When was the last time you logged into Google Analytics?
Sometimes I’ve spent weeks without logging in…
Admittedly that period of Analytics Abstinence was quite a few years back.
But I knew that to increase enquiries I had to take Google Analytics seriously.
I’m not going to lie, I still don’t log in every day (that probably wouldn’t be a good thing).
But at least once a week?
Yes I do.
The majority of Google Analytics accounts across the world are left alone for months on end. Like a cherished dog who’s still in the kennels weeks after the family returns from holiday. You wouldn’t do it would you?
I often tell small businesses looking to improve their websites that they’re sitting on a gold mine of information with Google Analytics…but they tell me they haven’t logged into their account in 3 months, sometimes never.
Don’t be that business owner.
If you make Google Analytics a central part of your website and digital marketing efforts, then you’re on your way to website success.
But a lot of business owners are wary as they don’t know what to look for and how to use the reports in Google Analytics.
Let’s find out how to use Google Analytics to improve your website.
How Can Google Analytics Help You?
The insights that Google Analytics (GA) gives me are second to none.
I learn so much about the people on the ProfitReach website and the right places to make changes. It’s got to be my favourite marketing tool.
In Google’s own words, here’s how it can benefit you:
- You get a deeper understanding of your customers. Google Analytics gives you the free tools that you need to analyse data for your business in one place. It helps you understand how people use your sites, so you can take action to improve their experience.
- You build a complete picture. Understand your site users to better evaluate the performance of your marketing, content, products and more.
- You get insights only Google can give. Use Google’s unique machine learning capabilities to discover new insights from your data – such as which users are likely to convert or which customers have high revenue potential.
- You connect your insights to results. Analytics is built to work with Google’s advertising and publisher products so you can use your insights from Analytics to help you reach the right customers.
Avoid the Dark Side
Many businesses get too involved in the dark side of Google Analytics.
- Some don’t even have Google Analytics installed on their website – the bad bit is they don’t have any other analytics solution installed.
- They rarely (if ever) log into Google Analytics. All those insights left untouched.
- Some people log into Analytics once a month, but they don’t know what to do with the data. So they take no action.
- Other businesses have the right approach to analytics, but don’t have the people to turn insights into website improvements.
- Then there’s those that log in all the time, but never actually do any website improvements or digital marketing.
The reality is if you’re serious about reaching your marketing goals and your business goals, you must take Google Analytics seriously.
You need to get motivated. You need to get into a rhythm of looking at your data. You need to get into the habit of logging in – even if it’s just once a week. You can even get your favourite reports emailed to you.
And BIGGEST of all, you need to take action.
Google Analytics is useless, unless you take action on the insights you find.
Your Website Is Never Finished
You’ve got a website, but remember — a website is never finished.
There is always room to improve the experience for people.
Your website is not like a run of 5000 printed brochures, where you might wait until the next run to make improvements – that could be months away (or even years away in some cases).
I know of many businesses who invest in a new website, but make few changes until they get another new website. Not a great idea.
With a website, you can make changes almost instantly. But many business owners leave their websites with little improvement. Why is that?
- Not enough time
- Not the inclination
- Not the expertise
- No clear idea of the potential impact to the business’s bottom line, or Return-on-Investment.
- Or all of the above
I know, we’re all busy.
If any of the above are stopping you from improving your website, things need to change.
The first step before even getting to Google Analytics is to:
Develop a proactive attitude where you’re always looking to improve the experience for people visiting your website. If done right, just this mindshift, coupled with lots of action is enough to increase your revenue. Simple.
Some of your competitors will have that approach.
Make sure you’re competing on a level playing field. If you don’t have the time to improve your website then you either need to get inhouse help, or outsource. Otherwise, you’ll be in the same place in 12 months time.
The opportunities of the web are significant for every business out there.
If your competitors are offering a better website experience, then that’s a big reason why people will choose your competitors over you.
How Often Should You Login To Google Analytics?
If one of your main business goals is to increase profit, then without doubt you must get into the habit of logging into Google Analytics regularly.
Get comfortable about understanding how people use your website.
If you check your Google Analytics data once a day, or multiple times a day, that’s too much.
You won’t get more traffic, sell more or get more leads just by checking your reports.
The key is to take action.
