Get to grips with Google Analytics and measure your site’s success

Written on 26 August, 2014 by Verity Meagher
Categories: Search Engine Optimisation | Tags: online marketing, search engine optimisation

Google Analytics can seem rather intimidating to a newcomer. But by jumping in and trying out a few of the following tips, you’ll soon find that measuring the success of your website is easier than you think.

Pay close attention to your traffic

Google Analytics makes it possible for you to gain a real insight into how people behave when they’re on your website. First and foremost, it allows you to see why people are visiting and whether they are finding what they’re looking for. By logging in to your Google Analytics dashboard, you’ll be able to see a simple graph that shows how many people have landed on your site. From there, you can drill down into individual days and pages to track user behaviour. One of the most valuable things Google Analytics can tell you is whether people are spending a significant amount of time on your site. It could be that you’ve experienced a spike in traffic thanks to investment in SEO or the publication of a particularly popular blog post. However, to really capitalise on the success, you want to check how long people are spending on each page. If your analytics show that visitors bounce away quickly, you need to work on revamping your content and improving your customer engagement.

Understand your conversions

For most businesses, it’s not the number of people who arrive on their website that is the big win – it’s the number of conversions. Use Google Analytics to track your conversions by setting up a Goal and finding out how your customers behave. There are four Goal types to choose from – Destination, Duration, Pages/Screens per session and Events – and a report can be created that will allow you to focus on the areas that are most important for your website. E-commerce sites can also benefit from Goal Funnels, which track a customer’s progress through the shopping cart process, allowing you to see when and where a sale might be abandoned at the last minute – when the postage price is revealed, for example.

Social media success rates

It’s not only your website that will benefit from a closer inspection. Google Analytics can also measure your effectiveness on your favourite social media platforms. This can be extremely beneficial by showing whether you’re putting your resources in the right places. After all, there’s a big difference between getting likes on Facebook and seeing those likes convert to paying customers. Set up Social Reports and take a good look around. You’ll be able to see how often people are arriving on your landing pages via social sites and whether these visits lead to conversions. Don’t let yourself be put off by the potential complexity of Google Analytics. Start small by focusing on a few essential goals and you’ll soon see how straightforward the service can be when it comes to measuring your website’s success. If you want help measuring the success of your website, talk to one of WebCentral’s online marketing experts today on 1800 800 099.