Most small business owners understand the importance of having a website to promote and share information on their goods or services. But unlike physical business premises, it’s much more difficult to see who’s looking around your website, and therefore more difficult to understand your customers. Which means it’s harder to judge whether you’re offering what they really want or need.

Fortunately, there’s a solution. And what’s even better is that it’s free.

Google Analytics is a powerful website analysis tool that gives you the ability to better understand your customers, and get a feel for how they’re interacting with your website.

Here’s an overview to using Google Analytics for business.

Setting up Google Analytics

To begin, head over to Google Analytics to set up a free account. There is a simple 3-step process for you to follow. First, set up the website you wish to track as a Property, then obtain a unique Tracking ID. Next, add this code into your website. You can either add it manually to each page you want to track, or, if you have a WordPress.org site, you can use the Google Analytics by MonsterInsights plugin (previously called Yoast).

Within a few hours, you can start to track data from your website. Further details on this process are available on the Analytics website. (1)

Google Analytics Dashboard

The dashboard is the place where you access all the data from your website. The first report you see is the Audience Overview. This shows you the number of visitors, which is broken down into new and repeat visits, how long they stayed on each page, which countries they’re from, the number of conversions, which language they speak, and much more.

Beneath the main metrics you can break the information down to gain greater insight, by looking at the cities they’re from, the devices they use to engage with your website, their browsers, and even their screen resolutions.

Reports

On the left of the Analytics dashboard, there are links to different reports you can use to gain valuable information about your website visitors.

In addition to the audience report, there are acquisitions reports that show where your website visitors come from, behaviour reports where you can learn about the behaviour of your site such as the time it takes to load, the top entry pages, the pages that have the highest bounce rate, and reports about your conversions.

Setting Goals

The best way to measure your site’s performance and check that you’re on the right track is to set goals. A “goal” in Google terms is a completed activity, such as a conversion. You can set up to 20 goals for your website, and these can include anything from email sign-ups to completed purchases.

Once you’ve set your goals, Google will begin tracking them and you can follow your progress in the goal reports.

This is a very basic overview to Google Analytics. If you wish to learn more about using analytics for your business, you can find more detailed information in this excellent free guide.

  1. https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1008015?hl=en&topic=1727146&ctx=topic
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