Google Analytics is a critical aid for small business owners to utilize in order to understand their online performance. This helpful tool allows you to measure your website’s traffic over time to see what is working and what needs improvement. While large companies typically have marketing departments that review and track Google Analytics, smaller businesses face difficulty in knowing exactly how to review this data. Current research shows that 92% of consumers check out local businesses’ websites when choosing which business they will use, making it of the essence that small business owners understand the importance of reviewing their Google Analytics.
With So Much Data, What is Most Relevant?
Google Analytics is a strong tool that small businesses should use. However, unless you have a degree in Digital Marketing this powerful tool can seem overwhelming. Google Analytics tracks over 200 metrics that range from acquisition to conversion. Although all the data Google Analytics offers is helpful, small business owners only need to focus on reviewing a handful.
Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who get to your website and do nothing. They found your website, which is a good thing, but nothing on your site compelled them to stay there. They don’t click any links or enter any information, there is no engagement. They saw your site and left. The goal of getting people to your website is to have them stay there. It is important to review your bounce rate because you can see if people are drawn to your site. Typical bounce rates are between 40% and 60%.
Your conversion rates are a critical metric because this signifies how many visitors are completing an action from your landing page. Your landing page is the page visitors arrive at when they click on an ad or Google text ad. Advice: Be sure you direct your traffic to a landing page and not your home page. Your landing page is where visitors will sign up, start a trial, check out, or download content. Your conversion rate indicates how engaging the content of your landing page is to visitors.
Organic Traffic Organic traffic is based on web searches instead of a direct link or ad. Also called a “natural search,” organic search results are the web pages that match the user’s search terms most closely based on relevance. In Google Analytics you will find your organic traffic under the Acquisition section. Once in your Acquisition section, you will see a subpage that tracks your traffic from organic search, social, direct, etc. (See image below). Organic traffic is important because it targets users that have a specific intent. For example, a user is looking for a realtor in North Hollywood, zip code 91611. You, as the realtor that serves that area, want to be the site that pops up first in their search. This is a useful metric to review because if your organic traffic is low, you need to improve your search engine optimization (SEO).
The number of backlinks pointing to your website affects your SEO. Backlinking will affect your page ranking on search engines, especially in competitive industries like real estate, cleaning companies, and home interior design companies. The more backlinks that drive organic traffic to your site, the more confident Google feels about your website, resulting in a higher ranking. Having a blog is a great way to add backlinks to your site. Link building is one one the most effective tools to drive more organic traffic to your website.
It’s almost impossible to know how your website is performing without Google Analytics. It’s also hard to know where your website may need improvement and where to focus your time. It’s easy to feel snowed under when reviewing your Google Analytics. Knowing what metrics are most important to review should help make your time efficiently used.