What is Google Analytics and How Will It Help Your Website?
If you own a website, you should have Google Analytics installed on your website. What is Google Analytics? It is a free service from Google. It’s one of their tools for website owners and bloggers.
Google Analytics helps you keep track of your website’s traffic and visitors. Having Analytics installed helps you see what is working and what isn’t regarding content and marketing efforts, for starters.
For example, you can see if there are certain pages people visit more often than others. You can see if certain pages tend to “drop” visitors — they leave after visiting that page. You can also see where your visitors are coming from.
All of this information, once you get the hang of it, helps you figure out what you should do more of, and what needs work on your website.
If you want to get serious about having an online business, Google Analytics is a great tool for figuring out
- where your visitors are coming from
- what they are most interested in on your website
- what keywords they are using to find you with search engines
- what they are doing once they get to your website.
among other things.
How does Google Analytics help you in your side hustle?
Well, Google Analytics will help you focus on what is working for your website.
You’ll be able to figure out if visitors are finding the content you feel is most important. This lets you have a better idea of what kind of visitor you’re attracting.
You’ll also know how long visitors are staying on each page of your website. Knowing how long they are staying lets you know if your content is relevant to your visitors (is it what they were looking for?) and if it is interesting to them. Sometimes short stays can mean your page is not loading fast enough or some other problem with the website itself.
You’ll also see where all of your traffic is coming from, and how they are finding you. This can help you decide where to focus your advertising and marketing efforts. Knowing so many people find me via Pinterest made me look at Pinterest as a marketing channel.
Using Google Analytics to Troubleshoot Problems on your Website
I’ve also found Analytics helpful in finding problems on my website. For example, if there is a specific page or post that has a high bounce rate (meaning, people don’t stick around after visiting that page), I try to figure out why. I look at the content again to figure out how I might improve it.
On shopping cart websites, seeing a large number of customers drop off during a certain part of the check out process might indicate a problem with that part of the check out system.
Whenever a large number of visitors (percentage-wise) falls off anywhere on your site, that’s Analytics telling you to look at it more closely.
Using Google Analytics to See What Visitors Do on Your Website
You can also use it to see what visitors do on your website. The Behavior Flow (go to behavior → Behavior Flow) shows where visitors land on your website, and what path they take as they navigate through your website. This is helpful to those of you with sales funnels set up in your online side hustle.
The sales funnel leads customers along the buying process. The Behavior Flow in Analytics shows you how effective your funnel is, so you can tweak it as needed.
Learning to Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics can be a bit confusing when you’re starting off. Thankfully there’s no end of great information on the internet about how to use Google Analytics. I really love this course over at Udemy, which helped me to learn more about how to use Google Analytics to its fullest potential.
How Do You Install Google Analytics?
Once you create an Analytics account, you’ll be given a snippet of HTML to paste into the HTML of your website. This code goes in the head of the website, anywhere between the two head tags. Within a few days, Analytics will start showing you data about your website’s traffic.
If this sounds intimidating, I can assure you it’s not as scary as it sounds.
If you don’t feel up to the task of configuring your website or installing services like Analytics, I’ll be happy to help you with those tasks. I have created several WordPress Set Up Packages for the DIY-minded solopreneur.