Google Analytics advice from our Donegal based office

Information is Power – the Internet allows us access to information at the touch of a button, whilst mobile has ensured that we can have that button on the go. And ‘Cloud Computing’ allows us store or retrieve information, from anywhere. In Donegal, we manage websites for businesses all over Ireland. Using ‘Google Analytics’ helps us see how any changes affect the website, for better or worse.

Businesses need to analyse online activity, by recording it, studying it and tweaking the offering based on the tell tale signs offered by visitors. Customers will tell you what

MeanIT Google Analyticsthey like, if you can attract them to your website, then engage them, drive them to your offering, convince them to buy once and then retain them as ongoing buyers, thereby creating recurring income.

Larry Page or Sergei Brin or even Avinash Kaushik of Occams Razor, these well known experts in data, will tell you all about Data. Big Data, Quantititive or Qualititive analytics, where visitors come from or how to encourage ‘Digital Engagement’, but it can get confusing very quickly.
So make it easier by getting to understand what is important to your customer and therefore to your business. How? Just ask customers what they want. That is the only data you really need – what does the customer want and can we deliver it well. After that, you can have someone study the data and tweak the web presence or product offering based on site activity. However, asking the customer is the shortest way to a sure conclusion. Use the data as a double check. Make the experience simple, tweak the actions, improve the functionality, avoid annoying your customers and continually improve every single process. Measure, Report, Analyse, Test and Improve.

Write down Objectives, Tactics/Strategies, KPIs, Segments and Targets.

Ours objectives for example include:
Objective
– Help Businesses grow, using the Internet by partnering for a long term relationship to make their web presence engaging for ther target markets.
Strategy – 1. Create a web presence as a tool and offer to support clients or actually help manage and continually grow and improve it
Tactics – Create a website to promote online lead generation or use Referral or Word Of Mouth Marketing. Or create a Blog to engage the audience
KPIs – ‘Key Performance Indicators’ can be the number of visitors to the website, number of sales made or enquiry forms completed, downloads made, Newsletter or Blog signups – Shares and revisits or Request for a Quote
Marketing channel segments – Advertising in Google Ads, Facebook or Facebook Ads, Linkedin etc

Define the marketing, plan, discuss the IT infrastructure, draw up the implementation plan and set up, then refine it continually.

It is important to determine where customers come from – are we to create “Awareness” on the web or is it a “Learn” arena where potential customers do come to the site to learn, in which case we need to focus on delivering and optimising for this. Or is it on the selling that we need to focus our attention, on the conversion or the checkout process. Plan your Micros like Newsletter or Signup and Macros as in conversions like Buy or Get a Quote, each planned step along the way towards a final transaction. Imagine someone walks in the door of your shop, how do you engage and help that visitor to buy something – same idea on the web.

Use ‘Filters’ to remove certain sectors or urls to help improve the real results. It is usually NOT a numbers game, so try to get people who represent a good chance of becoming buyers. Reduce the ‘Bounce Rate’ where people land on your website and then leave immediately. It is not normally a numbers game. So avoid marketers who tell you they can increase your visitor numbers. Listen to the ones who say that will increase the sales numbers. That is what is important.

Goals on Google, within Analytics Dashboard:

Use Goals to:
1. Document Business Objectives
2. Identify Strategies & Tactics
3. Choose KPIs
4. Choose segments
5. Choose Targets

Goal Types include 4 options normally, as in:
Destination ie. particular page like Thank You or Checkout
Duration on site and on page 3 or 4 mins
Pages/Screens per visit as in 3 or 4 ,
Event as in download a doc or watch a video.

Set your ‘Goals’ to see if visitors do what you want or identify where they get off track. Set up ‘Funnels’ to identify what steps they should take.

Use ‘Campaign Tags’ to identify Traffic sources such as email, newsletter campaign or in Keyword or Content of an email or newsletter. Link Tagging helps you really pinpoint what is working for you.

Conclusion: If this is sounding like work – it is and therefore decide now, whether to master the process and do the work yourself OR outsource the work to someone who does it for a living.
Remember; Set ‘Goals’ for the person responsible and review them monthly. Pay to play, but expect to make a profit within months. Make sure anyone you hire is qualified, experienced, has a proven track record, has verifiable Testimonials and wants to work with you. This will reduce the number of possibles to single digits. Talk to us if you want recommendations.

Google Analytics for your website – Technically, What you want to know, a basic simple overview of a technically brilliant tool

First off, every website should have a snippet of code, the Google analytics code, added that will then track the performance of the website. The snippet of ‘Javascript’ code is freely given by Google and is inserted in to the head of your website, in the html code. Nothing very technical and no real expense. You can even use a plugin on your website where you paste the code. You do need to have a Google account associated with the website. Then, to get started go here. You can visit and click on ‘Sign in to Google Analytics’ in the right hand upper corner.

The code is uniquely identifiable as your website code. It has a number like UA -1234567. The original analytics tool was “Urchin Analytics” or UA which was taken over by Google.

By adding the code, you can then look at a free dashboard or a free report from Google. This tells you how many visitors your site gets and where the visitors are located. It tells you how many are returning visitors, how many pages on average they look at, how long they spend on the site and some of the pages they visit. What age, gender and nationality, even the type of device they used to access the website.

And it gives the ‘Bounce Rate’ which is the percentage of visitors who land on a page of your website and then leave, without reading another page or engaging with you. Imagine people walking in the door of your shop and leaving again immediately. Some sites have a very high bounce rate, but that is not necessarily bad. This site gets a lot of visitors, who land on one page and read the article, then leave, having gotten what they wanted. If I search for local Pizza suppliers, I might get their home page, see the telephone number and leave as soon as I get it. So, a high bounce rate could be to expected in some cases. It would be normal to try to get visitors to stay longer and to engage by buying something or making an enquiry. The insights you get from Google Analytics help you to refine the content in the website to improve ux or user experience and their engagement with you.

Determine Intent – Nowadays, it is all about ‘intent’, what does the visitor actually want when they get to your website and which words should you optimise for, based on typical visitor intent. If you own a Pizza Takeaway, should you have Pizza recipes on the website or do visitors just want to buy Pizza for delivery as convenience food. We write a lot of articles about SEO, but most readers of our articles do not want to engage our agency, they just want to learn more about SEO. Therefore perhaps we should not create these articles. However, we are happy to share whatever we know or learn. Every business is different. Once you understand the intent you can ensure that your content satisfies that want or need, whether it is informational or transactional intent.

The main thing is not that you know how to add this snippet of code, but rather that you ensure that someone inserts it and that someone is looking at the figures on the report. You can even set up custom reports. This is how you analyse your website performance, as you continually strive to make it rank and perform better. The data in your reports will help you see how you are doing. Having the code in your site will also allow Google quantify what people search for within your own website search box function.

Ready to get started yourself, ready to learn how – click here  Google Analytics offers a treasure trove of useful information and helps you generate more leads. Google wants you to be successful so that you advertise with them and so that people browsing can find what they want to find.
Or contact us if you want some help.

 

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Google Analytics Donegal Perspective

by Michael MacGinty time to read: 7 min
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