If you’re just beginning to try and manage your own SEO, the amount of tools and information available online can sometimes be overwhelming – which is why we thought we’d help out by providing a quick overview of some of the most important things to note, and hopefully save you some time.
Google actually offer a number of add-ons and extensions within their services, to ensure you get the most accurate data and use it to optimise your website.
Setting up Google Analytics
We understand that most of you will have Google Analytics installed on your website already, but we didn’t want to leave it out – as this is the most important.
Google Analytics is awesome, mostly because it’s completely free to use. By integrating with your website you will be able to track everything and anything you want – including who is coming to your website, how they found it, how much time they spent looking, what pages they looked at and even where they went to afterwards.
The tool is also highly customisable, so you can set up your account dashboard to show the most relevant information for you. Once Analytics is set up and verified, you can start to explore each of the features listed below.
If you haven’t set up goals for your business, how will you know whether you’re achieving what you wanted? Google allows you to create specific actions for your customers/users to take while visiting your site and you can record how often or not these goals are being achieved.
You can change the goals to be pretty much anything you want, whether it’s simply purchasing an item, registering their details or making an enquiry. If you have spent time and money producing a particular ad campaign, such as an app, video or game, you can even set goals to find out how many users are watching, downloading or interacting with that element.
The main reason we encourage clients to establish goals is that it makes monthly or regular reporting so much easier. It provides a quick snapshot as to whether your SEO work is heading in the right direction.
Generate reports by device or geographic location
The amount of information and types of reporting you can generate through Google Analytics is almost limitless. Two of the most popular reporting types used by business these days are to do with the type of device being used to view the website and where in the world your traffic is situated.
By reviewing the type of device most used to view your website, you can use the information to determine how important a responsive design is and whether you should create content specifically for the mobile platform.
Geographic location reporting is also handy if you are running national campaigns. You might find that people in a specific area are more commonly viewing a specific item or page – so you could then create a custom campaign to provide a particular offer to people just in this area.
If you are selling products directly on your website, then Google Analytics will allow you to create goals per transaction. This is a great way of quickly determining how many people are visiting your website and how many are actually making a purchase.
By setting it up correctly, you will be able to track which products are selling the most, whether they are seasonal purchases and compare sales between days, weeks, months and years.
If you aren’t directly selling products on your website, and your goal is to provide the best source of information for your customers and/or users, then there are also ways you can better the user experience through Google Analytics.
You can track user behaviour, to find out what pages most of your visitors are looking at, how much time they spend on each page, how they navigate through your site and what they are searching for specifically.
This will allow you to instruct your content producers and website managers to provide more information regarding popular topics and subjects. You can also create an SEO strategy around the most popular phrases.
Integration with other Google products
If you are investing in PPC campaigns, such as Adwords and Google Shopping, you should always ensure all your accounts are linked. By doing this you can gather a clearer understanding of what is working and what isn’t, to help you allocate your time and money more efficiently.
In addition to paid advertising accounts, you can also link your Google Analytics to social media channels, particularly Google Plus and YouTube (which are owned by Google), as well as Google Merchant, Google Places and Google Play.
Keep data accurate
As with all media channels, there are always some factors that will influence your data and results. One of the biggest challenges big corporations used to face was that a majority of their website traffic was actually internal staff, suppliers or stakeholders.
Google allows you to exclude specific markets of users, including internal networks and chosen third-parties, by listing selected IP addresses. This helps to clean the data you receive from your campaigns.
Want to know more?
The points we have listed here are really just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more you can do with Google Analytics… this article could possibly go forever.
If you are in the process of optimising your website and want some help to make the most out of Google’s intuitive tools, we encourage you to give us a call. The team at Digital Thing have years of experience in the industry and take it upon ourselves to keep up with the latest trends.
We understand just about everything there is to know about Google tools and resources, and can provide you with a quick overview of what they all do and how you can use them effectively.
Feel free to give us a call and arrange a no-obligation chat. We’ll take the time to assess your existing digital assets and help you create a measurable strategy.