One of the most powerful web analytics tools is a free one, something that should play an integral part in your online and offline marketing efforts. That tool is Google Analytics, managed by the search engine giant, one that delivers essential information that can help empower your business. Google Analytics is easy to install, but can take some time to learn. Please read on for some useful tips on how to make this tool work best for you, employing seven smart strategies that can take your business to the next level.
- Create an Account. You will need a Google account to access Google Analytics as well as to take advantage of numerous other free products that you might want to consider. To sign up for an account, you will need to provide your current email address and choose your password. You will also be given the opportunity to set up a Google Calendar and agree to the terms of service. Protect your password and share your data only with people that need to see it.
- Set Up Your Account. Navigate your browser to Google.com/analytics/ and click on “create an account.” Your page will then be transferred to a new page where you will enter your Google email account and your password. Click on the “sign up” page and include your website name, website URL, choose your industry and your reporting time zone. Assign an account name and click on “get tracking id” to move forward.
- Install Your Tracking Code. Google provides a unique tracking code for every website. When properly installed, it can track how many visitors you get to every page on your website, how long they stay and where they come from. Typically, that code gets placed just before the tag or, if you have a WordPress blog, can be installed via a WordPress plug-in. Follow Google’s instructions precisely for correct installation. Data is typically gathered immediately and reported about 24 hours later.
- Understand Visitor Goals. Google Analytics makes it possible to track what your visitors are doing on your website. You can set up goals to see how your objectives are being filled. This include transactions made, the amount of time spent on a screen, capturing a lead, tracking new sign ups, following social media shares and more. Create these goals based on individual actions.
- Analyze Your Data. On a regular basis, you should review your Google Analytics data to monitor traffic to your site. Make a point to spend about five minutes daily tracking your previous day’s reports and do more comprehensive weekly reviews to drill down to analyze deeper data. Use the calendar to set your active date range and compare your data between various ranges. You will also want to produce graphs, attach notes to specific dates, understand and measure metrics and perform a host of other steps to analyze your data.
- Weigh Your Advertising Options. Site owners can use various advertising platforms such as Google Adsense and track how these ads are performing on their sites. You are not required to use Google ads — you can run and track the ads that work best for your site. You can also track your AdWords campaigns, monitoring the same for revenue, conversions your return on investment. Optimize your keywords, tag your campaigns and track your ecommerce efforts.
- Use Advanced Features. Besides the standard features available with Google Analytics, there are numerous advanced features that can elevate your efforts. Advanced segmentation allows you create and use custom segments to pull out data that is important to you. Custom reporting can be set up to help you analyze your metrics and dimensions. Flash tracking is ideal for analyzing Adobe Flash performance and customized email reports can be created to send updates to people that are within your company.
Expanded Use Google Analytics is fully customizable and there are numerous experts that can assist you with your data analysis. There are also scripts that you can use to streamline your efforts including report enhancers, track unusual traffic variations, monitor your profiles and compare two or more profiles. Use the scripts you find and the tools you create to take your marketing analysis to the next level. Consider hiring a professional to ensure that these tools are used to maximum effectiveness.