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What is Google Analytics, Who is it for, and How Can it Help?

Google Analytics might seem like a drop in the bucket when you’re faced by the twenty-something apps available under the ‘My Account’ page in your Google dashboard, but I’m sure it will fast become your new BFF if you take the time to get familiar.

So let’s start at the top.

What is Google Analytics?

In a nutshell, Google Analytics is a free tool offered by Google that provides insights into the origin and behaviors of your visitors, the usability of your website, and the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. It does this by tracking visitors’ activity from the moment they enter a keyword search term all the way through conversion.

You may want to visit this video tour for a concise visual presentation.

Who is it for?

While it may seem (at least at first glance) that the Google Analytics dashboard is meant exclusive for expert marketing professionals, the platform was in fact designed with the layperson in mind, and can benefit anyone that has a web presence: from executives, to marketers, to programmers/designers/developers, to private website owners.

How can it help?

  • Are you attracting the right audience? Google Analytics can tell you how visitors find your site and what they do while browsing it (which pages they visit, how long they spend on any given page, what site-searches they perform, etc). This information can help you gain a better understanding of the type of audience your website is attracting and compare it with your marketing research and targets. You may find that you’re off, or you may realize there’s a whole group of users you've neglected to consider and adjust your plan accordingly.
  • Are you targeting the right keywords? Google Analytics can also tell you which keywords a visitor had searched to find your website, and by following their behavior thereafter you can assess the effectiveness of the keywords targeted in your SEO efforts. Are you getting a high bounce-rate on certain pages, suggesting that surfers are misled into following the link but ultimately find the page irrelevant? While bounce-rate is not always an accurate measure, it can certainly indicate a possible problem.
  • Are there knotty points in your site’s architecture? Sometimes functional sites can have instances that, for one reason or another, users find frustrating. It might be the layout, the number of mouse-clicks required to reach the desired information, etc.

    By monitoring how users behave while visiting your site—where they come in, what they do, how long they stay, and where they exit—and by looking out for discrepancies between an action you would have expected them to take and the action they end up taking, you can find possible evidence of such troublesome areas.

  • How effectively are you guiding visitors through specific actions? Another advantage of tracking visitors’ behavior is the ability to evaluate how effectively they go through any given conversion process—like signing up to a newsletter or downloading a whitepaper. If visitors don’t complete the process, you can see where they drop out and thereby zone-in on the problem.
  • Which channels account for the bulk of your traffic? Ads, keywords, search engines, emails—Google Analytics tracks all of them and lets you know just how many leads you got via each and every channel, so that you may calculate your ROI in no uncertain terms.
  • Which of your advertising campaigns are the most profitable? Email campaigns, banner ads, offline ads—again, by using Google Analytics you’ll be able to gain valuable insights and start making informed decisions instead of educated guesses.
  • Adwords Integration. Adwords users in particular will find Google Analytics a blessing. You’ll be able to see exactly how well each of your ads performs, which are the most effective keywords, and more.

These are just a few highlights, but I'm sure by now you can start seeing what a powerful tool Google Analytics can be. And best of all—it’s absolutely FREE.

To learn more, check out the full list of features.

  1. How to Use Phone Number and Call Tracking with Google Analytics Integration Video
  2. Know Your Leads: A Look at How Call Stats Can Help Improve Your Marketing Performance
  3. Beyond Lead Generation: The Importance of Nurturing New Leads
  4. 5 Tips to Help You Effectively Use Landing Pages to Generate More Qualified Leads

posted by Maty Grosman @ 11:24 AM