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Why you should set up (and use) Google Analytics for your business

Picture the scene; you’ve got a slick website handcrafted with javascript and affection, the content on the site is perfectly attuned to your products and campaign. Copy, images, video content, funny little gifs of cats. It’s all there, it’s looking good, and… now what?

Is it working?

I mean, yes, the site is up and running, there are no problems there, but is anyone visiting your site, watching your cat gifs? Are you the elephant in the room, the fart in the lift, the loneliest little website on the server?

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Having an effective and accurate analytical system installed on your site is a window into how you’re performing, who’s visiting your page, what they’re doing, and maybe even why they’re leaving. For millions of businesses, the system of choice is Google Analytics, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular.

Having an analytics system like Google Analytics in place is a bit like owning a pair of running shoes; you’ll only benefit from GA if you actually use it. Simply having it in your home(page) isn’t going to help anyone; to get the most out of GA, you’ll need to pull your socks up and put your best foot forward.

Data led decisions

With all the information at both your fingertips and your wider team’s digits, too, you’ll be able to make some pretty smart decisions when it comes to your marketing choices. Gone are the days of going on gut feeling, sticking your head above the parapet and crossing your fingers. The data you’ll have access to means that you can measure the effectiveness of your actions, something that can be useful for improving the performance of your channels.

Once you’ve got analytics set up (see this beginners guide) and you’re identifying where your traffic us coming from, how long users are spending on your site, where they’re leaving and where they’re sticking around, you’ll soon become familiar with what’s “normal” for your site, and can soon step in to rectify any problems that may arise.

Reporting

If you ever find yourself pulling stats out of thin air (or, you know, worse places), Google Analytics can help you. Not only does it present you with the raw data, but it also chops, marinates and arranges said data into delectable (slightly less raw) sashimi morsels that you can then use to create reports.

Helping you in your marketing efforts, GA shows data trends that can help you predict scenarios that will ultimately lead to better results for your business or your clients’ businesses.

Understanding data

One of the best things about Google Analytics is that it helps with the necessary analytics to deduct information like an online Sherlock Holmes. GA has a handy feature that allows you to understand your users better, which can be helpful when working out who your site is actually attracting.

As mentioned above, analytics lends itself to CRO, or conversion rate optimisation, a process of assessing choke points and making tweaks to improve conversions (whatever you consider them to be).
So, for example, if you’re selling sleeping pills for horses to middle-aged, land-owning equestrians with steeds that suffer from insomnia, but GA reveals that your customers are mostly teenagers from city centres who enjoy techno and late nights; you can deduce that you might have a site that isn’t intuitive for older generations to navigate.

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With information like demographics, interests and location, you can start to build a real-time analysis of your visitors.

Easy to use

GA has many benefits over its competitors; the most important factor for many will be the price or lack thereof. That’s right, you heard correctly, the game-changing business-essential tool will cost you a sum total of zero pounds and zero pence (dollars/euros for our friends across the water/on the continent).

Understandably when starting a business, acquiring as much information as possible while spending as little as possible can be make or break, so GA becomes a natural choice for many.

It’s not as though you’re missing out by choosing the free option either; while you can pay extra for Google Analytics 360, the benefits only become apparent when your site is receiving over 10 million page views a month.

User friendly

GA is also pretty easy to install; the steps are laid out in the setup process you’ll encounter when first signing up to Analytics, but you don’t have to do anything too complicated. To work together, Google requires a tracking code that allows GA to, you guessed it, track the actions on your site.

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While your initial visit to the land of Analytics may be a little daunting, with regular use navigating the page will become second nature. Google offers free courses on GA that can take you from the early stages of deciding what you want to do with Google Analytics to the increasingly complex approaches that the system facilitates.

Similarly, suppose you come across something you’re unfamiliar with. In that case, there’s a great community around GA (a perk that comes with using the most popular analytics system out there), so you can almost guarantee if you’re experiencing a problem, you’re not the only one to have found it.

Coming from the pantheon of tools created by the Ancient Geeks over at Google, GA is compatible with the various but equally popular tools they have on offer. With systems that feed into one another and complement each other, it can make gathering information on your site much more manageable.

Data for the people

On the whole, the reasons why Google Analytics is so popular are clear. With an abundance of features that plug into your other Google tools (and all for free), it can be incredibly eye-opening when used even at a basic level. Some people would consider not using GA on par with losing a limb but instead think of it as gaining a fifth limb, one that can punch (or kick) down doors and find the answers you need to take your site to the next level.

Key Takeaways:

  • Giving you all the tools necessary to dig through the data, you can base your marketing decisions on some seriously solid nuggets.
  • Need to report on some stats? GA has everything you need to create accurate reports that’ll show off all the hard work you’re putting in
  • Understanding who’s visiting your site is a doddle with Google Analytics demographic feature, helping you to pinpoint exactly who your site is reaching
  • Easy to install and easy to get to grips with using Google’s free training courses, it works seamlessly with the rest of Google’s tools

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