When running an e-commerce website, one of the most important tools in your arsenal should be Google Analytics. It’s a free tool from Google that helps you gain important insights on how your website is performing and where you can make changes in your overall web marketing strategy.
But what types of information should you get from Google Analytics? What data sets should you closely monitor and what can be pushed aside for later? Let’s look at some of the most important information that you must always know when looking at your Google Analytics dashboard.
1. How many people are visiting my site?
The single most common reason why website owners use Google Analytics is to see how many people are visiting their websites. Of course, this information can be obtained via the website’s web hosting account, but Google Analytics makes getting this information easy and convenient.
Obviously, knowing how many people are visiting your site is important as it gives you an idea if your online marketing efforts are generating any traction. Knowing this information is especially useful if you can compare one specific time frame from another such as one month versus the previous month, or even the same month from the previous year. From there, the next relevant question you should ask is…
2. How are they getting to my site?
Now that you know how many people are visiting your website, the next important information is knowing where they’re coming from. This is where the acquisition section of Google Analytics can give you a lot of answers, segmented in four different areas: organic search, direct, referral and social sources. You can get more specific with each area, especially if you want to know what keywords your visitors are using to reach your site, which sites are referring the most traffic, and even what social media platform is worth your time.
3. What are they doing while they’re on my site and what pages are most visited?
Knowing how many visitors you have and where they’re coming from is only part of the puzzle when it comes to analyzing what’s happening on your website. What they’re doing while they’re on your website is, of course, the next part. Through Google Analytics’ behavior section, you can see what pages visitors click on after visiting your home page as well as where they exit your site. You can even see what pages are pulling in traffic aside from your home page, which is one of the reasons why having as many pages as possible is important in attracting visitors to your site.
You can also see which pages are the most popular, which gives you an idea of what you can do to boost more visitors to your most important pages such as your tours and activity information pages.
4. What devices are they using?
In today’s very connected society, knowing how many of your visitors is accessing your website from a mobile phone or tablet is an important piece of your web marketing efforts. Armed with this information, you can provide a better user experience for your mobile users and potentially increase mobile online sales. Knowing how much traffic you’re getting from mobile devices can also make the case for investing in mobile advertising campaigns, and more importantly, you can track whether these campaigns are worth your advertising dollars.
5. Where are my visitors from?
Knowing your visitors’ geographic location can be useful especially if you’re thinking about creating an alternative language version of your site to attract a specific demographic. It’s also useful in planning your print advertising campaigns if you’re trying to attract customers from a particular state or city.
We’ve only scratched the surface of what kinds of data you can get from Google Analytics. Next time, we’ll talk about how to properly track website conversions and determine your traffic acquisition costs, along with other handy tricks that you can use to improve your website sales.
Do you use Google Analytics for other insights? Tell us through the comments below!