Using Google Analytics to understand and grow your business
By Ben Witten · Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Google Analytics, a web analytics service offered by Google, is a very handy tool for understanding your audience. It allows you to understand where traffic comes from and what resonates with your audience, which has led to Google Analytics being the most widely used web analytics service on the internet. If you understand your website’s traffic, you then have the ability to focus your website and content to optimize engagement and growth.
With Google Analytics, you have the ability to see traffic from all channels. This will lead to clear insights, and will help you understand what’s working and what’s not.
- Organic - traffic from search engines which is not paid for
- Paid Search - visitors that clicked on one of your paid advertisements (also known as Pay-Per-Click or PPC)
- Direct - visitors that typed your website address directly into the browser (includes bookmarks)
- Social - traffic from sites that are considered to be social networking sites
- Referral - visitors that arrived from 3rd party referrals
- Email - visitors that are directed from an email
- Display - visitors directed from video and display advertising
It will be helpful to walk through an example. Say you launch an email marketing campaign, and want to understand how your audience responded to your content. First, you can check how many people clicked the ad to come to your website. From there, you can see how they navigated the page. Who came to the webpage? Did they take the actions you were hoping they would take? How long did they spend viewing the page? Where did they click? Did this click lead to a conversion/sale?
Prior to coming to End Point, I was working as an Analytic Strategist at a digital media agency. One of my biggest clients was luxury jewelry company Tiffany & Co. My responsibilities included analyzing seasonal and promotional trends to develop forecasts, broken out by channel. I would also evaluate the marketing effectiveness of initiatives by keeping a close eye on the user experience and navigational behavior, and provide recommendations throughout the customer journey.
Many jewelry promotions are seasonal, so we were constantly making changes to optimize the page and ensure traffic was navigating the website as we hoped. I would make sure to keep in mind the 4 P’s - Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. I wanted to ensure that the layout of your site, price-point, and specials were always in line with what the audience is most looking for during the season.
This experience of understanding client goals, and helping them achieve those goals through the success of their websites, has proven to be a valuable skill since joining End Point’s team. Beyond having the ability to help clients with their websites, this knowledge has also been helpful internally. I keep a close eye on where our website traffic is coming from, including seeing which blog posts resonate with different audiences. I have made recommendations for adjustments to poor-performing pages, and taken time to analyze pages with high bounce rates, to see whether the bounce rates are due to the page not being well-constructed or due to traffic not being properly directed. I also take note of any industry changes, and make website adjustments to accommodate those changes. For example, End Point has a plethora of skill in many programming languages, and if we see one language gaining popularity we will make a point to highlight it more prominently.
I look forward to continuing to use Google Analytics to strengthen our company websites and to help our clients strengthen theirs. Please don't hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn more.