12 February 2020

How Google Analytics Can be Beneficial to Your Business

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There is a reason why Google Analytics is extremely popular. It is relatively easy to use, you can dig in to your data deeper, and get real time results. However, not every one knows about this free, beneficial tool. When we sit down with our customers on their websites, they always ask what good tools to use to help with their search engine optimization (SEO). We always tell them that Google Analytics is good to use. 
 

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free web analytics service that tracks and reports website traffic. The service is beneficial for companies and organizations of any size to analyze data from all areas and for a deeper understanding of the customer experience. Before, websites placed counter buttons on their website to see if they were gaining any hits. Now, we can know who is coming to our website, where they are coming from, what pages they look at, and more. 
 

How Does it Work?

Google Analytics is implemented by their tracking code, which is a snippet of JavaScript code that the website owner adds to every page of the website that they want to be tracked. Depending on how your content management system functions and how your website was developed, you may need to get your website developer involved. The tracking code sets a cookie on each visitor's computer, which stores anonymous information. After the tracking code has been implemented on the website and tested in your Analytics account, you will start seeing results.

The service does have some limitations, however. Ad filtering programs and browser extensions and some mobile phone apps can block the Google Analytics Tracking Code. This prevents some traffic and users from being tracked and leads to holes in the collected data. Another potential impact on data accuracy are users that delete or block Google Analytics cookies. Without the cookies being set, the service cannot collect data. However, website owners can encourage users not to disable cookies. One way to do this is making visitors more comfortable using the website through posting a privacy policy or by asking users to disable their ad blocker or accept cookies by using a pop up, which we have seen more website utilize in the past year.
 

How Does it Help My Company or Organization?

Google Analytics tracking data is organized into categories that can help you determine what is working on your website and what is not. Categories that are shown include but aren't limited to:

  • demographics, such as age, basic location, and gender.
  • behavior, which includes new users, return users, and level of engagement.
  • technology, which includes the browsers and networks being used to access your website.
  • the mobile devices being used.

When looking at the data, you can get a general understanding of who your viewers are. You can also see what pages users went on, and what they did afterward; such as closing out of the website or going to the contact page. Both of these instances allow you to see what is working and not working on your website, so you can keep the working content and change content that doesn't work to lead to higher conversion rates. A conversion rate is the percentage of users that go on your website and complete a call to action, such as purchasing a product or emailing through a contact form.

It can be overwhelming to look at the data that Google Analytics provides. However, it gives you a good insight into your website users. If you would like an in-depth support article on getting started with Google Analytics and how to use it, Google provides one here. If you are interested in re-designing your website and would like to have some basic SEO work done on your website, contact us.

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