It is a website owners best friend, but many don’t use it. Or worse yet, don’t know how to use it.
But just in case you don’t know….
What is Google Analytics?
Other than that thing that your web designer set up and was never seen again? (j/k) It’s a service that’s provided by Google that provides analytics on the traffic coming to your website. It requires that a little snippet of code be added to your site to work, but once it is it tracks all kinds of really cool and useful data.
Why is Google Analytics important?
Because if you don’t know what your users are doing on your site, you will never know what is working, and more importantly, not working on your site. It will help you take your website from a simple digital brochure for your business and turn it into a lean an machine customer-making machine.
And if you think that happens with your website on the first try, you got another thing coming.
How I use Google Analytics
Whenever I check a sites Google Analytics, I look at a few things regardless of if this is the first time or the hundredth time I’m reviewing this site’s analytics. It’s like an analytics wellness check – check the temperature, check the blood pressure, the reflexes – and you will catch issues with a sites traffic and user flow before it becomes a problem, or at least a glaringly obvious problem.
Here are the five things that I ALWAYS check:
- Bounce Rate – right on your initial Dashboard is a little metric called Bounce Rate. Bounce Rate is determine by how many people bounce off your website after hitting the entrance page (first page they land on when visiting your site.) It means that they aren’t digging further into your content — this is bad. The higher the bounce rate, the worse it is.
- Technology – under the Audience tab is Technology. I specifically look at OS and Browser. This will tell you what browsers your visitors are using, what operating systems that they are using, even what resolution their devices are. In conjunction with this I also look at:
- Mobile – also under Audience is Mobile. This tells you the amount of users using desktop to mobile devices. By analyzing the data in Technology and Mobile, you can determine how your average viewer is looking at your site.
- Location – Beneath Audience, then Geo is Location. Despite everyone’s wish for their business to be an international success, most companies target audience’s in a certain location. This metric tells you if you’re hitting the mark.
- Users Flow – In my opinion the single most important metric that Google Analytics provides, User Flow shows you how a user navigates through your site, what pages they visit and in what order, and where they leave the website. Crucial information to any business owner.
These five metrics can tell me 95% of everything that I need to know about a site, where it’s opportunities lie, and get me started on the road to nursing the site back to health.