With 2014 just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions.
And, here at 21 Digital, we’ve got a suggestion: learn to measure your website’s success! If you’re not already using Google Analytics to measure how well your website is working, it’s high time you rolled up your sleeves and got stuck in.
Google gives a short and sweet definition of their Analytics tool, saying:
“Google Analytics not only lets you measure sales and conversions, but also gives you fresh insights into how visitors use your site, how they arrived on your site, and how you can keep them coming back.”
While the idea of metrics, stats and conversions might send a cold shiver down the spine of many mathematically-averse readers, Google Analytics really is the easiest way to make sure that your website is doing the job it’s supposed to – and, basically, that you’re not wasting your time.
The software is completely free – simply install it behind the scenes of your website, and it’ll treat you to a tonne of information about the visitors to your site.
Using Google Analytics will let you know how many people have visited your site, how long they spent on there and which pages or posts tickled their fancy. It can also show you how many of those visitors are newbies vs. how many have been there before.
Over the last year, Google’s updated privacy settings have reduced the amount of organic search data that Google Analytics users can access by over 75%.
But while this new focus on “secure search” has meant a bit of head-scratching for Analytics users as they get used to the now infamous “(not provided)” issue, all is most definitely not lost.
Google Analytics still enables you to identify what brought people to your site – you can see how you rank for certain keywords, how well you’re doing on the search engines, and which pages draw in most visitors and identify if you would benefit from our SEO services.
From there, you can draw some pretty clear conclusions on whether the different areas of your website are pulling their weight.
Looking at all this data in the bigger picture, Google Analytics can help to shape your marketing strategy over the long-term.
Do you experience huge spikes of traffic every time you go to an in-person networking event or expo? Clearly, you’re doing something right with your elevator pitch.
But do people bounce away from your site after viewing only one page? Then it’s time to look at your website copy or your choice of keywords to see what can be improved.
And you really don’t have to be an expert, either – part of the beauty of Google Analytics is that everyone can make use of it.
Maybe you’re a stunning statistician who can read numbers like the back of your hand. Great, you’ll love it.
Or maybe you’re someone who gets cold sweats at the idea of anything more complex than a pie chart. Not a problem: the application’s interface is full of easy-to-understand visuals that will give you an instant snapshot of your website’s activity.
Little by little, familiarising yourself with the various facets of Google Analytics can help you to put together a nuanced picture of your website and adjust your marketing activities accordingly.
So go on: get Google Analytics installed on your website in time for 2014. Explore its capabilities and we promise you, it’ll do your website – and your business – the world of good!