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  • Writer's pictureSBDC @ JCC

Google Analytics - plug in to this powerful tool!

As a business owner do you ever wonder if your website is working for you? Your business website is not something you can set and forget.

Google has a free tool for all website owners called Google Analytics. Whether you have or have not heard about Google Analytics or “website analytics”, this article is for you. This overview will give you the go ahead to explore. Google Analytics is a tool that integrates with your website and tracks visitor traffic and interaction when someone visits your website.

Note: you will need a Google account to access the information - free and easy to create if you do not have one.

There are 4 main features of Google Analytics; Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, Conversions.

Audience is exactly what it means BUT as a business owner do you truly know who is interacting with your website? The only way to find out is to review your audience in Analytics. Do you know if your customers are male or female? Do you know the age of your customers? Reviewing your online audience will let you fine tune your marketing message and even where and how to spread that message.

Acquisition is how and where your customers are coming from. Are they coming to your website via social media? Through a Google search? Or even from other places on the web? Knowing where your audience is coming from can let you put your resources to work for you when reaching out to your Audience.

Behavior is the process visitors go through when visiting your website. What pages do they look at the most or the least? Do certain pages do better than others? How many people leave your website once they find it? Knowing visitor behavior can let you see what is working and not working on each page of your website. Does the page have relevant content? Is there a call to action? This screenshot from the analytics dummy account gives you an example of behavior flow through a website.

Conversions can tell you how effectively your paid ad campaigns are working. For example, how many people click your ad and come to your site? Once there, how many opt in for information? Conversions can also track ecommerce if you are selling products on your website.

Google offers free analytics training in the form of online modules for the new user to the experienced web veteran. These modules are a great resource when starting out. They help you to learn the dashboard and to give context to the information presented in each section and report. The new user module has some great how-to videos.

Google also offers an extensive analytics Help section. The Help section will give you guidance on getting started and managing your analytics account. You can give account access to other users, like staff or your website technician, and you can assign reporting tasks. The Help section also gives detailed information on performance metrics, and gives context to any of the numbers or figures presented in your reports.

My favorite analytics introduction is Google’s free analytics dummy account. This dummy account lets you get your hands dirty so to speak. Just sign in with a google account and start looking around. You cannot mess up any of the information. Get a feel for the dashboard- then start digging down into each of the 4 different sections; Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, Conversions. The best thing to do is click on a topic then click on the subtopics. Each section provides different metrics and website performance.

If you are interested in learning more about Google Analytics contact the Small Business Development Center at JCC. 716-338-1024.

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