Using Google Analytics to Improve your Website
Do you monitor your website to ensure you are getting the best results?
Do you know how many visitors your site is getting? How long are they staying? Which pages are most popular?
Like other areas of your business, where you monitor them regularly to make improvements, your website is exactly the same. We all know that websites should be updated regularly, both from a technical and content perspective, but how do you what you need to change or add?
To really make the most of your investment, your website should be continually monitored using an analytics software. As a Google Partner, we recommend Google Analytics and install it as standard on all the websites we build.
A client of ours had never checked their Analytics and until we looked at it with them recently, they didn’t realise that no one had ever clicked on another page, beyond the home page!
Google Analytics enables you to gather and monitor many important figures about the visitors to your website, including:
- Number of sessions, users, page views and number of pages per visit
- Bounce rate
- New vs. returning customers
- Acquisition – where do your visitors come from? (e.g. organic search, direct, referral site, social media etc)
- What devices is your site mainly viewed on?
- Most viewed pages and landing pages
These are just the highlights, as there is a lot of data that Google Analytics collates, which you can delve into on many levels on a page-by-page basis. In fact, the breadth of data that is available on Google Analytics can be quite daunting to those that are unfamiliar with it, as it can be hard to pick out what is relevant to you and your site.
So here are just a few of the simpler ways that you can use the data to make improvements to your website.
The higher the bounce rate, the higher the percentage of people that have only visited one page of your site and then exited. Take a look at the pages on your site that have a high bounce rate, then evaluate the page’s content to see if it needs to be more engaging or encourage an action.
Knowing where your traffic comes from will help you to plan your marketing budget. You can compare how much traffic is coming from any paid advertising (such as AdWords) versus organic results, and see if any money spent on social media is effective.
Using the ‘behaviour flow’ feature, you can follow a user’s journey through your website, page by page. At the point they choose to exit your site, you can take a look at that page to see what improvements may need to be made.
Desktop vs Mobile
Google Analytics provides important data on what percentage of traffic views your site on desktop, tablet or mobile devices. All sites should now be responsive as standard for easy browsing on any device, but if you are experiencing a high bounce rate on tablet or mobile, you know that some improvements need to be made.
The pages with the highest number of sessions indicate which content your visitors find most useful, so produce more of the same. From that page, you can link to other content that may interest them, to try to up-sell your products/services. You can also use this information to create new pages with a similar style and format to try to attract more visitors.
As mentioned above, the extensive data that is available can be quite overwhelming for someone new to Google Analytics. Each individual business and its goals will require different analysis of the data, so it is helpful to get an expert to take a look for you.
Hyphen offers monthly Google Analytics reports, tailored to your business’s goals, so please contact us for more information.
Until next time,