Why Learn Google Analytics
You might be wondering why you should learn Google Analytics and what value it will bring to you as a digital marketer or a business owner.
Let's go through a couple of important reasons why you should learn Google Analytics.
As the old adage goes, "What gets measured gets managed." How can you run a business without measuring the success of your initiatives?
Google Analytics is a powerful web analytics tool that gives you insight into everything going on on your site. With Google Analytics you can measure what's working and what's not in terms of driving traffic, engaging customers, and converting sales.
If you are running digital marketing, you probably want to look at a variety of data sources. Thankfully, Google Analytics serves as an aggregator of lots of your web, marketing, and search data. You can connect your Search Console, Google Ads, and other sources of data to your Google Analytics account for easier viewing.
Google Analytics offers a whole host of basic reports and customization features so you can create reusable reports and trackable metrics to manage and improve your business. You can build custom reports with the key metrics you care about and even focus on specific segments of customers. For example, you could create a report showing the behavior of return visitors to understand how their behavior differs from a first-time visitor.
While you may be running advertising on a variety of platforms, all roads lead to your website and with Google Analytics you can see the conversions from all your marketing efforts in one place. While you may also want to track the success of your campaigns in Facebook, Google Ads, or whatever platform you are advertising on, you can also see all conversion activity through your site in the conversions report of Google Analytics.
These are just a couple of the fundamental reasons to learn Google Analytics, but there are many more reasons and use cases. Google Analytics is a foundational tool for digital marketers and business owners, and with all the hype around data-driven decision-making, should you also be leveraging your data properly to grow your business?
5 Questions to Answer with Google Analytics
Google Analytics can be a well of information for you. Let’s go through a couple of core questions you can answer with Google Analytics.
Where is my traffic coming from?: Within the Acquisition section, you can see which sources and mediums you are getting traffic. It’s important to understand which efforts are driving the most traffic to your site whether it be organic search, social media, paid search, or any other source. With all the marketing initiatives we have going on it’s great to know what’s working to drive traffic to our site. The acquisition reports are go-to in Google Analytics to answer that question.
Which pages are ranking?: Within organic search, you’ll want to know which pages are ranking and driving traffic for your site. This can inform which pages you internally link to or invest more resources in.
What are visitors doing?: You can get a better understanding of what visitors are doing on your site in the Behavior section of GA. You can see how long visitors stay on your site, how many pages they visit, the common page paths, and more. Visitors can also be put into segments to compare behavior between traffic sources, landing pages, and other criteria.
Who is converting?: Hopefully, our site is driving traffic from a variety of initiatives whether search, social, direct, referral, or all of the above. While traffic is great, we want to know which traffic is actually converting to our desired outcomes. Within Google Analytics we have a handful of conversion reports and we can also use the acquisition report combined with conversion data to get a better sense of which traffic converts best. We can even dig a little deeper and see which landing pages convert best. For example, a product page that ranks on Google will likely convert a lot higher than a blog post.
What does conversion look like?: We all know from being customers ourselves that conversions can sometimes be a windy road. The first time we see a product we don’t necessarily jump to buy it. We might do a little research, ask around, or just wait and sleep on it. Our traffic and conversion activity might not always be in sync and GA can give us a little more insight into what’s going on. With the multi-channel funnel reports in Google Analytics, we can see what common conversion paths look like and how long conversion paths tend to be. If we sell a high-priced item, it might be a couple of visits before we make the sale. We might see an organic search visit, followed by remarketing visit, and then finally a direct visit and conversion, just as an example. Google Analytics can give us the insight we need to do omni-channel marketing.