What is Google Analytics & Why is it Important?

Google Analytics is a free service provided by Google that allows businesses to track the performance of their website and their marketing efforts. While there are alternatives to Google’s service, it is perhaps the industry standard in part because it is free and integrated with other Google products.

At the simplest level of use, Google Analytics allows you to track the volume of traffic to your site and its source i.e. a Facebook link or being listed in search results for a keyword.

Using Google Analytics should be a core component of even the simplest of marketing plans for any small business. This is because it provides decision makers with accurate data to help make better-informed decisions and helps to direct energy to where it is most required.

For example, if you place an advert in a local paper your capacity to measure its effectiveness is limited if you have no method for tracking hits to your website. In contrast, with the use of Google Analytics you can observe any increases in traffic to your website i.e. 24% when compared to last month’s traffic to the site. This allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of the advert and if your advertising resources could be better utilised elsewhere.

You can also see things like the drop off rate, this is where a user loads your website but does not interact with the website beyond the homepage. While a good drop off rate varies between industries, anything above 50% is considered to be high. Keeping with the example of the advert in the local paper, imagine if the advert costs $400 and drives 70 people to your site, if the drop off rate is above 50% you are essentially wasting half your advertising spend. The purpose of this example is to emphasise that using Google Analytics is critical to a successful digital presence.

If you have a website hosted with us Google Analytics it is normally pre-configured and has been collecting data since your website’s launch. If you would like access please let me know and I will send through one or more sets of login credentials for you and your staff.

If you do not have a website hosted with us, we would be happy to install it on your website free of charge. Alternatively, you can ask your current web developer to install and configure it for you. One thing to consider is that it is a requirement to update your website’s privacy policy to let users know that you are using Google Analytics, often this requirement is overlooked putting your web site in violation of Google’s Terms of Service and often local privacy laws.

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