Who’s In The Store? Tips For Using Google Analytics
Brick-and-mortar stores still have one seeming advantage over digital shops–all a store-owner has to do to see his customers is look up. But the internet is a dark and anonymous place, allowing your potential customers to slip in and out of your site unseen. Right?
Plenty of sites offer user tracking, and of those, Google Analytics stands out as the most popular… and for good reason. It’s powerful, it’s simple, and best of all… it’s free. With just a few clicks, you can know who’s on your site, where they came from, what they looked at, how long they stayed, and more. In other words, Google just gave you the ability to look up and see who’s in the store.
Getting started with Google Analytics is a simple process, assuming you have access to your site’s HTML code and don’t mind creating a Google account (which, let’s face it, most of you probably already have). To start, you’ll need to create a Google Analytics Property (instructions can be found here).
Then, insert the Google Analytics HTML code fragment into your site’s HTML. Instructions for that step can be found here.
Give the code a few days to start gathering data, and you’re off to the races!
Mining Your Data
Once your data is being collected and you’ve logged into your Analytics account, there’s now a whole new world of data to explore. And yes, I realize my level of excitement about data is generally reserved for librarians and sociologists, but trust me, once you see what these numbers can do for your site, you’ll be excited too.
From the main page, you can explore everything from the demographics of your users, which of your site’s pages is the most popular, how users are finding you (hint: you’ll probably see a lot of mobile Facebook here), and more. You can identify how long users are spending on a particular page. Check the “bounce rate” to see how many are finding your site only to instantly “bounce” away without doing anything.
We could write entire novels about how to mine and use the data here. And maybe we will one day—starring me as the sexy but dangerous analyst and Emma Stone as the plucky millennial assistant who collects vintage floppy disks and desperately wants to win my approval. (Spoiler alert, she’s also my long-lost daughter). But for right now, here are a few beginner tips on getting the most from your analytics.
#1 – Be Thorough With The Code
Make sure you’ve got it on every page… or at least in the header code so that it automatically appears on every page.
#2 – Set Goals
Not personal goals (those are admirable too, though), but Google Analytic Goals. A Goal tracks how many times a customer accomplishes something you want them to accomplish on your site. For example, signing up for your email campaign. If your Goal is attached to the confirmation page, then Analytics is now keeping track of how many people completed the sign-up process.
#3 – Introduce Analytics to Ad Words and Watch The Romance Blossom
These two were made for each other, so who are we to stand in the way of destiny? Link these two accounts and you’ll have a much better understanding of which Ad Words bids are bringing in users, how many of those users are staying, and how many are bouncing away into oblivion.
#4 – Email Yourself
You don’t have to log-in to Analytics every day… or ever again, if you really dislike looking at graphs that much. Use the email tool in Analytics to set up automated reports. The system will then email you your site data as often (or as infrequently) as you prefer.
Explore, Explore, Explore
There’s still a mountain of information to cover on this topic but we’ve run out of room for this entry. I’ll continue to explore Analytics with you in upcoming blogs, but in the meantime, get in there and explore yourself! It may look complicated at first, but the more you get in there and familiarize yourself with the tool, the less scary it’ll be.
Questions? Ready to Get Started?
If you have questions or would like to get started, please give us a call at (312) 834-7787 or visit our website to request a free quote and consultation.