Seven easy ways you can use Google Analytics to grow your business

Are you using Google Analytics to learn how your website is performing, and grow your business? Here are seven easy things you can do to get started.

You’ve probably heard of Google Analytics. And probably just as likely assumed that it’s dauntingly complex to master. Freelance marketing, PR and social media specialist Lisa Cowell explains why it can be much easier than you think to use it to grow your business.

Many small businesses fear Google Analytics

I’ve spoken with many clients whose faces drop when I ask “do you have Google Analytics set up?” It’s usually a major tumble-weed moment of fear.

For many, the thought of analysing data can seem like a daunting process with little understanding of what to actually do with it. But, it doesn’t have to be difficult or complex, and analytics can be your pot of gold to understanding how you can boost your business.

First things first – get some free training

Google has a string of free training courses that many employers recognise as a credible qualification. One of these is Google Analytics for Beginners. Create a Google Mail account then access the Google Academy and register for your free tutorial on how to use Google Analytics.

Having completed this course myself, it’s a fantastic step into the analytical world for beginners. The course guides you step-by-step on the complete analytical basics and how you can use Google Analytics for your business. Expect excellent video guides, quick quizzes and guided tutorials so you can get some hands-on experience of using the software.

Seven easy ways you can use Google Analytics to grow your business

There are so many interesting ways you can use data to be creative and understand if your marketing efforts are working. Here are seven easy things you can start doing pretty much straight away.

1) Find out who is visiting your site

By now, you probably have an understanding of who your target audience is. Google analytics lets you find out if your website is attracting the right people.

Say your target audience is females, age 24-30, based in the UK and are interested in shopping, but your website traffic is showing that the audience is predominantly from the US, it’s worth consider why and how you can steer your marketing in the original direction.

2) Discover which web pages aren’t working

Sometimes web pages take a long time to load or people simply arn’t clicking on a ‘sign up’ button. These are a couple of examples of web pages that ‘don’t work’.

Google Analytics can provide you with data such as how quickly people are leaving a page, how long it takes to load and how many people are clicking on the page in the first place. There’s so much more it can tell you, but these quick bits of knowledge can be extremely helpful for figuring out your audience’s ‘website journey’.

3) Learn at what point visitors leave your site

As soon as someone clicks onto your website, at what point do they leave? Google Analytics has a trusty feature that can tell you just that.

Why is this useful? Perhaps you’re trying to sell a product and people are leaving when they get to the check out. This could tell you that you need to assess whether the check out system is user-friendly or if there are other issues preventing people from making a purchase.

4) Understand what device your visitors are using

Knowing which devices your audience uses when accessing your website is more important than you think. Whether they’re a desktop, mobile or tablet user, knowing where your audience is logging on from can make you decide which areas to prioritise in the future.

Say your audience is mainly using mobile, then your website must be optimised very efficiently to make the user experience a smooth one.

5) Find out how people are getting to your website

Ever wondered how people got to your website in the first place? Now you can find out. Google Analytics can tell you if your visitors are coming from: organic search, direct clicks, email, social, paid clicks, affiliations and referrals.

This is extremely helpful to find out if your marketing efforts – or other people’s efforts – are bringing you traffic. If not, develop a new strategy and keep tweaking it until you start seeing results.

6) Find out which online marketing campaigns bring you traffic and conversions

Do you use Mailchimp or another e-marketing platform to send out newsletter? By syncing Google Analytics to Mailchimp (for the sake of this example), you can monitor how well your newsletter campaigns are sending people to your website, plus so much more.

7) Uncover your best content

More often than not, Google Analytics can show you positive data you never expected. For example, you can learn which pages or website content pieces are performing the best. If something is working well, try to compare this to something that isn’t. It could present valuable information.

Take your learning up a notch when you’re ready

Run your own race with Google Analytics. The great thing about the Google Academy is you can complete its courses in sections at your own pace. Better to take your time and understand, than to rush and not absorb what you’ve researched.

And, when you’re ready to take your analytical knowledge to the next level, Google Academy also offers a free Advanced Google Analytics course. This one is a bit more tricky, but will give you a more rounded insight into how to analyse at a ‘pro’ level. This is particularly useful if your business or client is involved in e-commerce, or if you’re a techy who just loves numbers.

Not using Google Analytics to grow your business yet? Now is the time to start!

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