It is fair to say that without a clear understanding of how your website is performing, it’s difficult to know whether or not you’re making the right decisions regarding your business.
This applies not only to your website, but to all aspects of your digital marketing strategy including your social media platforms as well.
If you’re looking to grow your business using digital marketing, you’ll want to make sure that you’re investing in strategies that are proving to be effective.
Thankfully, Google Analytics can help you track the performance of every aspect of your strategy, including your landing pages, social media accounts, and website.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can combine Google Analytics data with other services to gain a better understanding of how each element of your strategy is performing.
The Importance Of Website Analytics
The most important aspect of any digital marketing strategy is the website itself, as this is where the action is. However, simply having a fantastic website is not enough – you need to understand the actions of those visiting the site so that you can optimize it for maximum effectiveness.
To achieve this, you’ll need to analyze the behaviour of your visitors on your site using tools such as Google Analytics.
Analytics allows you to see what is happening on your site – such as the pages visitors are viewing, how long they are spending on each page, and the actions (such as clicks and forms submissions) they take while on your site. When combined with other tools such as Google Webmaster Tools, you can get an almost full picture of how a given visitor is performing on your site.
Having access to this information puts you in a better position to make informed decisions about your business. For example, if you find that 80% of your site’s visitors are browsing through the blog section, yet you’ve never really promoted blog posts in any way, you may decide to change that by creating or adding a blog post about the most popular products in your niche.
The Different Types Of Analytics Data
When we talk about Google Analytics, we usually think about traffic and conversions, but the truth is, there are several different types of analytics data that you can track on your site.
With the right tools, you can track the following:
- Link Traits
- Social Signals
- Behavioural Analysis
- Server Errors
Each of these types of data can provide you with very valuable information, making it worth exploring what they are and how you can use them.
Using Google Analytics To Track Traffic On Your Site
To start, you’ll want to set up a new Google Analytics account for your website. If you’re already using Google Analytics for another site, you can use the Import function to grab the relevant data. Once you have setup your account, you can navigate to your website in the UI and click Admin to get into the settings.
From here, you can add your website domain or subdomain into the Property section. You’ll then want to click Configuration to update the properties.
You’ll want to make sure that Track URL Patterns is checked, as this will enable you to track the traffic on your site (note: this will not work for affiliate marketing or money site as these types of sites usually have custom URLs).
Now, let’s say that you have added your domain, you can visit Behavior to see the different types of data that you can track.
You’ll first want to click on the View Traffic to get a detailed report of your traffic.
Viewing Traffic On Your Site
Once you’re on the Behavior page, you’ll see a number of colorful graphs and charts showing you the various metrics associated with your website.
The first graph you’ll see is the Top Countries for your site. This shows you the countries that your site’s visitors come from and also the continents where your site’s visitors are located (for example, North America or Europe).
If you’d like to know more about your site’s visitors, such as their gender and age, you can click on the Demographics tab, as shown in the image below.
On this page, you can also track the devices used to visit your site. Does someone visit your site on a desktop computer, tablet, or mobile phone? Knowing this can give you an idea of how effective your site is on different platforms (desktop, tablet, and mobile phone).
Browsing Behavior On Your Site
Under the Demographics tab, you’ll also see the most popular devices used to view your site, as well as the times of day when your site’s visitors tend to visit it.
You’ll also see the Top Pages which shows you the pages on your site that get the most traffic. (Note: this data is tracked anonymously, so you won’t see any personal information, such as the name of the person who visited your site.)
Along with the Top Pages, you’ll see a list of the most visited pages. You can click on any of these pages to see how many times they’ve been viewed.
How Long Do People Stay On My Site?
If you’ve ever tried to log into an account on a social media website and forgotten about it, then you’ll know how frustrating it can be when you try to access an account and it asks you to enter your password again. This is because you’ve been Logged Out of that account for several minutes or hours (depending on how long your session holds).
You’ll want to use this feature when you notice that people are lingering on certain pages of your site longer than others (i.e. the Thank You page vs the Login Page). This is valuable information because it can give you an idea of what appeals to your site’s audience the most—the Thank You page or the Login Page?
Using Google Analytics To Track Events On Your Site
With events, you can track the actions that people take on your site – such as when they click a link, fill out a form, or make a phone call.
To start, you’ll want to navigate to the Events page from the Behavior page.
Here, you can see a list of everything that has occurred on your site – including not only the action that was taken but also when it occurred.
If you click on an event, you can see more details about it. For example, you can see the form that was used in the event, the demographics of those who took the action, and the location of the event (city and state).
The above image shows you the Events page for my website, TheBetterMan. You can see that I’ve tracked when people click on the different social media buttons, the most popular posts, and the signup and login forms. In addition, I’ve also tracked when people visit the different categories on my blog (for example, technology, science & math, or style). Events are a great way to track the success of your different marketing campaigns and what worked and what didn’t.
Using Google Analytics To Track Link Traits On Your Site
Link traits are similar to events in that they can be used to track the actions that people take on your site. However, with link traits, you can track the characteristics of the link, such as whether or not it’s been Shared (i.e. other websites share this link on social media), whether or not it’s been Bookmarked (i.e. people have saved this link on their own browser), and whether or not it’s been Categorized (i.e. other websites have put this link into a specific category).
To start, you’ll want to navigate to the Link Traits page from the Behavior page.