google analytics audience

How to Start Using Google Analytics

google analytics audience

Google Analytics is a really useful reporting tool, however without knowing what it is you are looking at it can appear a confusing array of confusing graphs.

So before we plough into Google Analytics there are three steps you should take to understand what it is the data is showing you.

It’s not good enough to just measure something, you should measure something against a baseline or a sample. So before you dive into any analytics investigations it is vital you know what it is you should be looking at and what you are measuring with your web data.

To begin the process you first need to start with your website and ignore all the stats. You have to understand and have three elements NAILED before you start to track your data and check it regularly.

1) As with any marketing you start with MARKET
Knowing your ideal audience/customer/target/prospect whatever you call them is step number one. You should have a VERY good idea of who these people but also which pages apply or suit each customer type. Not all your pages will be perfect for each customer type but if you have an idea of which is the best for each customer type then you can start to decide how well it is at converting that customer type into business.

If you have multiple pages or many products then you have to find those pages which are most popular and seek to understand why (more on this below).

2) Each page should only have ONE call to action
The page should lead the visitor into a funnel and it should do so smoothly and for a congruent reason that matches the visitors reason for visiting. Not FIVE calls to action, not 3 different offers, ONE. If you put your customers in a “room” and offer them a dozen different doors to leave then you reduce the likelihood that they will leave through the exit marked “Sales” or “Sign up”, so remove distractions especially SOCIAL MEDIA, they are not there to follow you on Facebook they are there to sign up and buy so encourage them to do this by putting in very clear exit signs of where they go next.

3) Understand the visitors journey from before they arrive at your website
Why are they “googling” the search term, what is their INTENT and why are they seeking the answers you could provide? Also understand what the journey is once they are on your website, which pages they visit and how they move through your website. Google Analytics can help you here, so look at:

Audience > Users Flow = how users move through your website
Acquisition > Search Console > Landing Pages = main landing pages visitors arrive at your website on
Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals = other websites sending your website traffic

TOP TIP: Set the date range to the last three months – not the last month.
You want to track THE TREND, looking at one month is not helpful as it is a snapshot and doesn’t give you any understanding of the month on month trend. If your trend is downward then you can look at the data and see what is happening but if you just look at the month’s data you have no way to compare what is happening month to month.

There are some issues with these Google Analytics data sets, for instance “Search Console” (Formerly Google Webmaster Tools) has to be set up and that’s not straight forward. Referrals is probably full of crap sites sending you spam traffic that you should be filtering (again not easy to do). However it is important that you are looking at the data and seeing the trends.

Takeaway
Once you have the ideal customer, their journey and the way they are using your website is understood and written down you can then start to plan what you are going to measure and how you will ensure you track these data points.

If you want someone knowledgeable to look at your data then get in touch and our expert team will review your data and give you insights into your overall visitor trend. CallĀ 01420 398080

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About Stuart Morrison

Stu Morrison's background in marketing, entertainment and web development has fused him into a guy thirsty for results in marketing. His regular talks on marketing and web conversion help others to gain more revenue from their websites. He also has a big moustache.