Google Analytics has become the main analytics programme used by most organisations. Based on a programme created by the company Urchin, that was acquired by Google, this analytics package provides a wealth of data.
Used well, analytics can tell you more about visitors to your website, their behaviour and your best performing content. But with so much information available, understanding what to prioritise and what data is most important can be time-consuming.
Here are five reports within Analytics that every business owner needs to understand their website’s performance.
Google Analytics essential report #1 The total number of visitors
One of the key reports is visitor numbers. How big is your audience in its rawest form? Assessing this single figure over time tells you whether your reach is growing and whether it is in keeping with your expectations based on marketing activity.
- Google splits this into new and returning visitors, so those using cookies are recognised and noted as returning visitors.
- Typically in a B2B environment, getting 1,500 to 2,500 visitors per month, for a regular website, is usual.
- Where a shop is available, in a B2C website, the numbers increase significantly. You’d expect at least 5,000 per month.
Google Analytics essential report #2 Where are your visitors coming from?
The source of visitors tells you what’s working. Whether that’s social media spaces or referral sites or organic search, understanding how visitors find your website is a key factor.
Viewing traffic source reports allows you to split that audience down to the source. Is it paid traffic? Organic search? Social media? Referring websites?
This gives you a clearer picture of which channels are performing the best for you and ensures you focus efforts where needed.
Google Analytics essential report #3 Your website conversion rate
Conversions represent different activities for different organisations. For B2B where it’s about having a conversation, a conversion may not be adding an item to a shopping cart, it might include
- Filling in a form
- Clicking on the contact us page
- Downloading a white paper
- Subscribing to an email list
- Registering for more details.
One way to track these conversions is to add to your Google Goals list. This shows Google when you’re achieving your goals.
If you’re in a B2C environment, this could be as simple as adding an item to a shopping cart, but could also include:
- Subscribing to a newsletter
- Registering for an event
- Sharing your email details.
When your goal has been agreed and whether this is to get your visitors to make a purchase, submit an enquiry or sign up for a newsletter, you can measure this easily within Google Analytics.
Understanding your conversion rate, or the percentage of visitors who perform this action, enables you to more accurately make projects about your likely leads, sales or sign ups as the result of your marketing activity.
Google Analytics essential report #4 The devices your audience use
You can see easily in Google Analytics which type of devices your audience is using. In its simplest form, this is broken down into device type (desktop, tablet or smartphone). But you can dig even further and find out the specific handsets your users are browsing on as well as the operating system.
This can help you to ensure that your site is working on the most important devices and help you to tailor your marketing, your target channels and your content to those users.
Google Analytics essential report #5 Which content are users landing on?
So, let’s imagine that your traffic doubles and your sales double too. Great news! But which pages are driving that increase in traffic and what content is it that is converting those customers? With the landing page report, you can see how many people have landed on each page, but also the conversion rate of that content. This is a useful report that can easily be turned into actionable insight, allowing you to invest in the types of content that are most effective.
Spending time familiarising yourself with these reports is a great starting point with Google Analytics, a powerful platform for understanding your website’s performance.