One of the most popular marketing tools in recent years is undoubtedly search engine optimisation or SEO. It's known to have higher clickthrough rates and ultimately better performance than PPC ads.
However, constantly improving on your website may seem like a daunting task but luckily, it's become a lot easier thanks to certain online tools. Let's talk about how to use website data analytics with our favorite tool from Google.
Website Data Analytics Essentials
First, it's important to know what it is you're looking for before we discuss how to find it. Google analytics offers plenty of valuable data that can help you improve your website and start ranking higher across multiple search engines.
The most important information to look for is what you have some amount of control over, as well as generally useful information. This includes things like:
- How many visitors your site gets
- The locations of your visitors
- How long visitors spend on your website
- At what stage they leave your site
- What visitors do on your pages
This is important information to know in order to target your weaknesses. For example, if you discover that half of your visitors leave your site after a few seconds, this may cause some initial confusion.
However, to the trained eye, that will read as a need to improve your page speed. See, the average person will only wait 3 seconds for a page to load before exiting.
The rest of the information is valuable in different ways. It gives you a good idea of immediate targets to set for your website and where you can get started on making improvements.
The difference between you taking the time to analyze this or not could be the difference between ranking on the first or second page on a Google search. That alone could be the difference between a business sinking or swimming, so don't neglect the value of this insight!
What Kind Of User Data Does Google Track?
So, we've discussed the importance of your website data but there are still important metrics involving those who interact with your website. Google gives a unique user ID to everybody who surfs on their browser or search engine. If the same person interacts with your site twice, Google will know this.
This will give you insight into how many returning visitors you receive. Remember, marketing for new customers is half the battle, keeping them is the other half. Understanding how you can improve customer or user retention is critical.
The other is session data. This tells you how long they spent on your site, how they were able to navigate through it, how long they stayed on each page, and where they ended the session. If you see a common trend on the latter, figure out the problem with that page unless that is the natural end goal of your site.
There are endless uses to this data. Another example would be if you notice your calls to action (CTAs) are not bringing traffic where you want them to on your site, you may need to change them or look into blog writing services.
All of these metrics will be unique to your site, so you will have to look into it yourself to see what needs improvement. Let's talk about how.
How To Use Google Analytics
The first thing you need to do is set up a Google account. You can't use the tool without it. If you have a Gmail account, then you're good to go.
From there, log into your account and sign up for Google Analytics. Simply follow the on-screen prompts and punch in the website you want to analyze.
Wait For Reports
Once you have everything set up, you're basically all set. Google will take care of the rest, so you can sit back and wait. After a period of around 24 hours, there should be information for you to analyze.
You can access this report and all future reports through your GA dashboard, which should appear on the homepage once you log in. They will come continuously, so check them periodically.
There will be links all around for more specific or advanced data you will be seeking, but the most important information will be shown on the homepage. It's important to read these reports carefully. Remember, if there's a term you aren't familiar with when you are reading, you can look it up quickly and find the answers.
Either way, there are 5 main categories of every report that you should be familiar with, and each one will have its own dashboard. Simply navigate through them on the lefthand sidebar. These categories are your overview dashboard (the primary one), real-time dashboard, audience dashboard, acquisition dashboard, and behavioral dashboard.
Be sure to click through these to receive the most valuable insights into your site's performance of all metrics.
Whether you're trying to dominate the local SEO in your area or compete at a global level, GA is an essential tool to use. The best way to understand it is to get on and gain some hands-on experience with the platform!
When it comes to website data analysis, the job is never done. You will never receive a perfect score and you can't rank number 1 on every search. However, you can continue to study up your metrics and the overall best practices to maximize your website's performance!
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