3 Immediate Benefits of Google Analytics for Business Owners
Image from Google’s marketing platform blog
Where is your traffic coming from? What drew the traffic to your website? Which parts of your website are most visited? How do visits change over time? And how can the answers to these questions help you?
Answering such questions and doing something about it is called search engine optimization (SEO).
To help you with this is Google Analytics, a web analytics service that lets you track and understand your website traffic. It is a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes that are looking to grow.
Here are three ways Google Analytics can benefit your business:
Determining Site Improvements to Strengthen Website Flow
This is a great way to generate more “conversions” — visitors to your website taking a desired action. Are visitors behaving the way you expected them to? Can you observe any bottlenecks in audience flow?
Bottlenecks include traffic getting stuck on one page, when you want them to be going to a different one, like a contact page. Understanding how traffic gets stuck might point you toward the need to refresh certain web pages, which could in turn lead to more conversions.
For example, we observed that our “Deployment Automation” Expertise subpage has had a 100% bounce rate over the past three months. This is concerning because it means that the content may not be engaging or there may not be a clear visitor navigation path, the end goal being a contact submission. Analytics helped us start looking at how to strengthen this subpage.
Image from Google’s marketing platform blog
Understanding your Audience
Who is coming to your site, and how are they finding you? What referral sites, partner sites, media, and blog posts are directing the most traffic to your page? How can you leverage that?
In reviewing your inbound traffic, you will see some combination of the following types of traffic:
- Direct: Traffic from directly typing the URL into the browser address bar.
- Organic: Traffic from people who navigate to your website through search engines after seeing you in search results. Having a strong online presence, especially strong SEO, will help more visitors arrive on your website without the need to pay for them.
- Referral: Traffic that comes to your website after being “referred” from a different website. This is when other websites link to your webpage. More backlinks and referral traffic typically leads to significant SEO benefits.
- Paid: This traffic arrives from paid search campaigns on platforms such as Google Ads.
- Email: Traffic from links in emails.
- Social: Traffic that comes from posts on social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
- Other: All the traffic which doesn’t fit in any other category.
We recommend reviewing each type of traffic to get a better understanding of their flow through your website, and noting any trends you find within individual web traffic sources and mediums.
Data-Driven Decision Making: Stop Relying on Assumptions and Rely on Data
One great challenge to businesses is overconfidence in how much you understand about your audience. Google Analytics, and other similar analytics tools, can transform your work culture from being based on opinions and assumptions to being based on hard data. Google Analytics provides data in an organized and impactful format, and using analytics data in tandem with sales efforts can lead to more conversions and revenue for your business.
With Google having access to so much data and being one of the two major advertisers on the web, many people are looking for alternatives that allow them more control over their customer data, separation from Google’s advertising platforms, and a slimmer data footprint for compliance with privacy laws such as CCPA (California) and GDPR (European Union).
There have always been various options for web visitor analytics. Google Analytics was originally created by a company called Urchin Software, which Google acquired in 2005. Some current alternatives include:
- Cloudflare web analytics, a new service offered by the popular CDN (Content Distribution Network) that simply shows visitor data already flowing through their systems.
- GoatCounter, a SaaS or self-hosted open source application, which aims to provide simple counters rather than collecting personal data, thus avoiding any need for a privacy notice.
- Matomo, formerly known as Piwik, a fully-featured SaaS or on-premises paid package with a limited open source version.
- Open Web Analytics, a customizable open source analytics framework.
We at End Point have found success with these core ideas and several of these services. We are happy to provide a free consultation to discuss your website needs.