Keep An Eye On Your Website
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Every business needs a website. That goes without saying, but what you also need is Google Analytics. This free tool from Google has so much information that can help you design your website to focus on what people want as well as maximize your marketing. All you need to take advantage of this tool is a Google account. Some owners just don’t care about the numbers since they feel they don’t get any business from their website. Not you though. You care, but you may need some help finding the information you need.
Where are they coming from?
I’m sure everyone has heard the phrase “If you build it, they will come.” But where are they coming from? And who are they? “They” are your users, your future customers. Google Analytics (GA) allows you to see exactly how people are finding your website. It keeps track of organic searches, which means they just typed your industry plus a location. For example, if they do a search for a bakery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Users could be coming to your site because they have heard of your company or were given a recommendation. This means they will have done a direct search where they typed in your specific URL. Maybe they came to your site as a result of an ad. They saw it and clicked to get to you. This is a referral, and getting this information from Google Analytics will tell you which ad is having the most traffic and doing you the most good.
Social media is another BIG way that users will find your company site. Now I know what you are thinking. There is no reason for businesses to use social media and it’s a waste of time. Wrong, there is EVERY reason for businesses to harness the power of social media. You have heard of videos going viral right? The same can happen with a business. By doing regular posts to a variety of social media platforms, you are giving more and more people the ability to click and find your website. You can also use your tracking (Google Analytics) to see if they are coming from social media.
What are they doing while on my site?
To make sure you are convincing people to purchase from you, you need to know what they are looking at when they are on your website. GA will give you an easy to read flow chart that shows the path users are taking when they go through your site. From your home page, to your services, to your contact page, every step is shown. You will also learn which is your most common exit page. Now your exit page is just what the name says. It’s the last page a user looks at before they leave. You can use this to make moving from one page to another easier, keeping your future customer’s attention longer. The longer they look and spend time on your site, the more likely you will have a conversion (we will get to that in a little bit).
Why are they leaving?
One important thing that GA will give you is your bounce rate. Now we have talked about bounce rates before but we will go over it again briefly. A bounce rate is the number of people that came to your site and leave after only viewing the home page. They didn’t go to any other page. The lower your bounce rate, the better. It means that people are more interested in what they see and they want to learn more. If you have a high bounce rate, you probably should look at having a website make-over because what you have is just not working. Your bounce rate numbers will also tell you how many of those people are new to your site and how many are returning users.
Are they doing what you want them to?
The purpose of a website is to get the users to do something while they are there. It could be that you want them to buy something, sign up for a newsletter, or request a quote. Whatever it is you want them to do is called a call to action (CTA). We talked about CTAs previously and your conversion rate is how many people did what you wanted them to do. Google Analytics can help you set up your goals for each CTA so that you can see which ones people are doing. If you have low conversion numbers, you need to rethink your strategy for getting them to do the action.
Using Google Analytics can get overwhelming with how much information it shows, but take a deep breath and stay calm. Take each section one at a time. You will be amazed at how much it really tells you about your marketing and how to focus it to get more customers. The fact that this reporting tool is free makes it all the more valuable. It just makes sense to use every tool you can to make your site and your ads work for you.