Increasing Traffic with Google Analytics!June 10, 2020
Intro to the importance of a website in the digital age
When speaking about an online presence, most people would think that creating social media may be enough to attract customers. While social media sites like twitter and Instagram may help a company reach and engage with consumers, companies still need to have a central location to send consumers to when they want to learn more about your business, product or brand. Furthermore, websites allow you to fill them with SEO and keywords that allow your brand to be found on search engines like Google. Today, statistics show that 88% of consumers will research product information before they make a purchase online or in the store. And, how are customers supposed to make a purchase if they can’t even find your store?
But, I know what you are thinking. A website may sound great for large corporations but for small businesses or SMEs (which make up 95% of firms) are already struggling to get enough employees to complete essential tasks, much less maintain a site. Well, what if I told you that a website holds the key to discovering the success of each and every marketing effort.
Now, I’ve explained the importance of a central location to send customers. But, why would you want to send customers anywhere? I mean you could just allow customers to purchase off social media or in an online market. Well, the problem with doing these is: you can never expand the business from it. Expanding your business requires marketing and marketing is far from straight forward. It is riddled with trial and errors and multiple attempts because what works for one company may not work for another.
Now, how do we reduce those errors? The answer may sound boring: Data. And, yes I know what does data have to do with marketing? Everything. From views, clicks, impressions to the number of people who purchase. Data is the lifeblood of marketing. It is how you quantify success in a campaign and how you learn what works. The problem with utilising this data is: you may not know how to collect it.
A Free Marketing Tool For The Masses
Social media sites like Instagram and LinkedIn allow its users to look at insights and analytics so that they may find out how well they are doing. For Instagram, insights come in the form of Weekly Interactions, Reach, and Impressions. And, while that is helpful, it is also to some degree redundant since “impressions” or “views” tend to be calculated based on who has seen your post, not who has interacted or clicked on it to enter your site. This is why some campaigns may seem extremely successful in terms of views but not in terms of sales and customer engagement.
Since all social media will be linked to a central location (aka your site), you can track the exact amount of visitors that are sent to your site via each social media (or marketing effort). It is only from here do you get to engaged them more effectively. And, surprisingly, the best tool to help you track is free!
Marketers are all familiar with Google Analytics. Like an angry teacher, it tells you whether or not your work is successful in attracting customers. It even allows you to track many important metrics, covering all aspects so that you can monitor the effectiveness of your online marketing strategies, onsite content, user experience, and device functionality. If all is well and users love your content, that is great! But, if there is a dip in visitor rates and sales, you will be able to see it and remedy it by taking action.
How to Read Google Analytics
But, with a new app always comes new problems. The first of which is how one might read it. For google analytics, the endless stream of numbers and monochromatic colour scheme is more than just daunting. But, no matter- ThinkVAL is here to teach you the basics (which is really all you need).
First, lets break down how to read the insights. There are two key terms that you need to know:
- Dimensions: The feature or aspect that you are trying to analyse or quantify. (Eg: If you are looking at which city your audience is viewing your content from, the dimension would be the state. “New York” or “Mumbai”).
- Metrics: The numerical measurements. (For eg: If you were looking to see how many users have originated from said countries, the metrics would be the total number of users).
Of course, these dimensions and metrics are completely customisable through the web-based app and you can even add more dimensions and metrics to get more accurate and filtered results.
More importantly, companies will be able to see how their audiences have been referred to their site as well as which country their sites are popular with. As seen by the image above, Google Analytics also allows you to look at the number of users and new users per day, thus, informing you on where and how many people are coming to your site.
At the start, we suggest you to start with the following 3 dimensions:
- Source: The source showcases which sites have directed traffic to our site. From here, we can easily tell which of our marketing efforts has proven successful as well as which sites our audiences can be found.
- Medium: The medium tells you if the traffic is directed from other URL or some other marketing collaterals you are distributing such as email, etc.
- Country: Knowing which country your audience is from is important for any company targeting a global market. Knowing where your audience is from tells you who you should be tailoring your ads to appeal towards.
The easiest way to start is to monitor the user metrics. Its the simplest metrics and yet provide you with loads of insights to begin with, before you dig further into the other available metrics.
- Users: Users tell you how many individuals have entered your site. Many people often use “Users” and “Sessions” interchangeably but there is a huge difference. While “Users” are based on the number of individuals themselves, “Sessions” tells you many visits your site has. By tracking the user metrics, you get a good view of the exposure you have.
Through this, companies can segment campaigns into what worked and what didn’t, allowing them to focus their marketing on directing traffic from relevant target websites or countries. That, in turn, will save businesses from wasting valuable time and important resources on low return campaigns. Plus, companies will also be able to better narrow down their target audience by unearthing their behaviours and interests that would otherwise be impossible to know. Like an extra bonus, they might even discover new potential demographics whom they have not expected before!
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