25 Nov Google Analytics Tips Every Small Business Owner Should Know
In the past analyzing the performance of a website was an arcane science carried out by men with thick rimmed spectacles in deep bunkers.
Today Google Analytics makes it easy to see how well your website is performing. However, if you are building up a small business you are unlikely to have much time to sit around analyzing pie charts and graphs.
You need to know the most important trends to watch in Google Analytics so you can quickly gauge if your website is performing as you want it to.
1) Page Popularity and Traffic Sources
Find out which pages are visited the most because it alerts you to the pages that are performing well in searches and the ones you may need to refocus or refresh with new content. Use the date range tool to compare blocks of time with each other such as the prior month or maybe the same month last year.
The analytics details include:
- Page views (number of times a page is looked at)
- Unique page views (only counts visitors one time even if they visit multiple times)
- Average time spent on a page (is it a reasonable amount of time for the content to be absorbed?)
- Bounce rate (percent of visitors who left the site after visiting only that one page)
While the homepage is likely to attract the most views, you should look carefully at the ranking of all your pages. Are the ones you believe important for visitors to see actually being seen? If not, then you can adjust how the page is promoted. Maybe place a visual link on the homepage, or link to it more often in the website text.
Bounce rates are important because they tell you how quickly they are leaving your website. A high bounce rate suggests visitors are not finding what they expected. Typically a bounce rate of 26 to 40 percent is excellent, 56 to 70 percent is higher than average but may not always be a cause for alarm. If your bounce rate is above 70 percent, visitors are clearly disinterested in your site, so you should revamp the pages with bad bounce rates to make them more relevant or interesting. Also repurpose pages that are seeing a drop-off in traffic.
You should also look at where you are getting your traffic from. A strong organic performance suggests your website has a solid visitor base but if it’s all coming in through a Pay Per Click Campaign (PPC), you may experience a drop off once that campaign has ended. Look to see how many visits are coming through your social media pages and if it’s very few, you should consider a campaign to drive more people to your site through social media.
2) Work With Your Web Administrator on Analytics
If you have used an outside source or company to set up your website, it’s important to keep working with them. Once you buy a new car, you don’t then neglect to service it, or ignore the warning lights if they come on. It’s the same with a website. Build in monthly meetings with your web administrator. Identify the components of the website that are failing to function as you would like it to, and draw up an action plan. Follow up at the next meeting to see if the poorly performing pages are improving.
3) Use the Tracking System for Campaigns
Campaigns are a good way of driving new traffic to your website, but you need to monitor them. If, for example, you are hosting a holiday raffle, you can set up a landing page on your website and you can see how many visitors come into that page. You should also use a system to capture these contacts so as they can go into your marketing funnel for future promotions. The campaign tool in Google Analytics can give you a good idea of how successful offline campaigns such as mailers have been in driving new traffic to your website.