If you’re investing time and money in Digital Marketing, then you need to know how your website is performing. Using an web analytics package like Google Analytics offers an off the shelf product that is free and easily installed. But we’ve no doubt your boss will want to know more about this package – as such, here are the answers to the questions they’re likely to ask.
Google Analytics will become your eyes and ears (sort of) as it has the ability to tell you where your site is lagging as well as inform your forward marketing plans. Even your business decisions can be improved with the context web analytics can give you about your product and your audience.
For The Marketing Managers Out There…
To the Marketing Managers of the world – with Google Analytics you can clearly see value to campaigns, and as such, any credit your role will take. Equally, when times are tough Google Analytics is likely to be your light in the dark when you’re searching for answers.
On a more conceptual level, Google Analytics offers you the “what” to the questions your boss will ask you about your website. It doesn’t always give you the “why” or the “how” that’s where the human eye and curiosity comes into play. Broadly speaking, if you ask the right questions you should get an answer that proves or disproves “cherished notions” as Craig Sullivan might say. Debunking “cherished notions” could be a blog post in its own right.
Anyway, onto the questions your boss will ask…
1. How Much Does It Cost?
Nowt. Nada. Nuffink. Well unless you’re getting more than 10 million visits a month its free. I imagine we wouldn’t be having this conversation though. For those sites there is Google Analytics Premium which gets you more data in a nutshell, as well as support from Google Analytics themselves.
The real cost is the time and expertise required to ensure you have the basics implemented as well as any customisations that are needed for your particular scenario. In that sense implementation is relatively simple. The biggest chunk of time comes from rolling your sleeves up and getting stuck in with the data. Want to know how much traffic came in over the Christmas period, what product is your top seller, which pages are performing well or poorly? Then you will do soon enough. Dig even deeper into the data and you’ll be able to feedback how visitors engage with your site. This type of analysis may slay some sacred cows, but it may bring companies into the real world.
2. Does It Work?
Yes. There is more to this answer, but ultimately roughly half of the sites sampled in W3techs review had Google Analytics in place, so it can’t be a load of tripe. However, there are some considerations; namely session limiting and sampling, but that’s why Google Analytics Premium exists.
It is not the only analytics solution out there though. Piwik is another free analytics solution, and at the other end of the scale Adobe Omniture Site Catalyst is a paid for service which can be highly tailored.
3. How Long Does It Take To Set Up?
Minutes, if you have access to your site and can add code. Writing the right code takes a little longer, however Google have taken some of that pain away with the introduction of Google Tag Manager. Using GTM also decreases the reliance you have on using a Web Developer to add the code. You can create the tag in the GTM console and add it to your site via a Container you have in place on you site.
4. Is Google Analytics Just For SEO?
Not in the least. It can be used for:
On page SEO – performance in Google’s organic index is applied across most of the reports on offer in Google Analytics
Off page SEO – referral reports supply analysis on traffic and conversions sent to your site from 3rd party sites which could include where you’ve paid for banner space. Social media is broken out into its own report, describing how your content is performing for driving visitors and conversions on your site
Technical SEO – site speed gets its own suite of reports, browser and device analysis is also on offer
AdWords – importing AdWords data so you can understand its contribution to the online marketing mix
Content Marketing analysis – learn how engaging (or not) the content on your site is
Email marketing – track what links from what email campaigns have driven traffic or conversions
Conversion Rate Optimisation – mine the data for theories based on statistical evidence and then test how you can improve content, layout and design
5. What is making me money?
Not only can you report back on what traffic sources or pages are making your boss money…
…but you can create a custom report or dashboard and schedule it to be emailed to the major stakeholders for optimum visibility…
The analysis really gets interesting when you consider what grouping of traffic sources are producing the goods for your site. It would be very naïve to assume a visitor lands on your site and converts just like that. If only it was that easy…
This is where getting to know Multi Channel Funnels will give you a ton of insight into the conversion behaviours of your site’s audience.
6. What other tracking do I need in place?
This may not really be a question your boss will ask, but it’s a good umbrella for explaining the ability you have to further enhance your analysis of your site’s performance online.
Event tracking – track on site interactions as diverse as button clicks, duration of video plays, page scrolling and a whole lot more to understand how the assets on your site contribute to its success
Cross domain tracking – for sites looking to track users across multiple sites such as a payment platform or moving between international domains, cross domain tracking passes that user without double counting
Custom dimensions – push specific characteristics of a type of visitor (like gender or logged in/out status, page author) into Google Analytics to see how your audience interact with your site
Custom metrics – these are specific values you want to analyse such as age, membership type, number of members, % of visits that did not result in a sale…
That should be a summary of the types of things to have up your sleeve the next time the boss walks your way. For all other questions, or to find out more about how Koozai can help get in touch today.
Graeme is a self-confessed chocolate addict and his carefully curated physique reflects this. His beard is better than yours and if you ever want to see such a majestic creature you can find him in the ‘room of doom’ listening to rock and heavy metal.
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