Reviewing is an essential part of day-to-day business management. You review your team with appraisals and your finances with balance sheets, so why not review your website performance? Google Analytics is a free and easy to use online service that allows you to access information about the visitors on your website. The insight is powerful and gives you access to a wide range of behavioural and technical detail about your website users. Having the awareness of how people use your site is increasingly important in the digital age as it has become second nature to search online to find out about a business or solve a problem.
Which pages are popular?
Google Analytics allows you to find out what the most and least popular pages of your website are. This gives an indication of what your visitors primarily require and services or information they are most interested in. There are also statistics that indicate how long users spend on each page. These are especially useful for finding out whether your visitors are engaged with your pages, or if they leave your site quickly, which may show that your content is not relevant or not useful.
Who are your visitors?
You can also view detailed data about who your website visitors are. The starting place is location - attributable to countries and cities all over the world and viewable on a heat map or itemised. For businesses, having knowledge of this information can help identify where your audience is based or where you need to focus your marketing efforts. Detailed information on audience demographics is also available. This includes their age, interests (such as 'business professionals' and 'sports') and gender. The information gathered here is automatically collected using website 'cookies' and is sorted by Google so you don't have to categorise any visitors.
Where do your visitors come from?
How people find your website is one of the most important indicators of how well you are marketing your site, and a breakdown of this is included within Google Analytics. Primarily, your website should be receiving visitors from search engines and organic traffic (individuals simply entering your website address). Data from search traffic allows you to trace the search terms that were used to find your website. If you are running campaigns, you can also see a breakdown of social media, email, and paid advertising (for example Google AdWords) and their impact on your visitor statistics.
Using Google Analytics for your reporting doesn't necessarily mean daunting numbers or committing hours to data analysis. With no professional training required, it's accessible and useful to all. For those that prefer a visual representation, graphs and charts depict the data for quick and simple access to the information. Data can also be easily compared to specific time periods to allow you to monitor the impact that marketing and seasonality has on your website visitors.
For more information and to sign up to this free service, visit www.google.com/analytics