As the most popular search engine currently in operation, Google handles at least two trillion search requests each and every year. This means that Internet users are constantly searching for answers–answers that your business may very well have. However, users must be able to find your business online in order to get these answers and begin a relationship with your business, and this is often where things fall down. Many businesses will spend a seemingly endless amount of time, effort and money on developing what they feel is a highly attractive and informative website, only to sit back and experience a mere trickle of visitors. Why is this? It could be because your website doesn’t address the needs of your target audience. It could be because your website isn’t optimized for search engine queries. It could be because your website content is ineffective. Or it could be because of some other reason. So how can you determine the reason for and solve this problem? Through the use of Google Analytics.
How to Use Google Analytics
Your first question may be “What is Google Analytics?” While it has many facets that are important to understand and use, Google Analytics is essentially a way to get to know your audience. Among other things, Google Analytics allows you to find out:
- Who is visiting your website. Google Analytics will actually report on the user’s geographical location and what language they speak, along with other important information. As one can imagine, this is enormously helpful information that can be used to improve website design and content that is better able to meet your target audience’s needs.
- When users are visiting your website. Google Analytics can tell you what time of the day your website receives the most traffic, so you can publish new blog posts and information just before that time and get the utmost benefits from your hard work.
- What users are doing on your website. Google Analytics will let you see exactly what website pages your visitors are looking at and how long they are staying on these pages. This is enormously helpful information, as you may be able to determine that certain web pages are attracting and holding attention while others are apparently driving users away. This can help you to make important adjustments to the content on these pages so as to better attract and hold user attention.
- Where users came from. Google Analytics allows you to track exactly where users came to your website from, whether it was a search engine, a social network, a link from another website or through directly typing in your website address. You may be surprised to discover where most users are coming from, and this can allow you to strengthen that source. For example, if most of your visitors are coming from social networks, you can put more time and effort into keeping your business’ social network site active and interesting.
- How users are interacting with the content that is available on your website. High-quality, professional content is one of the leading factors in any business’ online success, as it is a way for them to provide useful information to consumers who quickly learn to trust their authority and build a strong relationship with the business. However, what content you think is most helpful to your target audience may not actually be the content your target audience finds the most interesting. Google Analytics can help you to determine which content is most viewed so that you can create more along similar lines.
When you log into Google Analytics, the Audience Overview report will present you with a variety of information and reports to review. Clicking on the “full reports” link will allow you to view the full reports so that you have all the information you need in order to make necessary adjustments to your website and thereby improve its performance.
In short, Google Analytics is an entirely free tool and one that every business should have and use.