September 24, 2014

What is the point of using Google Analytics?


If you're not using Google Analytics you're doing it wrong.

So you've read about how using Google Analytics incorrectly can hurt you and you've learned how to optimize your Google Analytics ; but now you're stuck wondering what the point is. You have more data than you ever imagined you needed and now?

Well, now you just have a pile of data.

As complicated as it may seem, incorporating Google Analytics into your website is the easy part. The hard part is synthesizing that data in a way that helps you to better understand how visitors are using your site and how to use that information to create stronger campaigns and more content that is relevant to your visitors. Google Analytics can help you do just that.

This guy knows his Google Analytics stats. Always optimizing.

There are a ton of reasons to use Google Analytics. Here are three big ones:

At a very basic level, Google Analytics tells you if anyone is visiting your website and how many of those visitors are new to the site. Before you can really synthesize the data to improve your site's visitor experience(maybe more explanatory here, like "before you can improve your site's visitor experience") you need to figure out if anyone is even coming to your website. And if they are coming to your website, are they staying and returning later for more information? If all of your visitors each month are unique (new) visitors, then your previous visitors aren't returning. If all of your visitors each month are return visitors, then you probably aren't catching enough unique visitors to help drive sales.

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More views = more contacts = more sales. This one is pretty simple and it harkens back to the marketing-standard sales funnel . The more people you can get yourself and your business in front of, the greater potential you have for making a sale. When you use Google Analytics properly, you can see which parts of your site are most popular. With that information you can continue to create content that speaks to your main audience and pull in more visitors looking for answers to the most common questions. Once you have those people at your site you can answer their questions, make a soft sales pitch, and see a greater return on quality content.

Understanding where your visitors come from helps you understand how to reach them. Are your visitors responsive to Twitter calls to action but not to Facebook? Do specific ad campaigns work better on one platform than another? When you know the answers to these questions (and questions like these), you can see where to invest your time and money. If you know that Facebook leads are your bread and butter you can feel confident putting money into some Facebook ads. If you know that all of your customers seem to come from organic searches, you know to focus your energy on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics. Instead of throwing money at the internet and hoping to see a return, you can use data to guide you to the best places to spend your marketing efforts.

Google Analytics is your friend. Know it, live it, wear it if the mood hits you.

Embrace Google Analytics. They're here to help.

Analyzing your site can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. There are tools to help you better understand your analytics (charts and graphs!) and once you've taken a good long look at who visits your site and why, Contactually is here to take your business the rest of the way.

This list doesn't cover all of the reasons you should be using Google Analytics, but it's a pretty good start. Now go forth with all of this new information, sign up for your account, copy the short code into your website, and get to analyzing. It will be worth it, I promise. And don't forget to follow up with us on Facebook or Twitter to let us know how [wonderfully] Google Analytics is working for you!