Website Analytics for Your Business

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Are visitors to your website converting into actual customers? A popular adage says you can’t manage what you don’t measure – this is especially true with website analytics.

Analytics answers important questions such as:

  • Where are my site visitors arriving from?
  • What do users do while they’re visiting my site?
  • Are visitors completing important goals such as purchases or form submissions?

This article will focus on Google Analytics 4, a free and popular offering that provides data measurement adequate for most sites.

Starting with Website Analytics

If you don’t have an analytics provider for your website yet, the first step is choosing one and adding it to your site. By far, Google Analytics (“GA”) is the most popular provider on the market.

A free GA account can be set up at analytics.google.com. Once your account is created, a unique code will be provided to install on your site. Most website providers like WordPress and Wix offer places in their settings to add this code. For more advanced users, Google Tag Manager is also a great option for adding code to your site.

Popular Website Analytics Reports

Once you’ve connected GA and begun recording data, you can begin learning about your visitors. Reports as detailed below help identify trends you can leverage to optimize your site’s user experience and performance toward your business goals.

Reports

The Reports section of GA offers insight into the top aspects of your site’s visitors and their behavior.

The Realtime tab provides live insight into visitors browsing your site at that current moment. This is helpful for troubleshooting purposes and if you anticipate any traffic surges you wish to monitor in real-time. Otherwise, don’t linger on this data as you can become distracted by overanalyzing a small sample of your visitors.

The Acquisition tab under the Life Cycle section tells where your visitors arrive from and allows you to compare metrics among visitors from different sources. For example, do visitors from links on social media tend to abandon your site quicker than visitors from Google Search? Do they convert into customers as frequently?

The Engagement tab shares how users engage with your site including which pages they visit. These reports are especially insightful for conversion-oriented pages such as checkout pages. For example, you may find many users are reaching a cart or checkout page, but not completing their purchase. If so, this may point to a technical issue with your site or another poor experience occurring before order completion.

Data within the User tab provides detailed insights about your visitors including their demographics, interests, location, and device type. While the information is neat in and of itself, consider its marketing applications:

  • Does this data match your impression of your typical customer base and their behaviors?
  • Is a certain audience segment underperforming on your site? Why might that be?
  • Are users from mobile devices engaging at a weaker level than other users, potentially due to a poor mobile experience?

Explore

The Explorations section of Google Analytics lends itself to more advanced users who want to discover specific insights or test hypotheses. However, GA does provide several premade templates within its Template Gallery to aid users.

Advertising

The Advertising section of GA is admittedly a misnomer and may be renamed at some point. Regardless if you’re actively advertising, these dashboards report the conversion actions being tracked by your website. This data answers the most important question: so what? While it’s great to produce high amounts of site traffic and strong user engagement, your website needs to advance key goals of your business such as form submissions, subscriptions, or purchases.

GA allows you to set up and track several goal types including if users arrive at a certain page such as a checkout confirmation page, if visitors stay on-site for a specified time, and if users complete specific actions such as playing an embedded video or submitting a form. These conversions can then be integrated with advertising platforms like Google Ads to provide ROI data specific to individual campaigns.

Summary

Website analytics provides incredibly insightful information on website visitors and is an essential element of measuring your marketing results. Ensure an analytics package is installed on your business’s site and review high-level data consistently. Many providers make this easy with configurable reports that can be emailed on a recurring basis.

Picture of Taylor Brown
Taylor Brown

Taylor is the owner & digital strategist of Go-To Man Marketing. With a passion for digital marketing and analytics, he's helped clients to grow their businesses for more than a decade.

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