Understanding Google's Marketing Platform
As a small or medium-sized business, it can be difficult keeping track of your website’s success. Even when you do find the time, it can be overwhelming when viewing all of the different stats. We will cover some of the simpler aspects of Google’s Marketing Platform to help you understand more about your website.
If you like numbers, graphs, and a bunch of data, then you’ll love this service. There are several types of reports you can view on Google Analytics, such as real-time, audience, acquisition, behavior, conversions, and more.
On all of the reports, you can change the date range at the top right of the screen. You can also compare a time frame to the previous year. If you wish to save, export, or share a specific report, you can do that by clicking one of those buttons above the date range. You can also move your mouse over most items to get an explanation.
Audience overview report will give you a very simple idea of how your website is doing. It will show you the number of users, new users, sessions, pageviews, average session duration, bounce rate, and more. You can drill down into more specific audience reports, such as the geolocation of your visitors, their age range, what browser they use, and much more.
Acquisition reports can help you figure out how your visitors are getting to your site. If your site has good SEO, then organic search might be how most people find your site. If a lot of people link to your site, maybe the referral acquisition type would be higher on your report. If you dig deeper, you can find which websites link to yours and a whole lot more about how you acquire your visitors.
The Behavior reports can be good to see which content your visitors prefer. Knowing this would allow you to produce similar content and hopefully bring more visitors to your site. These reports can be difficult to read if you aren’t familiar with how websites are structured.
Conversion reports require you to have some goals created before you’ll see any beneficial information. One common goal is the amount of time a visitor stays on your site. You can set this to any measurable amount of time, and when people stay on your site longer than the time specified in the goal, you will see data on the goal completion. Conversions play an important role on e-commerce sites, but they can be difficult to get right so it might take some fine-tuning to figure out what works best for your site.
The Search Console allows Analytics to see the queries people used to find your site. This plays a major role in building a better website for your users. In the Search Console, you can also check to see if Google found any errors on your pages and how to fix them. It’s important that you submit your sitemap to Google via the Search Console so it is aware of all of your pages. You can also let Google know about new pages before it has a chance to crawl your site, which can lead to the page being indexed faster.
Often times the person responsible for tracking the success of the website isn’t the person who developed the website. The Tag Manager allows people who aren’t familiar with HTML to update the tracking codes on the website. If you want to add a heat map tracker, Facebook Pixel, or anything else, you can easily do it with Google Tag Manager. Your web developer will install the Google Tag Manager tracking code and then give you access to control which trackers your site uses without having to edit the HTML.
Keeping track of the success of your website can take a lot of time, maybe more time than you’re willing to spend. This is why we perform this task for many of our clients. There are more services than the ones mentioned that we use daily. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to discuss how we can help.