or find the relevant useful information (determined by time spent on a page), Google will also reward you with increasing your rankings in search engines.
Analytics can show both the strengths and weaknesses of a business. It is important to know both these areas when making decisions about your business. All too often we see business owners making decisions based on what they like, or what they think about.
Is what you as a business owner likes, necessarily the same as what your customer likes? This is where analytics helps.
The first thing we like to look at when studying analytics is where your customers are coming from. If you know how visitors are being referred to your website, you can get a better idea of what they are hoping to achieve when they land on your page.
How we use Google Analytics
For example, we recently built a website for a client based on clothing steamers. We researched this topic extensively for our client and found an area in relation to this topic that wasn’t being covered well by other websites. Talk about opportunity! Our client took this information, wrote a blog post on this topic, and within a short 4 weeks, is now the most visited page on the website via completely organic traffic. Not a cent has been spent on paid advertising by our client.
Through our knowledge and research, we were able to identify what people were looking for, our client took action and provided consumers what they wanted, thus generating an excellent user experience.
By using Google Analytics, we were able to track the progress of this page in comparison to other pages on the site. By continuing to monitor Google Analytics and report back to our client with recommendations, we can identify what areas of the website needs to be targeted for future optimisation.
Do you have this information for your business?
Would it be helpful for planning for the future?
Essential Website Basics
Whilst the use of analytics is essential for every business, without a good foundation to your website you may not be able to interpret the data Google analytics gives you.
You need to ensure that you’re using keyword rich URL’s relevant to your content. Your website also needs to provide the users with clear logical steps from page to page. That way, if a customer reaches your website with the intention to make a purchase, they can easily follow their line of enquiry all the way to the checkout. Without a good website foundation, it is difficult to work out the pages your customers are clicking on. For instance, if a customer has gone from post=35 to post=161 to page=3 interpreting their journey can be difficult.
The key benchmarks commonly used are time a user spends on the website, the bounce rate and number of page views.
We also like to dig a little deeper than this and will look at best ranking pages, traffic sources, new visitors to your website vs returning visitors and much more. Unless you’re measuring what you’re doing in as close a detail as possible, how can you tell if the money you’re spending on marketing or advertising is valuable?
Testing and Measuring
As mentioned above, you need to measure the performance of your website as closely as possible, which is why Google Analytics is essential for small businesses. Your hard earned dollars needs to be spent in the right place.
A great benefit of Google Analytics is the ability to test and measure. Small changes can be made to the functionality of your website, or your copy, headings, links etc. If you’re not measuring anything on your website, how can you tell if it’s successful? Or, if you feel it is successful, could it be doing more?
Implementing Google Analytics
Google Analytics requires a little bit of technical skill to implement onto your website, but the good news is, we are here to help.
If you have a current website and you’re not sure if you have Google Analytics, please complete your details here and we’ll take a look at your website. We’ll also provide you with a brief strategy to get your website moving in the right direction. All of this of course, is at no charge to you. Consider it our gift from one small business owner to another.
If you don’t currently have a website, please complete our online enquiry form and we’ll get back to you to discuss your needs. Whether it be a simple one page site to get people to phone you, or a large e-commerce store, we can built it. Google Analytics is also a standard feature installed with all new website builds.