Is a professional analyzing your data? Learn the basics from us.

So your company has followed all the content strategy marking advice and put money, time and staff resourced into crafting campaigns about a product rollout, writing blog pieces about the biggest developments in your industry and even producing graphics and videos to use across various platforms, but how do you prove to your stockholders or CFO that the effort was worth it? And even if the traffic has increased, how do you know the targeted message reached the desired audience? google analytics1

The most trusted tool, known in the industry for its accuracy, is Google Analytics. This is a web-based, free, in-depth service offered by Google to provide marketers with vital information on website traffic, from sourcing to conversion rates. But the charts, graphs and tables are only a list of items if a company doesn’t hire a dedicated team to turn these figures into action items to improve the customer experience. 

The Mopdog School of applying analytics
For some companies, the most surprising set of information Google Analytics displays is the technology platform a visitor used to access a website, from personal computers to mobile devices like smart phones and tablets, down to the model of the iPad or generation of the Samsung Galaxy. But really the most important focus when using Google Analytics is realizing the data displayed in this tool is real-time reporting, which should lead a web designer to make up-to-the-minute adjustments on your website to gain more traction with an audience.

google analytics

Hits and visits are now called sessions, and that number should always be trending upward. But really the “sessions” number is just a brief overview of site traffic; the real concern is if visitors have stopped interacting with your site’s content. It’s true a decade ago full-page ads in magazines were trashed with last month’s magazine issue. And even though content on your company’s website has a longer shelf life, the relevance can go stale. It is critical to constantly update old content and provide fresh information daily.

The second batch of information to monitor relates to learning the behavior of your audience, specifically what was the path that led a visitor to your virtual door. Google Analytics tracks visitors from all referrers, including the keywords clients used to find your site in search engines. This metric is important because you want your company to be the leading authority in that community, whether it is post-acute health care or the construction industry. Google Analytics provides a list of the exact keyword phrases or terms that led the visitor to your site as the best source.

A visitor’s path can also start by clicking a link in an email or html newsletter to travel directly to a website. Google Analytics also tracks how a social media campaign may be spurring followers to your site and when they are interacting the most. The traffic flow can also be sparked by referring sites, or “backlinks” to your website posted on other Internet pages.

Knowing how a visitor is reaching your content is only half of the story. It’s also important to know why, to ensure visitors are finding what they need and spending time with your content. The “bounce rate” indicates the percentage of people who land on one of your web pages, but then leave without venturing to any other pages on the website. These are single-page visitors. Your bounce rate should be very low, under 50 percent at least, unless the majority of your content is all found on the home page.

The fact that these visits are now called sessions shows a movement to track the period of time, down to the second, your audience is engaged. Your company needs visitors to be intrigued to learn more about your services if you want them to be a future client. Are these visitors staying long enough for a complete conversion, essentially signing up for your webinar, buying a product or scheduling a consultation? After all, a website it not about looking amazing, it is a platform for conducting business. Get seen, get heard and get results.

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