Have you ever been traveling abroad and asked directions using your tourist-level vocabulary, only to get a rapidly-spoken reply you were not quite able to understand?
Unfortunately, not many busy professionals have time to keep up with all the new technological advancements recently taking place in the marketing world. So we are launching a new tone of posts aimed at educating business owners and traditional marketing professionals about today’s best digital tactics.
“What is Google Analytics?”
Last week, John had the opportunity to meet real estate professionals at the Ohio Housing Conference and tell them about how we have helped our clients in the rental industry. While he was speaking, he used an example of how website traffic improved as shown by Google Analytics. We use Google Analytics to analyze website performance results from our campaigns and establish a baseline of site user behavior for our clients.
“What is Google Analytics?” was the immediate response.
Many members in the crowd shared the same question. If you could be counted among them, you’re in the right place. Read on for an introduction to Google Analytics and how it can help your business.
What You Need to Know About Google Analytics
1. What is it?
Ever heard of software as a service (SaaS)? Google Analytics is a software that can be used to view how users interact with your website. It aggregates an enormous number of data points that are compiled into statistics in dashboard views.
2. Is it free?
Yes. You could also think of it as a freemium model – there is a paid option available for increased functionality. However, it’s not a gimmick! You could go on forever using the free version and still get a bunch of valuable information.
3. What’s the catch, then?
It is true that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Google does get a peek at all that anonimized information on how your site visitors behave (time of day, how they travel through, how they got there, and so on).
4. How do I put it on my site?
There is an easy-to-understand tutorial on Google’s site, but it does involve copying and pasting code into your website template. You’ll need access to the server or CMS for that.
The page linked above is a launching point to a three-step process. There are more intermediary steps, but if you gather all the information you need beforehand, it shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes.
5. What are some more benefits of integrating this into our marketing efforts?
Google Analytics is much more than a glorified traffic counter. For example, it allows you to track geographic interest in your company. Expanding firms can use this to find new areas to target in marketing campaigns and even brick-and-mortar location expansion opportunities.
You can also find out where your online marketing dollars have the highest ROI (paid advertisements, email, videos, etc.). Find the tone and types of content your target audience likes best. Add conversion tracking to key actions on your site to follow and better fuel the sales funnel.
I could go on, and on, and on…but here are some tools to help you research the areas in which you are most interested:
- Check out this interface map for a guide on navigating the system. The good thing is, Google is pretty conscientious when designing products, so it’s an intuitive system to use.
- Investigate anything you’ll ever need to know about Analytics, from basics to pro-level tips, on KISSMetrics’ list of 50 resources.
- Need some more help? Give us a call! We can help you implement Analytics, get more out of your monthly reporting or fine-tune your digital strategy.