For many website users, site statistics have been an under-utilised tool. Used effectively, their visitor data could help them understand visitors better, build an online audience, and widen their customer base.
Just knowing a few simple things takes a lot of guesswork out of any marketing strategies or promotional plans anyone might have.
Google Analytics is one of the most powerful statistical tools a website developer or digital marketing professional can have in their arsenal. The range of data provided can be quite extensive. There are alternatives, but Google’s product is outstandingly good.
While you may recognise the value that Google Analytics offers, what if you’re working with colleagues who have no clue about it? In that case expect some challenging questions. And here’s how you can answer them.
1. How much will it cost the company?
Before investing in any equipment or service, decision-makers will definitely ask about the costs involved.
For the basic version of Analytics, your company does not need to pay anything. However, you might be interested to upgrade to the more highly-featured Google Analytics Premium if you have a very high traffic website (like over 10 million visits in a month) and a generous 6-figure marketing budget (to cover the price).
The crucial point is that the true cost of investing in website analytics, whether Google or other, whether a free version or paid, is the amount of time and effort needed to master the basics and produce improved website results. So factor in regular data monioring and website adjustments.
2. Why do we need it?
Apart from being free and versatile, the best justification for investing resources toward Analytics is that it can help identify traffic sources and pages that yield the best returns. Users can create a custom report or view results from their website. Additionally, you can schedule these reports as emails to you and your colleagues.
3. Will it tell me how people find our website?
There are Acquisition reports which tells you where visitors come from. They give you the specific source details and breakdown by type: search, other websites, social media, and others. You get a good idea of what’s been working for you and what these visitors do when they get to your website.
4. Can it show us why visitors leave?
There’s an Exit Pages feature which shows you exit data. While it won’t give you a specific reason why they leave, it will show you the web pages they leave from. Then you can check the individual pages and consider where you wanted them to go and why those chose not to.
5. Can it show the visitor pathways in the website?
The Visitors Flow reports give a handy visual image of entry points and follow-through pages. The are also useful numbers and percentages for page comparisons.
6. Can I track e-commerce sales?
You certainly can. Analytics allows you to set goals and monitor their success. For e-commerce, you can specifically set up an e-commerce tracking code that goes all the way to your shopping cart. It’s a quite sophisticated feature and needs a little extra setting up, but you can get a good picture of the effectiveness of your sales processes.
7. Can it make the coffee?
There are some limits to Google Analytics. On your website or social media accounts it’s always possible to add other tools which will give additional and deeper data insights. Your website developer should be able to help you with them.
Unfortunately, there’s still some time to wait before the coffee is ready.