Beginners guide to setting up Google Analytics
Let’s start with the basics, what is Google analytics? This is a tool that allows you to measure the success of your online marketing activity. This covers the number of users reaching your website, which of your web pages they are visiting, where they’ve come from and even which devices they’ve used to reach you.
But, who needs Google Analytics anyway? Basically, if you are a business owner with a website, then YOU do! And here’s why…
Google Analytics is the clever end of small business digital marketing know-how, but clever doesn’t necessarily mean tricky. It’s just a learnt skill that once you know, you know!
Setting up Google Analytics can make your digital marketing campaigns more targeted – it puts you in the driving seat, allowing you to identify which approaches are netting you the best marketing results. The success of your marketing campaigns will no longer be down to pot-luck, instead, they’ll be targeted using measurable facts.
Google Analytics can save you time and increase the flow of quality leads being driven to your website and once you get a taste for it, it can be fun too. Oh yeah – and it’s absolutely FREE – what’s not to like about that?
‘Where is the catch?’ I hear you thinking. Well, okay, it takes some perseverance to set up, but it’s completely worth the effort. The reports provided by Google Analytics are visually easy to understand and can contain priceless data for any small business looking to succeed in today’s digital business world. Let’s take a look at how and why.
Discover FreshOnline’s 3 simple steps to get value from Google Analytics for small businesses:
Here we cover some Google Analytics basics for small businesses and learn how to get started and exactly what’s in it for you.
Step 1) Set up a Google Account
You’ll need a Google account to get started – if you have Gmail, Google Drive or other associated tools – then you already have one, so use that. If not, it’s easy to register and it’s free. Once set up, log in.
Step 2) Integrate Google Analytics with your website
Set up your Google Analytics account by following the Google instructions and then connect your website to the Google Analytics software. There are a couple of things to be mindful of here:
- You will find different installation options depending on which host platform your website uses, such as WordPress or Squarespace for example. If you are struggling with this, try watching one of the popular ‘How To’ online tutorials to help you.
- There are advanced functions offered by Google Analytics, but honestly, the basic reports offered for FREE are more than adequate for most small business needs. Just start with these.
- There is an option to set up a Google Analytics ‘demo account’ which you can experiment with first off, to learn the ropes. This may suit some of you, but it’s not essential.
Step 3) Plan your marketing goals
This is a key piece of advice. Data is just noise unless you have a plan to implement it. Think about what key goals you want to reach with your online marketing and target these methodically. Perhaps you want to improve your marketing efforts overall, increase your website performance or boost your SEO? To give you a heads-up, here are the kinds of data that will be available to you, we recommend you tackle these one-by-one:
Here are the kinds of questions Google Analytics can answer:
- Which websites are sending customers your way?
- Where do your website visitors live?
- Which customers are converting into sales and where did they come from?
Knowing these answers means you can target your marketing efforts and understand more about who your customers are and where they live. Often the results thrown up by the analytics can be surprising and challenge what you thought you already knew. With Google Analytics, there is no more guesswork, instead it offers a valuable window into the behaviour and trends of your website visitors.
Site performance analytics:
So, you discover people are visiting your site, great! But what are they going there for, which pages are attracting them and why? Through Google Analytics you can find out:
- Which web pages are getting the most visitors and which are not?
- Which page is making visitors leave and which ones make them stay longer or buy?
- How quick are your pages downloading and does this vary with mobile devices?
This information isn’t just helpful, it could transform the success of your website. If there are pages your visitors especially like, for example, your blogs or a special offer page, then you know to build on these crowd-pleasers as they will lead to business growth.
SEO boosting analytics:
Google Analytics are an invaluable resource for targeting your SEO efforts because you can see in black and white the results you are getting. You will no longer need to follow generic SEO advice, hoping for the best, because you’ll have your own bespoke data to work and plan from, such as:
- How much search traffic is hitting/finding your site and which page is most popular?
- What search queries are being used to find your site?
- Where are your visitors mostly coming from and what do they most want?
Knowing your audience is precisely what SEO growth and exposure is all about.
Google Analytics is the most popular small business resource for a reason. They are the biggest and most powerful search engine on the planet right now and they’re providing you with quality data about your customers – suddenly it’s easy to see the appeal!
Small businesses can use these reports to see what’s hot and what’s not on their web pages and generate more of what’s popular to increase business traffic.
Well, that’s it for now, we hope this basic introduction has given you a taste of what’s possible to achieve with Google Analytics and that you feel inspired to give it a go.
FreshOnline is passionate about using reports, data and stats to measure the success of our clients’ digital marketing campaigns. To find out more or just get some advice, please do get in touch! We’d love to hear from you.