If you have Google Analytics set up for your website, then it should be used as an essential part of your website marketing activity to help identify what is working and what could be improved. Like any good analytics package, Google Analytics will show the number of visits to your site, which pages are being viewed, where these visitors come from (referrals), and at what point they leave.

However, Google Analytics can provide much more information as well, through the use of the standard reports or custom reports that you can create. You can also segment the data in many different ways to isolate or identify the key data trends that can provide valuable information on the effectiveness of your online strategy. As you review these trends, you need to consider what Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are important for your business, to see whether they are improving or not.

For example, how well is your site working for your visitors and what is the proportion of unique visitors or the split between first time visits and repeat visits over a period of time? You can review how long, on average, your visitors spend on your site. If you have a large site but the time being spent is relatively short, then there could be an underlying problem with the type of visitors your site is attracting, or with the way the site is being perceived or how well it works.

You might need to look at the entry and exit points on the site to get an indication of whether visitors are leaving straight away (possibly the wrong type of visitors for your business?) or if they are leaving at a common point within the site (perhaps where a page is slow to load or an enquiry form is asking for too much information?). This type of data can then give you ideas on what needs to be changed so that you can test alternative approaches and review the change in the statistics over the next few months.

Website analytics may also show that some pages are being visited more than others, which can again reflect your site optimisation and ranking performance, or the navigation routes into the site from the Home Page. If key pages are not being visited enough, or less important pages are attracting proportionately higher volumes of traffic, you might need to look at how these pages are performing in the search results, or whether links to them from other pages need to be revised and made more, or less, prominent.

The referral data within a Google Analytics will also indicate which search engines or other websites are driving most visitors to your site and, with search, which terms have they been using. This can reflect how your site is ranking (or which PPC terms are performing well) but does this also reflect how people are searching and therefore are there other terms that should also be driving more visits to your site?

Reviewing trends within a website analytics package should be done at least monthly and often more frequently, particularly if there are changes being made to the website or the marketing campaign – whether online or offline. The depth of data available can provide an excellent insight into how your web business is performing and should be used as a tool to test, adjust and review on a regular basis.

If you’d like to know more about how your Google Analytics data can be used effectively to monitor and improve your online performance, please get in touch for an initial, no obligation, discussion.

Alternatively, if you are thinking of using Google Analytics for the first time, or have already started tracking your visitor data but would like more help, we can provide you with a FREE analytics assessment to give you an idea of the key elements you should be tracking and reviewing to increase the performance of your website.

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