Google Analytics is a completely free service offering by Google that lets business owners and online marketers track, measure, and analyze their website traffic. Historically, most websites were set up with a counter that counted the number of visits to their website—but that was all. Over time, analytic capabilities grew more sophisticated, and now the robust tools offered by Google provide highly detailed insights into every aspect of your web traffic.
Criteria of How Well Your Website Is Performing
- What pages do visitors to my website view?
- How long do they stay on each page?
- How many conversions to leads or paying customers result from the traffic to my website?
- Where does my web traffic come from? Is it referred from other sites, links, or searches?
- What is the geographic location (country, state, city) of my web traffic?
In the world of digital marketing, however, business owners, marketers, and web developers can glean highly detailed data via Google analytics—data that informs about every performance aspect of a website, from online ad campaigns to blogs, web content, calls to action, and much more. In other words, you can get as detailed and elaborate as you like in terms of how you use the insights you learn from Google analytics, and use the data to make strategic decisions going forward.
Analytic Capabilities You Can Use
- Learn the specific search terms people used to reach your site
- Understand which keywords are most valuable to prospects who are searching for your product/service offerings
- Know which page/pages visitors view the longest
- Know the exact page from which people leave your site, and adjust it to keep the user on your site longer
- Track call-to-action results and lead conversions
Google analytics do not happen automatically. You need to first have a Google analytics account, which you can easily set up via your existing Google account (if you use other Google services such as Gmail, Google+, or YouTube). You provide basic information about your website, apply Google’s tracking code to the pages of your site, then wait about 24 hours to begin receiving data. Google also lets you set up your dashboard to have the data available at a glance and customize reports to quickly track progress.
If you are not yet using Google Analytics to track the performance of your website and digital marketing campaigns, talk with a professional about getting started. Once you see and understand the basic data you receive from the analytics, you’ll want to drill down for more sophisticated intelligence, and apply that knowledge to improving your overall digital marketing results.