Unless you actively track the performance of your marketing efforts, you miss out on a ton of valuable information, optimization opportunities, and targeting. Essentially… you throw your marketing money out the window. That’s where Google Analytics comes in.
Whether you want to know more about your audience, users’ navigation process on your site, which pages excel, or how to track conversions, this is your platform to do it all. And this is crucial for local businesses. Here’s your go-to guide to Google Analytics. Let’s get started!
This shows the users that visit your site, their session, demographics, and more. You can view these sessions by hour, day, week or month. This allows marketers to track traffic for peak hours, when it’s slow, if a promotion increases traffic and so on. You can also adjust the date range of the data shown in your audience overview. This includes the past day, week, month(s), year, etc. In this case, we wanted to see the 6 month analytics from June – November 2015:
Audience analytics show the following:
- The average time period that people are on your site.
- Bounce rate – the percentage of people that leave your site right after arrival without any interaction. The lower this number, the better.
- People who visit your site for the first time (new visitor).
- And more
This is a good brief overview of the users who land on your page. To get more granular data, you’ll want to explore the other Audience sections.
Dive into demographics to see the age and sex of people visiting your site. This narrows your target. If you notice your main audience is females between the ages 25 – 34, target them more in your marketing efforts. But if females between 25 – 34 aren’t likely to invest in your services or products, adjust your marketing efforts as a whole. Strategize ways to target your ideal client. It may turn out that the people who actually land on your page are in a different demographic than what you thought you were targeting.
As a you’re a local business, it’s important to know where your visitors are located. Do this with the “Geo” location tab. We like to filter by city to see which areas in Arizona we get the most traffic from.
In our case, the majority of our traffic comes from Phoenix and Scottsdale. So we know to target those two cities in our marketing efforts.
If you’re interested in what devices people use to visit your site, this section shows metrics for desktop, mobile, and tablet. You may realize that the majority of your traffic comes from mobile. If this is the case, you want to make sure all your pages, ads, etc. are mobile friendly. Cater to the numbers. Create an app if it fits your company. Take a look at these 7 effective mobile marketing campaigns for inspiration.
See which of your marketing efforts bring in the most traffic. If you invest in social media, SEO, AdWords, this is where Google Analytics breaks down the results and performance of those investments.
Determine which social media platform you get the best results from. If you get little to no traffic from Google+ and spend unnecessary time on it, you can shift your efforts accordingly.
For Loud Rumor, we get the most of our traffic in the last 6 months from Facebook (this accounted for almost 50% of all our social media sessions – 1,405 out of 3,148 total):
That being said, we do most of our social media promotion on Facebook because it reaches such a strong audience. This includes Facebook boosting, advertising, retargeting and more.
You’d do the same for the AdWords, SEO, and Campaigns sections to review your marketing analytics accordingly.
While it’s important to see who visits your site and where they come from, it’s also critical to understand what they do once they land on your page. That’s where Behavior comes in. More specifically, you want to target when people “drop-off” your site. This is when they enter a certain flow from page to page, and something makes them eventually want to leave.
When someone lands on your site, behavior flow captures their navigation path. This shows local businesses which pages people are drawn to, where people tend to abandon the site, and so on.
Analytics shows super valuable information here: drop-offs. This allows marketers to pinpoint where people tend to leave their site once they arrive so you can see what needs to be fixed in the user experience. If you notice that nearly 100% of people drop off on a certain page, that’s high indication that there’s something about that page that makes them want to leave.
Site Content (All Pages)
This section is awesome for several reasons. If you’re in charge of tracking your content marketing efforts, this is where you tally how much traffic your blog brings in. Again, you can analyze this on a daily, monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc. basis. Analytics shows you which pages get the highest:
- Unique pageviews
- Average time spent on the page
- Bounce rate
- And page value
Local businesses can tell which pages on their site perform the best. If there’s one specific blog article that continuously brings in entrances, it might be worth promoting. But if there’s a page that never gets any visits, it may mean it needs optimized for images, text, layout, and overall user experience.
This is also where Behavior Flow really comes in. In the Behavior Flow section, we focused on drop-offs. One way to tell if a page isn’t performing well is to also look at the bounce rate. The “All Pages” section shows this.
So if you notice multiple pages with a 100% bounce rate, focus on optimizing those. This is a clear indication that there’s something about the text, layout, etc. that doesn’t appeal to users – they are more encouraged to abandon the page than engage.
What’s a lead? For local businesses, it’s either a phone call or form submission. All businesses want to close the deal when someone lands on their site. Google Analytics allows you to track opt-ins for contact forms, downloaded guides/ eBooks, and so on. So if you don’t have any goals setup, you won’t have any conversions to track. Here’s how:
Step 1: Go to “Admin” and “Goals”
Step 2: Click “New Goal” and complete the description
We set a goal for one of our events, an AdWords Conversion workshop.
We created a landing page specifically for this event so that when people wanted to RSVP, they had to enter their name and email into a submission form.
Once users did that, they were taken to a thank you page for their RSVP. That’s why we chose “Destination” that pulled from that thank you page – each RSVP was a conversion.
Step 3: Goal details
In step 2, we set our “Type” as Destination. This is where you insert the URL to the destination page (our RSVP thank you page). So once someone registers for the AdWords Conversion Workshop, they are taken to the “Thank You” page seen above, which sets the goal for a conversion in Analytics.
Understanding this guide to Google Analytics is the difference between a marketing plan that’s good and one that can be great. Local businesses know that data is sexy. This is about as good as it gets when it comes to analyzing your marketing efforts! So let us know if you have any questions on Google Analytics in the comments below – let’s get trackin’.
Mike Arce is the CEO and founder of Loud Rumor, a lead generation company for fitness studios and independent gyms that supports their customers with sales training and techniques to grow and scale.
Mike has spoken for companies like Infusionsoft, the Better Business Bureau, ASBA, and Local First – all on the topic of Local Business Internet Marketing. He has a passion for local businesses and helping them grow. You can get fresh, updated tips from Mike here.