Google Analytics is a great online tool for helping you understand who and why people are visiting your website. Too often companies make the mistake of solely focusing on either marketing or overall site performance, and they fail to take the time to understand the types of people with which they are trying to interact. Here’s the Google Analytics guide to understanding your website’s visitors.
Why Track Site Traffic?
First things first: why is it so important for a brand to track its online traffic? Well, because knowing your audience inside and out is essential in a landscape riddled with competitors. Knowing what your website visitors want (i.e. why they are on your site) is a must. And the best way to acquire this knowledge is via traffic statistics gathered from Google Analytics. With this information, you can customize your brand’s marketing strategy so it is geared specifically toward your target audience.
What Is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a free online tool that brands/blogs/companies use to measure and report website traffic, user behaviors, geolocations, conversions and much, much more. Google Analytics is kind of like the Swiss Army knife of online tools.
Google Analytics reports are categorized into 4 parts:
- Audience Report: The audience report provides insight into the characteristics of your website’s users. Here, you can find details of their demographics, geolocations, behaviors, technology, devices and more.
- Acquisition Report: The acquisition report covers where your website’s traffic is coming from. Are users searching for your site directly? Are they using Google? Are they coming from social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter? You’ll find the answer in an acquisition report.
- Behaviors Report: The behavior reports give you information on what visitors are doing when they are on your website. What are your site’s most popular pages? How long are visitors spending on each page, and what actions are visitors taking once they are on those pages?
- Conversion Report: The conversion report offers conversion-related information. In conversions, you can set your brand’s goals and objectives so as to better structure your website.
Getting Started with Google Analytics
- You can sign up for Google Analytics here. If you use two or more platforms or domains/subdomains for your site, Feuza Reis, one of our SEO experts at NextLevelSEM, recommends you add multiple accounts via your dashboard to see traffic for each.
- Tracking codes are what enable you to collect user data. You’ll need to install them into your website’s backend (which isn’t difficult) before you can begin using Google Analytics.
- A final (optional but highly-recommended) step is to install a private dashboard. You can install easy-to-use private dashboards via Dashboard Junkie.
Learn How People Find Your Site
Google Analytics is king when it comes to figuring out how people are discovering your site. Google Analytics can create detailed acquisition reports which break down exactly where your visitors are coming from. This information is invaluable, especially when you’re trying to figure out where best to spend your time and money.
Who Are These People?
When you’re researching your website’s visitors, you should start with something simple. Like, for example, where are they from? For this use Google Analytics’s geolocation reports. Are your website’s visitors from all over? Or are they mostly local? What language(s) do they speak?
This kind of information has value far beyond just knowing when and where to plan your online ads. It can also help inform your schedule for releasing new information, as well as the tone to strike in your site. Is your site being used as a business resource by companies, or is it being used by individuals at home for personal reasons?
What Are Your Visitors’ Expectations?
Analyzing your site’s organic search terms and Site Search results offers insight into what visitors were thinking when they came to your site. Comparing the two is very revealing.
Most people don’t visit a website absolutely set on buying something. They are usually just trying to do some kind of product/service research. Understanding this can be very important in setting up your site. Because when you know the information your visitors are searching for, you can include it on your website, which will help convert visitors into customers over time.
Analyze the ads they are using to get to your site. Look at the ads from their perspective. Group the ads together by their message. What words/phrases/concepts do your ads use? This will reveal as much about visitors’ intentions as organic keywords.
For more help with Google Analytics and other SEO tools visit Nextlevelsem.com or give us a call at 1 (844) SEMNEXT.