Guest Editorial by Randall Graham
Most businesses have a website…but can they tell how well it’s performing? How many, or even who has visited your site in the last week? Your site may look good to you and your employees, but how effective is it in delivering your message and keeping customers/viewers on your site. I’ve got some good news and some great news. Good News = Google Analytics. Great News = IT’S FREE!!!
In a nutshell, Google Analytics will allow you to see how visitors found your site and how they navigate through it.
How visitors found your site: Suppose you’re a plumbing contractor, and you’ve laced your website with specific keywords for the services you provide for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes. With Google Analytics, you’ll be able to determine which keywords customers typed into Google’s search engine and were directed to your site. Some may have found you by using the phrase “affordable plumber” while others found you by typing in “broken faucet.” Also, if you want to get involved with Search Engine Marketing (paid advertisements at the top and right hand side of all search results), Google Analytics will help you better determine where to spend those dollars.
How visitors navigate through your site: One of the coolest things about Google Analytics is that it provides you with tons of data for anything and everything you would ever care to know. When designing you website, it’s always important to keep in mind what your customers want to see. Too often sites are created with the company, not the actual customer, in mind. In looking through the data Google Analytics provides, it shows you exactly what pages within your website viewers are going to more frequently…a key indicator for which ones you should highlight on your site. Let’s use a home builder site as an example. In looking at the data, it may tell you that customers are more interested in before/after photos from your portfolio rather than the company’s history. With the data it provides, you may also find that viewers are going straight to the services/pricing page rather than a certifications page. Google Analytics also shows you the length of time viewers are spending on your site. If you see where viewers are spending 8 to 10 minutes on your services/pricing page, maybe it’s because they’re having a difficult time understanding the pricing structure…thus, letting you know you should simplify the presentation.
To learn more about Google Analytics visit www.google.com/analytics. To educate yourself more on the advantages and how to get the most out of your analytics visit www.google.com/analytics/education.html. Make sure when you are designing or redesigning your site, you use this data to enhance the experience of the viewer.
Randall Graham is Director of Marketing for 123Triad Web Design, headquartered in Raleigh, NC. For more information about Web Design and Web Marketing, visit www.123triad.com or call 1-800-720-0816.