- Check Google Analytics at least twice a week, and each time, try to create at least one task for a website improvement.
- Don’t make the task too complex. Make it achievable.
- Once logging in and checking your reports is a habit, start to introduce bigger tasks based on the insights you’re finding.
But to improve your website, first you need to ask the right questions…
How To Find The Gold Nuggets With The Right Questions (The Easy Way)
You want to improve your website and digital marketing right?
What are the best questions to ask Google Analytics to improve your website?
The great news is that Google has an easy way to ask questions to return insights.
Don’t struggle through all the reports, instead insert your questions into the search box at the top (or if you have the mobile app, you can just talk to Google Analytics).
Here are some insightful questions that will get you thinking about the right type of questions to ask.
Google themselves recommend you ask these questions. Feel free to change them slightly to suit you. Find the full list of Google Analytics questions here.
Top Questions To Ask Google Analytics (and the reasons why!)
1. Get comfortable by asking some starter questions to Google Analytics:
- How many users did I have last week?
- Over the last 6 months, on what week days did I have the most users?
- How many total new users did I have in the last 12 months?
2. Ask Questions Around Content Analysis To Improve User Experience
GOAL: Identify the most popular site pages, then improve them to get more people to take the required next step in the customer journey, or conversion:
ASK QUESTIONS LIKE:
- What are my top pages in terms of pageviews?
- What are my top landing pages in terms of sessions?
- What pages do people spend the most time on?
- What are my top landing pages by users?
- What are my top landing pages for organic search?
- Which landing pages have a below average conversion rate?
GOAL: Identify your site’s poorest pages,o make changes, then improve them to increase engagement and to get more people to take the required next step in the customer journey, or conversion:
ASK QUESTIONS LIKE:
- Which landing pages with over 10 sessions have the worst bounce rates?
- Which pages do most people exit on?
3. Understand User Behavior
- How long do users spend on my site?
- Average session duration on mobile vs desktop
- New vs. Returning users last month
GOAL: Identity which devices are important to your audience. This will allow you to prioritise mobile over desktop, or vice versa if you have limited resources. Of course, you will want your website to be easy-to-use across all devices.
ASK QUESTIONS LIKE:
- Show me a breakdown of my users by device type
- What devices do my users use?
- Revenue by device
4. Measure Your Goals
GOAL: Tracking your goal conversions such as when someone submits a form, is one of the most important activities in Google Analytics.
ASK QUESTIONS LIKE:
- What’s my goal conversion rate?
- Show me a trend of my goal completions over the last 3 months.
- Compare this month’s goal completions year on year
5. Technical Performance
GOAL: If your website is slow to load on 3G/4G, then a lot of your visitors may not want to engage with your website. Identify the load time. Is your whole site loading slowly? Are there loading problems on specific pages?
ASK QUESTIONS LIKE:
- What’s my average page load time?
- Show me a trend of my average page load time over the last 3 months
- Highest landing page average load times
Think About The People
It’s easy to forget you’re looking at real people when you’re looking at all the data and numbers.
Always remember you’re looking at how real people use your website.
Don’t think about the data, the numbers, or the reports. Think about the people and how you can improve the time they spend on your website.
That’s what it’s all about.
People Need You
The majority of people that come to your website need the products and services you offer.
You’re on this planet to help them at this precise moment. Make sure your website is doing its job.
Don’t let your competitors help them instead!
The Single Biggest Marketing Mistake
Think about the hundreds or even thousands of people each month who leave your site without taking any action.
The main website ambition of businesses across the world is often to increase the number of people coming to their website.
Be careful with that.
It’s tempting to get more traffic. But if you already have a relatively good number of people coming to your site, it’s often better to invest significant resources to improve the experience for people on your website.
That way you’re more likely to get more customers.
It only takes one person who is close to buying, to need more information before making the final decision. If your website isn’t up to it, there are plenty of websites that will probably provide them with the answers.
Think about how you can improve your website for your ideal buyer.
Plenty of people are already on your website and they are leaving without engaging or taking action!
- It’s time you thought hard about why people are leaving without taking action.
- It’s time to build your habit of looking at Google Analytics two times a week.
- It’s time to find actionable insights from Google Analytics reports.
- It’s time to create marketing tasks every time you visit Google Analytics.
- It’s time to turn those tasks into website and digital marketing improvements.