If you have a small business website and you’re not using Google Analytics, then you’re missing out on some great data gathering opportunities that can increase your sales. Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google that produces comprehensive statistics about visitors coming to your website.
Why Google Analytics Tips for Small Business Website
Among some of the services that Google Analytics offers are the following:
- Presents advertising
- Conducts e-mail marketing campaigns
- Produces digital “collateral” links with PDF documents
- Tracks visitors from all reference sources, including search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
You probably know by now that advertising and promoting your small business website is a huge part of business success. Another great feature of Google Analytics is its integration with AdWords, Google’s very own advertising campaign service. If you choose to use Google AdWords, you have the ability to analyze Internet advertising campaigns by tracking landing page quality and the conversions (a conversion can be defined as the ratio of website content views or website visits to desired visitor actions or, more generally, the number of goals divided by the number of visits). Some examples of goals you might have in mind while using Google AdWords are the following:
- Lead generation
- Looking at a specific page
- Downloading a specific file
Fortunately, for the not-so-Internet savvy, Google Analytics offers a “short version” of the data that’s gathered for each website, a dashboard-style of data that is visible for the casual user. If you are a little more advanced, more in-depth information can be obtained as you move further into the report. But, you may be asking, how can I use all this data? By using Google Analytics, you can identify webpages that are performing poorly through the use of techniques like funnel visualization, where visitors came from (i.e. referrers), how long each visitor stayed on your website and each visitor’s geographical location. If you’re looking for more data, there are enhanced features like custom visitor segmentation.
As a user of Google Analytics, your small business website can add up to 50 site profiles, with each profile usually representing one website. Unless the site profile is linked to an AdWords campaign, however, the site profile is limited to sites that have traffic of fewer than 5 million page views per month. Most small business websites won’t have to worry about this factoid.
The GATC also sets first-party cookies on each visitor’s computer in addition to sending data to a Google server. The first-party cookies are used to store anonymous user information like whether or not the visitor to your small business website has been to your site before (that is, whether or not the visitor is new or returning), what the time stamp of the current visit is, and what was the referrer site or campaign the visitor came from, such as the following:
- Search engine
I hope this all-too-brief rundown of Google Analytics has given you a more solid foundation on which to assess the pros and cons of using Google Analytics. I’m sure you noticed that I strongly encourage small business websites to use this free service. If you find that you don’t have the time or an adequate understanding of Google Analytics, a local SEO and SEM company is only a few clicks away.