Remember: searchers aren’t always as savvy as you give them credit for being, so protect your PPC campaign money by zeroing in on the keywords they should be searching for to find you.
How do you know what those are? Analytics.
A quick peek at your Google Analytics dashboard, under Keywords, will tell you exactly what people are searching for and clicking on to navigate to your website. If you want to use these, focus on the words you have fewer traffic from, as you probably rank pretty well organically for the more popular keywords people are clicking on.
3. Analytics Tell You Where You’re Influential
Whether you’re a local business or a geographically-independent one, knowing where most of your web traffic comes from can provide valuable insight.
Back to the French restaurant in San Diego. If, for some reason, this site was getting high levels of traffic from New York or Singapore, the restaurant might want to invest in better SEO so that the keywords found on each page of web copy referred to San Diego in some way. That would cut down on the useless traffic from other cities.
If you’re a virtual company, or one that does business with people worldwide, data about where your web traffic comes from can help you in several ways:
– target your PPC ads to specific geographic areas
– include city name in your keywords, i.e. “Phoenix marketing firm”
– take out online and offline ads in the cities that send the most traffic your way
4. You Can Find Out Why People Leave Your Website
If you’ve got an ecommerce site and can’t figure out why you aren’t selling more online, analytics hold the key. Looking at your Bounce Rate (number of web visitors who leave after viewing just one page) and Exit Pages (where visitors were when they left) can help you improve your website’s functionality and navigability.
Why would people leave after viewing just one page, you ask? Several reasons, including:
– They might have been misled. If they clicked on a search result or PPC ad that led them to believe they would find something different than you actually offer on your site, they’ll leave faster than you can say, “Wait! Don’t go!”
– They might be overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) with your web design. If you’ve got too much going on, with flashing graphics and too many columns, they’ll decide your site’s not for them, and exit.
– You have annoying popups. On principle, many people will skedaddle when they see them.
– Your site takes too long to load.
– They’re on a mobile device, and your site isn’t mobile-friendly.
Each of these issues can be resolved with a little work.
Let’s say you sell widgets for $1. You know you’ve got the best widgets and pricing in the market, but you’re not seeing the online sales you think you should. You look at your web traffic, and you’re getting tens of thousands of unique visitors, so that’s not the issue. But people are leaving your site before buying.
You dive into your analytics and see that visitors are actually leaving your site in the middle of the checkout process. Why is that?? You pretend you’re a new customer and go through the steps to complete a purchase. If it takes you 10 pages before you have completed the sale, that’s far too many. There are measures you can take to streamline your checkout experience. Try them, test them, and then see if you increase your conversion rate and boost sales.
5. Analytics Help You Tweak Your Marketing Efforts
Without data on web traffic, sales, and conversions, you can’t truly know which of your marketing strategies, if any, are actually working. You’re once again throwing money down a hole with no idea if it’s benefiting you.
Analytics show you what sites sent traffic to you. A quick look at your Traffic Sources will reveal the top sites that send traffic to your website.
If you know that your guest blog on Mashable sent you 55% of last month’s traffic, you should pitch to write another post. If your press release created a spike in traffic, write another one. If, on the other hand, your PPC or other tactics didn’t net as much traffic as you would have liked, or they didn’t result in enough sales to justify the expense, consider nixing them.
Knowing what’s working for you on social media, as well as what your competitors are doing there, is also gold.
Keeping a close eye on what’s working and what’s not helps you stay nimble when it comes to your marketing mix, and allows you to quickly change out less effective resources for better ones.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed With the Data Available
Now that you see the light and understand that analytics are an instrumental component in the success of your brand, you head over to your Google Analytics page. There are a ton of options there, and far more data than many know what to do with.
You don’t need to pay attention to everything. Keep in mind: highly sophisticated analytics professionals also use dashboards like this, so there’s something for everyone.
It is important to pick out what you truly care about, and what will net you immediate results if you act upon. If you want to increase traffic, pay attention to how people find your site. If you want to increase conversion, look at Exit Pages and Bounce Rates.
As you become more comfortable in using analytics, you can extend your reach. You don’t have to be a tech guru to understand what you need to know about your website and its traffic.