I’m sure many of you have heard about Google Analytics and when you hear the word “analytics” it may sound pretty scary for non tech people. But, don’t be afraid! It’s not as scary as it sounds! In fact, there are a lot of tools for common people like us, easy to understand, and that provide you with useful insights.
You don’t need to be a programmer; in fact, you don’t need to code or know any type of programming language at all in order to use these tools.
The only thing you need to do is learn how to read the big amount of data these tools provide, and how to generate meaningful reports that will allow you to understand what is working and what is not in your website.
For the few technical details, you can refer to your web developer, in case you don’t feel confident enough to dig into it. But now let’s take a look at some of the amazing benefits that Google Analytics provide to you and your business.
5 Benefits of Google Analytics
First of all it is free! Yes, you read right, you don’t have to pay for it! Once again, Google provides us with an amazing tool where you don’t need any form of subscription. All you need is a Gmail account. You can use your personal one, if you already have it, however, we strongly suggest you create a new Gmail account using your company email. After you do so, you are all set! No need for credit card, personal or company info.
Google Analytics can be integrated with websites, blogs, mobile applications, social networks, and a variety of email management tools. In this way you can integrate all the data coming from different sources in one place! In order for Google Analytics to receive data from your sources, you need to install a tracking tag in every page you want to collect data from.
Google Analytics provides you with the code ready to use, so you can just copy and paste it! Moreover, Google Analytics installs cookies in users’ devices to track data, therefore, if a user decides to opt out, data won’t be collected in that particular case. Regardless, Google Analytics provides a centralized tool to view and manage all your data.
3. Data visualization
One of the greatest benefits of Google Analytics is its data visualization. In fact, it provides several visualization forms for your data, from bar charts to graphs, pie charts, maps, lists, pivot tables, spreadsheets. You can plot the data you want using one or two dimensions, add filters, and define your timeframe. This is particularly useful when you want to compare a specific metric over two different time periods.
For example, you can plot and compare how many people visited your website by clicking on a link in one of your emails in the last 3 months against the amount of people who did the same in the trimester before. This kind of visualizations can help you spot trends over time.
Google Analytics offers a variety of built-in reports divided in five main categories: real-time, audience, acquisition, behavior, and conversion reports. Real-time reports tell you what’s happing real-time in your website, for example how many users there are, what they are doing, and from where they are connected.
These reports are useful if you need a time sensitive analysis. Reports in the audience section provide insights into the characteristics of the users that visit your website by returning anonymous data on demographics, interest, geolocation, technology, and mobile devices.
This is an excellent way to get to know your users and better define your target audience and the related marketing campaigns.
Acquisition reports tell you how you gained those users, thanks to what campaign, and from what source, what browser, and even what operating system.
Behavior reports tell you how users engage with your content, that is how your content is performing. You can also track events, that is specific types of interactions that a user has with your website, which can be downloads, clicks, video plays, etc. You can understand how people are searching, what content they are finding, and if that is working or not. Finally, conversion reports are about goals that you set up, such as number of visits to your website, or e-commerce for your profile.
So, you can understand how people find and engage with you in each stage of the funnel, and what channels are working and actually converting.
As you can see Google analytics provides you with a ton of great information to dive in. And you can also create your own customized reports! You can schedule them and choose the time frame you are interested in. Google Analytics gives you a lot of power and freedom when it comes to reporting.
Forget marketing research, surveys, focus groups. Thanks to this huge amount of information Google Analytics provides, you can easily segment your target audience based on demographics, such as gender and age, location, interests, channels, such as computer and mobile phones, specific sources, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. By exploiting this powerful tool, you will be able to create different marketing campaigns specific to each of your target audience segment.
Besides, by looking at performance indicators such as page load times, and identifying the operating system, browser, monitor resolution, and internet service provider your users are using, you can take proper actions to make sure your website performs well in the top devices and tools users are using to access your content, and provide an excellent user experience in every step of their journey. In few words, you have all the info you can ever need to understand what is working and what is not, you can test and fine tune your campaigns, and take actions to increase your conversion rate!
In my opinion these are the biggest benefits of Google Analytics, just to introduce you to it. Only once you start using this tool you’ll discover and experience its full potential. And if you want to become a pro, Google provides online courses and related certification, all for free!
If you’re looking to increase your brand’s online visibility and want to partner with an agency that offers top quality and affordable digital marketing services, please contact us today!