When we first walk into the Google Analytics (GA) accounts of most of our clients we know that we will be dealing with something that looks like a squirrel was trapped inside for a few days. That’s not a criticism – stewardship of these accounts passes from one person to the next in an organization. Here’s how that might look:
- Sally, the receptionist, set up the GA account five years ago and when it seemed too complicated she handed over authority after six months to George, the company’s General Manager
- George is Six Sigma Black Belt certified with an MBA but he has much more pressing concerns than managing the company’s GA reports so when the company hired Jane as a marketing assistant, he gave her responsibility for organizing it all
- Jane left the company to move to Edmonton and there was no-one in the job until the company hired us to handle its content marketing
- When we arrived on the scene we found that there were five email accounts affiliated with the GA account and nothing had been effectively set up, managed or monitored probably since forever. The account administrator turned out to be the receptionist who had left the company a long time ago for parts unknown. This has an impact on the company’s Google+ account, as well as its YouTube account, but aside from all that, it means we had a fair amount of work to do before any reliable data could be generated.
Google Analytics for Small Business
When it’s properly set up, however, Google Analytics provides a massive amount of information about what’s happening on your website every minute of every day. Your analytics can tell you, for example:
- how many people are visiting your site, and when
- where they are geographically located
- what language they speak
- what kind of browser they used to access your site
- whether they used a mobile device or a desktop device when visiting your site
- what pages they have visited on any one visit and how long they stayed each time
- how people arrived on your site (through a social media or other link, via a search engine query or by typing your url directly into their browser)
- whether your visitors have visited your site multiple times
- The age and gender breakdown of your site visitors
- Much, much more
It’s great to know all that information. But what do you do with it?
We talked in the last chapter about how measuring the number of visitors to your website is one of the indicators of how well your content marketing strategy is working. Your Analytics will give you a lot of that information. What’s more, say you’ve been posting a blog once a month and your analytics indicate that every time you do that the number of visitors to your website increases by 20%. Well, it would make sense to post more blogs, wouldn’t it?
There’s more to Analytics than that, of course, and we’ll be taking another step in the analytics direction in our next blog post. Stay tuned!