This morning I had the pleasure of speaking at Social Media Breakfast Maine, a monthly educational event that helps our business community here in Portland, Maine, stay abreast of changes in the social media and internet marketing industries. This morning's topic was focused on analytics and tracking your business' marketing efforts. I presented to the group specifically on Google Analytics 101 - what Google Analytics is, the different data points and reports available, and why businesses should consider using it. You can view my full slide deck below.
If you're a Google Analytics newbie, logging in and looking at the reports can be overwhelming at first. My recommendation is to start slow, dip your toes in, and get comfortable with a few reports that share key metrics for your business. For those of you just getting started, here are the key reports and what they offer:
Google Analytics 101: Basic Report Data
Audience Reports: These reports tell you WHO is coming to your website, where they are coming from, there is even a report that tells you what kind of device they were on when they came to your website and which browser they were using. You can obtain demographic information like age, gender, geography, and language. Using the data from these reports you get a great opportunity to learn more about your users and if you're targeting the right audience or if there are possibly little pockets of users you could target better.
Acquisition Reports: The various reports included here tell you HOW the users got to your website - what was their method of travel from somewhere on the Internet to your website. What is organic traffic on a search engine or from a link you posted on social media? As a business you are putting forth efforts on various channels - probably have a social media account, have a website that you want people to visit, and may even be paying to advertise your business. Acquisiton Reports allow you to see how those efforts are paying off and which channnels have a better engagement rate with the website. They could give you insight on where your marketing dollars are best spent.
Behavior Reports: Inside these reports you get a better understanding of WHAT users did when they were on your site. You can see which pages they landed on, exited from, and even most traffic pages. From this data you can learn how people are using and engaging with the site which could inform content development desicions and website design for user experience purposes.
Conversion Reports: Arguably this is the most important report to any business for understanding if their website is doing a good job contributing to the success of their business. These reports show you if the people that visit your website are doing what you want them to do on your site. The easiest way to think about what types of goals you need to have on your website is to think about your business' goals and then use these reports to gather baseline information and benchmark your progress.
If you are a business struggling to understand the data presented in Google Analytics, we can help get you started! Contact us today to speak with one of our Google Analytics Certified team members or leave you inquiry in the comments section below.