As a small business owner it can be difficult to understand the results from your online marketing initiatives without paying a lot of money for expensive software. How do you know if your website and online marketing campaigns are effective? Fortunately, Google Analytics is a powerful analytics tool that helps you to monitor traffic patterns and the effectiveness of your website and it is totally free. Here are some of the features that could benefit your small business.
How visitors are viewing your website
Understanding what technologies are being used to view your website can tell you a lot about your visitors and helps for optimizing your web design. For instance, if a good majority of your visitors use a Chrome browser over Internet Explorer, you could infer that they are tech-savvy and you would want to test your web design thoroughly in that browser. In addition, you can also see which devices are being used to view your website. With mobile devices continuously growing in popularity, you might want to consider building a mobile-friendly version of your website.
How visitors are flowing through your website
Knowing where your users are going to in your website and where they are exiting is very valuable. With visitors flow, you can determine how complex your website is to the average user, as well as measure conversion. For instance, if your conversion goal is to have visitors fill out a contact form but they are leaving the website before they reach the form, then it might be time to re-evaluate where the contact form lives on your website. Is it easy to get to? Would be more visible as a callout from your website home page?
Where your visitors are coming from
You can measure where visitors are coming from or how they got to your website with traffic sources. Learn which external sources drive the most traffic and evaluate the strength of your SEO, incoming links and other campaigns. Ideally it is good to have a healthy balance of search, referrals and direct sources that come to your website.
For example, you notice that your organic search is really low compared to the rest of your traffic sources. This is where your keyword tool would come in handy. It shows you the keywords visitors are using to in their search engines to get to your website. If the keywords that people are using are not matching up with your website, then changing up your content to match these words might be a good idea.
How useful is your website
By looking at the visitors overview you can get a high-level view of your website. This will show you the average time someone spends on your website, the bounce rate, how many page they visit and more data. In general, you want visitors to spend a lot of time on your website and look at more pages, which increases the likelihood of reaching your conversion goals. For instance, if you are a real estate agent and your visitors are not going past your homepage to look at more properties, maybe consider adding a property search tool that engages them to interact with your website.
By using Google Analytics small businesses can better understand their online marketing, which will in turn help them make improvements to their websites and campaigns.