Nowadays, having a website is just as important as getting business cards printed when you first start your business. More important than just HAVING a website is getting people to visit and interact with your site. What? Not only do you have to build it, but now you have to get people to interact with it too? “Well, just exactly how do you do that?” You may well ask.
That is a loaded question, but one of the easier answers is to find out if what you offer on your site is appealing to the audience you want to attract. You won’t really know until they (your audience) tells you. One way is to survey them. Another easy and free method is to review and measure what they do when they come to your website using Google Analytics.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a free service from the search engine gods –Google themselves. It generates extensive and sometimes complicated-looking metrics and statistics for your website. These figures teach you how to better optimize YOUR website so that Google can go out to the web and say “Hey! This website has what you (your audience) is looking for.”
Think of it this way. You have a potential client who wants to purchase green ballet shoes. You sell green ballet shoes. So you put on your product page that these are green ballet shoes. Then, when your potential customer goes to Google to search for a place that sells green ballet shoes, your site will come up in the search results. Easy, right?
OK, slow your roll, because you may not be the only place selling green ballet shoes. Your potential customer may be presented with several choices of where to purchase those shoes. Maybe they visit other websites, but do not purchase. Then, they visit your site and see that you have EXACTLY what they want and purchase. Success!!
Use Google Analytics to Find Out More than Just the Purchase Amount
These are the questions that can be answered by using Google Analytics. If you want or need these numbers to help you figure out what content to work on for your site, Google Analytics gives it to you.
- Did they purchase on the first visit? Second?
- Did they hang out on your site, just looking around and then purchase?
- Did they buy something else in addition to the green ballet shoes that increased their total purchase amount?
- What pages did they visit?
- What page did they use to first enter your site?
Staying on top of your website’s performance as a lead capturing and commerce-generating part of your organization is crucial to your business’ success. Just building the website and launching it is definitely not enough, you have to know how it is performing so that you’ll know how to tweak it to get better results.
It doesn’t matter if you are selling products or services or you are creating blog posts to attract visitors for your advertisers, knowing how people found and interact with your website will put you way ahead of your competitors.
Here’s a list of just some of the information you can learn from Google Analytics:
- How do people find my site?
- What posts of pages do visitors like visit the most?
- What is the page or post where the majority of readers enter my site?
- What browsers do my visitors use the most?
- How much of my site traffic is coming from mobile users?
- Which social media platforms are sending me the most traffic?
- Which keywords help sell the most products?
- Are people in other countries visiting my website?
How to set up Google Analytics on WordPress
Now that you know how valuable Google Analytics is to your business, let’s talk about how to get it on your website. That’s easy, just download and install one of several SEO plugins that use Google Analytics. I use All In One SEO. It works great, gives me the details that I’m looking for and its simple to install and set up.
There are also some great tutorials on the web about how to set up and configure Google Analytics for your particular website.
Google, who also owns YouTube, has a wealth of information in the form of both articles and videos on their site. It can be a little overwhelming, but they keep the videos short and interesting. Let’s face it, SEO isn’t exciting, but it is necessary. The exciting part is when you start seeing all your hard work start to pay off.
KISSMetrics also has an awesome webinar that details the most necessary things you need to know about Google Analytics, what reports you need to pay attention to and how to set up some pretty neat reports. You’ll have to register for the webinar, but its well worth your time. Register for the webinar.
Now you have some tips on why setting up Google Analytics is crucial to the continued success of your website.