How To Use Google Analytics

Google Analytics for Small Business 101

Many of us understand that using Google Analytics to understand how our marketing efforts are performing can be a key to unlocking future success. Even so many people are put off by the incredible immensity of the data facing them. You might want to start by answering the right questions: what are my goals, and what do I need to know to achieve them. Google Analytics can indeed be a perplexing mountain of data to decipher, and without having a game plan you can get lost very easily. Let's take a look at some ways to recognize which metrics to track, and ways to use Analytics to your best advantage.

Understanding which metrics you need

While each business will present somewhat different needs, the more useful common needs follow.

  • Total visits - Discovering how many visitors you get is a basic measurement of success, assuming they are targeted visitors. Examine both "unique" (first time) visitors, and total visits, which includes returnees.
  • Keyword phrases - Understanding which keyword phrases are driving traffic to your page is paramount. This data will help you know how to target your primary and secondary keywords.
  • Popular pages - Which of your pages are getting the most notice, and which aren't!
  • Visitors geo-location - Which countries are generating the most traffic for you?
  • Referring pages - Which pages are sending you the most traffic? This could be from any number of sources, including affiliates, video, images, social media and more.
  • Search engine traffic - Which search engines are delivering the most visitors.

Use these advanced Google Analytics features to help you sort the data

Three beneficial advanced features are very useful when processing and understanding this information.

Custom reports will provide you with the power to create a version of Google Analytics just for you. You are able to pick the data that's important to you, and organize it any way you like.

Advanced segmenting will let you sort traffic into segments that highlight your data, such as segmenting out mobile or tablet traffic.

Intelligence events is akin to Google Alerts, and sends a you an email or text to your mobile device when anything out of the ordinary happens on your site, such as a spike in traffic, either up or down.

Yes, Google Analytics is a LOT of data. And yes, you can make it work for you, with just a little effort!

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