Why Small Businesses Should be Using Google Analytics.

Knowledge is power. This is especially true when it comes to running a business online. The more you know about how your customers interact with and use your site, the better placed you are to make strategic decisions in order to grow your revenue and user base.

Even if you think you don’t have enough website traffic to bother with analytics, if you start to grow, you’ll wish you had previous data to learn from. At the very least, you would be wise to have analytics working in the background gathering information for when you are ready to use it. It costs nothing and only takes a few minutes to set up.

Why small businesses should be using Google Analytics

A lot of SMEs don’t realise the full potential of analytics because they think it only works for big websites. But this isn’t true. Google Analytics works just as well for a small business site and will give you useful insight into user growth over time.

In short, analytics is a must-have tool for small business owners.

What does Google Analytics do?

Google Analytics records each time a user visits your website and what they do while they are there. It breaks down information including referrals, browsers, operating systems, pages viewed per session etc.

What are 10 things you can do with Google analytics?

1. Discover how many people visit your site.

2. Identify where your traffic is coming from.

3. Find out which sources bring the most and least business.

4. Analyse monthly traffic to see how it changes over time.

5. See what types of products or services web users are looking at on your site.

6. Find out where your customers live and other identifiers such as age, income and status.

7. See which keywords your customers use to find you.

8. See how long people stay on your site and where they go when they leave.

9. Identify what browsers and operating systems your customers use to visit you.

10. See the results of marketing activity so that you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

 

The benefits of using Google Analytics are clear for small businesses who want to learn more about how their website is being used and use that information to grow their business.

Google Analytics gives you a fair bit of information on its own. Combined with Search Console, which is also free, you have a powerful tool that can be the equivalent of using a crystal ball.

How does Google Analytics work?

Google Analytics works by the use of a small snippet of code that is placed on every page of your website. Every time someone visits, that code sends a hit to analytics. That piece of code can be put directly into your website or via Google Tag Manager. Google tag manager is also a snippet of code but in this case, it is a container for several pieces of code.

Let’s have a look at those benefits in a bit more detail.

 

1. Discover how many people visit your site.

Use this information to improve your website and increase sales. Once you have been tracking information for a while, you will be able to calculate how many visitors you need per month to achieve your targets. You can then work out a cost/benefits analysis for how to generate that traffic through Search Engine Marketing.

2. Identify where your traffic is coming from.

Every source of traffic to your site is important. It’s a great idea to have a mixture of organic and paid traffic, as well as a mix of sources such as email marketing and social media promotion.

Once you know where your visitors are coming from you can prioritise them accordingly. If one source is significantly low, it may be an opportunity to improve it. If another source is particularly high, you can focus on this area to maximise your return on investment (ROI). If you are not using paid advertising, yet, you can start being effective at a faster rate when you have data than when you start blind.

3. Find out which sources bring the most and least business.

If you haven’t optimised your website at all, you may have very low traffic that only comes when people type in your website address. For most businesses that attract visitors, the traffic will come from a variety of sources including, clicks from emails, social media, search engines (including Google) and links from other sites (referrals). You will be able to identify these through Google Analytics and see how effective those sources are.

This will help you to optimise future efforts which means more potential customers and increased sales and profits.

4. Analyse monthly traffic to see how it changes over time.

This is a great way to see if you can improve your site even further by looking at how things change month on month. For example, in the screenshot above it is clear that traffic fluctuates each month which means this business needs to have multiple ways of getting new customers in order to keep sales consistent throughout the year. You may see natural fluctuations that are typical in your industry but often these ups and downs are a sign of ‘feast and famine’ marketing. By that I mean, traffic goes up and you are busy and when that busy period drops, you start marketing again to increase enquiries. A sustainable business that you can trust requires consistent numbers.

5. See what types of products or services web users are looking at on your site.

Ideally, your site is structured with each page dedicated to an individual product or service. This enables you to see quite easy what visitors are interested in. Not only can you see the pages they visit, but you can also see how long they spend on the page and with a bit more set up in Tag Manager, you can how they interact – what they click on.

This information will help you make decisions for your website. When you understand where your customers are not converting during their user experience, you can make necessary changes.

For example, if people are looking at a page often but leaving the page quickly, you may need to examine that page and see if you can do something to improve the user experience.

It’s one thing to attract traffic but once your visitors are there, you want them to take action and move towards becoming paying customers.

6. Find out where your customers live and other identifiers such as age, income and status.

After you set up your Google Tag Manager code on the website, you will start gathering information about where your customers live. You can see whether they are in a certain city, state or country

You will also be able to get a feel for what age group and demographic they fit into, their income level and social status. This becomes more important once you start using paid marketing tactics so that you can target or exclude certain audience segments.

7. See which keywords your customers use to find you.

Whether paid or organic, your visitors are using keywords to find you. It is useful to know which keywords result in a click to your site and perhaps, more importantly, you can identify which keywords are not finding your website so that you can optimise for them.

When you see which keywords are being used to find your business, you can also begin to look at the competition. How many other advertisers are optimising or bidding on that same keyword? You can adjust your bids or content so that you rank higher than them and therefore get a larger share of traffic from these keywords.

 

8. See how long people stay on your pages and where they go when they leave.

The length of time that visitors stay on a page is a good indication of how interested they are. It doesn’t tell the whole story. Someone may open a page, see the information they need, such as a phone number, and then leave. In general if a bounce rate is high with low page time duration, you can assume that your content is not holding them. By looking at where people land and leave your site, you can see what sections are not engaging visitors.

You can also use Google Analytics to see how far people scroll down on your page. If the top of the page is getting a lot of attention but people aren’t scrolling down much further, you know that they have found what they are looking for.

9. Identify what browsers and devices your customers use to visit you.

Knowing which browsers and devices your visitors use is important for a number of reasons:

You can ensure that your website is compatible with the most popular browsers and devices. Have you looked at your website on a variety of devices and browsers? You may be shocked to find your website does not appear as you thought.

The first benefit is that you can make sure that your sites function properly under different conditions. Secondly, if you start paying for ads, you will be able to adjust your bids based on quality of traffic from different devices.

10. See the results of marketing activity so that you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Unless you can measure your marketing, you will never know whether you are wasting money or not. When you sell online, it’s easy to to measure as a conversion equals a sale. When your goal is more website visitors it’s harder to know whether they convert to a sale. An impression of how busy you are is usually used to judge. With Google Analytics, although you may not be able to see the final result of a visit, you can measure how engaged people are so that you know where money is best spent. With clever use of events in Tag Manager, you can track the different stages in the customer journey so that you can at least make judgements relative to different, keywords, events and demographic markers so that you direct your budget to where it works.

In summary, Google Analytics is a free website analysis tool that can tell you many aspects of how your website is doing. It doesn’t matter if your product or service is a physical one or a digital one, Google Analytics can still provide insights with regards to marketing and advertising. Make it a priority to add it to your website so that it can start collecting data ready for when you need it.

Attract - Engage - Convert

Profile page picture

Learn How to Grow Your Local Business with Digital Marketing Strategies that Drive Traffic to Your Website.

Training and Support.

Target Marketing

Target Marketing

The Importance of Knowing Your Target Market. Aligning your brand and your offers with your target market ensures more consistent success.When you understand the importance of knowing your target market, you can align your business with the ideals of the customer. For...

read more
Think Small for More Effective Marketing.

Think Small for More Effective Marketing.

Think Small For More Effective Marketing. You don't need to conquer the world - just your town. If you find marketing overwhelming, it's time to think smaller for more effective marketing. Social media is overwhelming. If you follow the advice online, you would spend...

read more