Google Analytics: Are You Using It Yet?

Ever wondered exactly how many people visit your site, and what they do once they’ve finally landed on your page? If you haven’t set up an account with Google Analytics yet, it’s about time you took the plunge and installed this amazing web tool. You’ll be able to view in-depth statistics, fully analyse your site’s performance and highlight any potential areas of weakness at the click of a button.

Here at Freelance SEO Essex, we’re always stressing the importance of Google Analytics to our clients. There’s so much to the platform that it would be impossible to list all of its benefits and features in one humble blog post, but we’ve put together a list of five basic (but convincing!) reasons why you absolutely need to start using Analytics right away – especially if you’re spending time and money optimising your site.

1. You can monitor your traffic levels

Google Analytics will tell you exactly how many people visited your site within any given time period, meaning you can identify peak days and times for user interaction. This is especially useful if you’re running a promotional campaign and want to discover the impact your efforts are having on your site’s popularity. If you notice a drop in traffic, either suddenly or over time, you’ll know it’s either time to push your marketing campaign harder or seek help from an SEO agency who will be able to suggest ways to boost awareness of your site in the right areas.

2. You can track visitors from different sources

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Check out the ‘Traffic Sources’ tab to find out exactly how your guests are stumbling across you on the web. You can view where visitors are being referred from and discover your most lucrative source of traffic; if this is the organic listings, it may be time to invest more in your SEO campaign. And, if you’re already optimising your site, this feature means you’re able to establish how well your online marketing budget is converting into actual enquiries or sales. If you don’t seem to be making much money out of the keywords you’re targeting, you could make an informed decision as to whether or not you need to change your approach.

3. You can view your guests’ navigational paths

The handy ‘Visitors Flow’ feature allows you to track your users’ journey through your site’s pages. It visually shows you where visitors go once they’ve settled on your site and lets you know how many of these surfers leave during their first, second or third interaction (or later!). It’s normal to have a few people drop off as soon as they hit your homepage – the percentage of people that do this determines what’s known as your ‘bounce rate’. However, if your bounce rate seems particularly high, especially in certain areas, it may be time to take a long, hard look at the pages that seem to be turning off your potential customers and either improve their content or tweak their overall design to keep the user engaged.

4. You can see how much time users spend on each page

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Again, knowing how long each guest spends browsing each area of your site can help you determine which pages are of most interest (and ultimately convince them to buy from you). Go to ‘Behaviour’ > ‘Engagement’ from the main dashboard to see how long people spend on each page on average and how many pages they tend to look at during once visit.

5. You can generate reports in an instant

As you’d expect, you can produce comprehensive reports using Google Analytics based on data within any timeframe. The ‘Custom Reporting’ feature allows you to narrow down your comparisons and hone in on data you previously wouldn’t have been able to access for a better idea of your successes using your own KPIs.
Plus, word on the grapevine is that Google is soon to start factoring your Analytics data into your success within the natural listings. Scary? Definitely. But if this rumour turns out to be true, you can’t afford to be pushed into obscurity as your competitors’ positions rise.

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