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The most important Google Analytics metrics small business owners need to review

Article provided by Digital School of Marketing

Google Analytics is a fundamental tool that you, as a small business owner, need for your website. Your site is your online business card. It reflects who you are, what your company stands for and what you offer. It speaks for you when you are not available and serves as a port of call for customers to learn about your brand.

As a business owner, you need to learn everything that you can about people who come to your website, as these are the people that are interested in your products and/or services and they have taken the time to browse your site. With this information, you can structure your digital marketing campaigns to attract more like-minded visitors who can be converted into customers.

The tool to gather website visitor information

Google Analytics is a free tool that monitors the traffic which flows to your website. It provides you with statistics about these visitors so that you can draw actionable insights from them that will benefit your business going forward.

It is also relatively simple to get Google Analytics up and running. All you would need to do is set up a Google Analytics account using a Gmail account and give the code to your website developer so that he or she can insert it into the header of every page on your website to monitor your traffic. (If you want to learn how to insert this tracking code yourself, an SEO course will teach you how to do this.)

The amount of information that Google Analytics generates is mind boggling. We feel that the power in this tool lies in its ability to monitor:

  • Where people are coming to your site from
  • What pages they visit
  • How long they are staying

With this information, you can improve your website and digital marketing campaigns so that you can increase the traffic to your site.

How people get to your website

Google Analytics monitors where your website visitors access your site from and this information will be delivered to you on an acquisition report.

Traffic to your website can be classified into one of four options:

  • Direct traffic refers to people who arrive at your site via a direct link that they have found on a search engine such as Google.
  • Organic traffic refers to people who’ve inserted a keyword or keywords into a search engine and have been presented with your site as a result.
  • Referral traffic refers to people who have reached your website from a link on another website.
  • Social traffic refers to people who have accessed your website from a link posted on social media.

“This is powerful information for a small business owner to have,” says Lisa Schneider: managing director of the Digital School of Marketing, “because if you can see that the majority of your traffic comes from social media, for example,  you know that spending money on a social media campaign will yield a good return on investment as you already have a loyal audience here.”

What website pages interest them

On the behaviour report, you can see which pages are the most popular on your site and receive the most traffic. This is valuable to know particularly if you have an e-commerce site because you would want people to be visiting your “order now” page extremely regularly. In fact, you ideally want this page to be in the top five of most visited pages so that you know your site is performing the function that was intended for it. However, if you see – via the behaviour report – that the orders page is one of the least visited you can take corrective action to make sure that you increase the traffic to this page and stimulate orders.

How long are visitors staying

On the Audience Overview report, you will find bounce rate and average duration of visits:

  • The bounce rate refers to people who only visit one page on your site and do not navigate to other pages. It is concerning if this figure is high as this means that most of the visitors on your site do not engage with your content. Try some corrective measures to keep people on your site for longer by linking relevant pages together
  • Average duration of visit refers to the amount of time, on average, people spend your site. As opposed to the bounce rate the higher this number is, the better

This is just a bird’s eye view of the powerful information that Google Analytics provides. However, to really get to grips with what Google Analytics provides, it would be a good idea to do an SEO certificate. If you are looking for a Digital Marketing certificate that covers SEO and other aspects of Digital Marketing, then the Digital Marketing Course would be a good choice.

Digital School of Marketing is a proud Member of the NSBC.