It’s amazing how many small businesses have a website but don’t even have the basics sorted when it comes to finding out how their site is being used. One of the most important elements of running a business is your digital presence and making sure you make it easy for your customers to find useful, relevant content. The next most important element is knowing how these customers of yours are using your website and interacting with your content.
Many businesses use an array of different web publishing platforms – you might even be using such sites as ‘Wix’, ‘Squarespace’ and ‘Shopify’ to publish your website online. Our preference leans towards ‘WordPress’ but monitoring your users actions on your site with Google Analytics can be achieved with any one of the mentioned platforms.
So, what is this Google Analytics business and how can I go about learning about my customers?
First and foremost, Google Analytics is the premier web tool for monitoring such things as;
- Where your customers are coming from – you can see if more people land on your site from Facebook or your Google listing for example
- How long your customers are staying on your website – this is a good indicator of whether your content is engaging and interesting
- What pages your customers visit – this is vital in establishing if your site is converting well and indeed easy to navigate around
- What the total amount of traffic is visiting your website
The above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Google Analytics can track – but it’s a great start, especially if you don’t have the basics setup in the first place.
We’ve put together some useful guides on how to install Google Analytics on your website below for some of the major platforms, but before you rush over there, there’s some basics you’ll want to get sorted first.
You’ll want to create a Gmail account which you can do here. The next step is to visit Google Analytics to get started.
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Once you’ve created your account and got that sorted, you’ll need to ‘Sign Up’ for Google Analytics.
The next screen gets you to setup your website (so go ahead and enter all of the relevant details in the form fields).
Once you’ve successfully completed the above, you’ll get given your ‘Tracking Code’ – this is the most important part of Google Analytics as it relays information back to Google about how your site is being used.
You’ll want to copy the code (yes, all of it) and then transfer it into whatever system you’re using. Depending on what system you’re using, the process will be slightly different, so we have written the below guides to get you started.
Once you’ve setup your Google Analytics tracking on your chosen platform, you can test to see if you’re receiving real data from your website.
Head to the ‘Reporting’ Tab in Google Analytics and navigate to the ‘Real Time’ tab on the left hand side. In another tab, navigate to your website (you may need to refresh your website for the changes to take effect.
You should start to see real time data now stream through!
Over time, you will gather further statistics on your website visitors – an example of this is shown below.
Now with Google Analytics setup, you can track your website visitors and gain valuable insight into how they’re using your website!