10 Years of Google Analytics and 10 Reasons Why You Should Be Using It
Google announced on their blog earlier this month, its anniversary of the launch of Google Analytics! Hats off to Google for setting the analytics benchmark, or what we refer to today as “digital marketing analytics.” Google has taught us that a website alone isn’t enough; in fact, it’s the inner structure of your website and whether its performance is meeting its purpose that matters.
Google Analytics provides a wealth of data and information pertaining to your website and visitors; essentially, it provides the insights necessary for you to attain your business goals. In light of Google Analytics’ 10th birthday, we’re listing some of the most valuable uses of the tool from a marketing perspective, as well as the reasons you should be using them:
Google Analytics’ major business pleaser roots from the ability to monitor your website’s performance with trackable numbers. This capability allows you to measure your progress and track it periodically (at a point in time or for a slated period of time) in order to gauge your efforts and understand whether you’re headed in the right direction with your overall content marketing strategy.
Drive Brand Awareness
One element of understanding brand awareness is that it often doesn’t require direct conversions as compared to the traditional sales process. Moreover, it relates to understanding the user. Ask yourself these questions: Where are the users coming from? How are they behaving? Google Analytics allows you to gain actionable insights from the pages per visit, average time on site and bounce rate reports.
Monitor Real-Time Traffic
Google Analytics’ real-time traffic report is singlehandedly the most underrated report. This feature proves immensely valuable for measuring your organization’s marketing initiatives that are temporal in nature, like a promotional campaign on Twitter. For example, maybe you’re launching a new promotion and you want to measure your audience’s reactions in real-time to shape any additional content based on their reactions. In this case, the real-time feature will be your best friend as you’ll have direct insight on when and why traffic from say, a LinkedIn post died down, indicating it’s time to post again.
Site Search Tracking
Site search is yet another very important tool in tracking marketing efforts. Site search tracks keywords and indicates the specific words your visitors are searching for on your website. Remember, Google Analytics is king in helping businesses strive to learn about their target market’s needs and wants, which is ever-changing.
Ever wonder where visitors head to first when they land on your site? Google Analytics tracks your visitors by tracking outbound links. Outbound links improve your website’s authority and ranking by tracking targeted visitors, providing search engines a clear idea of your website because of relevant links and the flow of traffic.
Optimized Campaign Tracking
If you aren’t already tracking all of the channels utilized in your online marketing initiatives, then you may be in trouble. We don’t mean tracking interest through a simple ‘like’ or retweet on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but digging deeper into your visitor’s behavior with the help of the Google URL builder and Google Analytics. By building your links with the URL builder you are able to improve your reporting and statistics. This allows for less guessing on what to blog about or what offers to provide, and more on creating value for your visitors. By utilizing the link builder on links you post to your blog, social media or in newsletters, you’re allowing Analytics to report on this information.
Social Network Referrals
The moment a user shares any piece of your content organically, it becomes earned social media. That’s why measuring social media traffic is a critical step in understanding the value and ROI of your PR efforts. Social Network Referrals in Google Analytics is the perfect place to learn which digital platforms are working for you, or where your referrals are sourcing from.
Keywords and phrases are the most powerful consideration a business can make with regard to marketing and SEO. Google’s tool helps to determine which keywords to place emphasis on in order to achieve higher web rankings and increased traffic to your website. Your business should perform keyword research and determine (attainable) words to be ranked by. Once you’ve determined which keywords are applicable for your business, begin implementing them into your SEO strategy.
Enhance Mobile User Experience
A recent report indicates mobile digital media time in the U.S. is now significantly higher at 51 percent compared to desktop (42 percent), therefore, traffic from mobile users is increasing rampantly. With that said, businesses are setting themselves up for failure if they choose to create a marketing strategy sans mobile user tactics. Enter the mobile report in Google Analytics.
To start, ensure your design and content is mobile friendly. When analyzing the data, identify the devices that have the highest bounce rate to gain a better understanding of the reasons behind why those visitors are dropping off. For example, it could be something as simple as not having a mobile-friendly landing page.
Compare Historical Trends
Many Google Analytics users only concern themselves with current traffic trends, but the ability to identify patterns and trends based on previous periods of traffic yields valuable insights into how your visitors’ behaviors change over time. One of the best ways to gain intelligence on previous periods is through the ‘compare’ tool when analyzing numbers using the date range function.
As you know by now, Google Analytics is a highly advanced web analytics tool that most businesses, small or big, start with (and for good reason!). It can be used to identify the opportunities that exist within your website design, content or structure, and allow you to tweak it to increase the effectiveness of your online presence. Thank you Google!
Every marketing campaign on the Internet should be tracked in order to achieve success. Content planning and implementation, tracking tools are necessary to calculate the ROI of a particular campaign. With this in mind, we have created an ROI calculator for you to quantify and measure your marketing efforts.