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Google Analytics for people who don’t like numbers

I have to admit, I’m not a numbers person. I like words and ideas, not stats and spreadsheets. But as a marketer, I know it’s necessary to get a handle on all the lovely data that’s available, to learn more about my audience and what they want, so I can spend more of my time doing what works and less on what doesn’t

Thankfully, hooking your website up to Google Analytics allows you to compile and analyses data about your website’s visitors and generate comprehensive reports that tell you whether you’re marketing activity is on-track, and identify areas where you may need to amend your approach.

Here are 5 marketing questions that Google Analytics can help you to answer…

Am I reaching my target market?

One of the best things about Google Analytics is how much you can find out about the people who visit your site. Demographics tracking allows you to see a breakdown of visitors to your site by gender and age group and interest categories, to track whether you’re successfully reaching your target market. You can also track by Interest, Location and Language, which can help you to ensure that the language and branding is appropriate for those visiting the site:

GA location tracking

Tracking by location

Where are my customers coming from?

Using the Acquisition tracking view allows you to see which Channels led visitors to your site over a set period of time (eg, direct visit, email, social, organic search), their behaviour once on your site (eg, how long they spent on your site once there, how many pages they visited and bounce rate), and the number of conversions:

Google Analytics Acquisitions

Acquisition overview

Are visitors converting on my site?

Goals Completions allow you to track the actions (ie, Goals) that are most important to your business, for example, conversion rates for ads, form completions, sales etc. To do this, you need to set up Goal Tracking that meets your campaign and commercial objectives. Without them, you can’t accurately measure the effectiveness of your website and marketing activity – this excellent Kissmetrics blog shows you how.

What are visitors searching for when they’re on my site?

Set up Site Search to track what visitors are typing into the search box on your website. This data gives you important insights into what your customers want, in their own words, so that you can tailor your approach to better meet their needs. For example, you may need to fine-tune your internal search function if a high proportion of people are leaving your site following their search rather than clicking on any of the results presented. Find out how to set it up.

How are my paid search (PPC) ads performing?

Linking your AdWords account to Google Analytics will give you a complete, end-to-end picture of customer behaviour, from ad click to conversion, and it also means you can use data from Analytics to optimise your PPC campaigns. This is even more valuable in the days of [not provided] as you will have sight of which keywords are generating the most engagement.

Bonus tip: You can focus on the stats you care about most by setting up a custom dashboard.

There’s a Google Analytics IQ exam you can take to test your knowledge of digital analytics best practices and the Google Analytics platform. But probably the best way to get the most out of your Google Analytics account is to get used to using it regularly.

Even if you’re a statophobe like me, you’ll get some fascinating insights – and may even find it surprisingly addictive.

Want to get the basics on organic search (SEO) and paid search (PPC)? Download our eBooks A Simple Guide to SEO and A Simple Guide to PPC.

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