What is Google Analytics? Simply, a great way to understand not just how many people are visiting your website but much, much more.
Want to understand WHERE your visitors are coming from? How they behave when they are on your site? How well your advertising campaigns are working?
How? Read on!…
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Using Google Analytics
To add Google Analytics to your site, you have to set up an account with Google. You will then be given a tracking code to install on your site. The instructions for that are fairly simple.
Once you have that code installed, you can start analysing the results. It is important to understand the reports, and know what they mean, in order to use the data table effectively.
Mobile Analytics are available now, to make all this even easier. This just means you can access your statistics with your phone, making real time reporting even more important AND you can always know exactly what is going on with your website no matter were you are.
How much does it cost to use Google Analytics? The good news is that it is free to use. There’s also a premium version with a monthly fee. This is generally for larger businesses that have huge websites, but there may be applications where it would be useful for smaller sites.
Why is it Important to Use Google Analytics?
The basic reason to use Google Analytics is simply to see how your website is doing. This means: how well are your ad campaigns working, which will tell you how well your company is doing.
One great advantage of the internet and Google Analytics is that you can tell what impact your ads are having. When people buy ads in newspapers, they are there in print, but you don’t know the impact. A paper may have 100,000 readers a day, but perhaps only three spotted your ad and none of them were interested in what you were selling. Or perhaps 100 saw it and half of those are on the way to your business right now!
There is just no way to know.
But with Google Analytics you can have a much better understanding of your digital ads. You can tell how many people saw the page and how long they looked at it. If you have a banner with links to another page, you an see how many people clicked on that. It may not tell you how many people intend to purchase your good or service, but it will tell you how many people were interested in enough to look.
You can also tell where visitors are from; are these people in your town? With Google Analytics you’ll have an answer to that question.
Another advantage is you can tell when something is not working. If you have a campaign running and it is showing no results you can make adjustments to try to change the level of interest.
How Does Google Analytics Work?
Most website owners, or business owners, don’t want to be digital gurus…but it is good to have a basic understanding of what is going on.
As we’ve explained, a code is put on your website and that code is used to record all the traffic on your site. That information can be categorised and put into various forms to give you an idea of how your website is doing.
The code used is in the form of Javasript, which can communicate in the HTML language used to build websites.
The good news for consumers is that this information is collected anonymously, meaning that no specific information about the user is shared. It will not tell, for instance, exactly where you are, or any information about the individual user.
What is Google Tag Manager?
Google Analytics has been around for awhile. In 2012 Google introduced Tag Manager, which took it to a new level. A tag is a very small piece of code added to a page, and it has triggers that define when and where the tag is used. Information is then stored and used by the computer and it, basically, just makes things simpler.
Before tag manager you had to get into the code manually and make any changes you needed, to change what information you were gathering.
The Tag manager gives you an interface so you can create these tags automatically, without having to delve into the code itself.
The benefits of Tag Manager could be substantial for your business:
- It is free
- You can use it yourself
- It makes Google Analytics easier to use AND you can do more
- You can track more than ever
- There are no known security issues
- It has a built in error check and version checker and can be tested before it is live.
Summary: A Free Boost for Your Business
Google Analytics can give a free deep-dive into what’s happening beneath the surface of your business website.
The best way to start? Simply take a look and include regular checks in your routine to grow your confidence with this essential tool.
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