(“Check it Out!” is our series where we share awesome articles from the web along with our analysis and commentary. This one is about Google Analytics. It’s from 2015, but still extremely relevant.)
Are you a small business owner? Do you need help figuring out what marketing efforts are working for you, and which ones are a waste of your time? If your answer is yes, this post is for you. Google Analytics is probably the most underutilized free tool out there for business owners.
This post is full of gold, but I want to highlight a few points that I think could be the most impactful for business owners:
1. Annotations. You can annotate events in GA so you can see when events and actions have an effect on your web traffic. For example, let’s say you sponsor a local basketball team (it’s March Madness time, basketball is on my mind) and have a banner hung in the gym. Then, people start searching for your brand online and your organic traffic goes up. If you annotated that event in GA, it could help you make the connection. Then, you could experiment with sponsoring other local sports events and see what kind of effect that has on your traffic. Annotations can help you see the effects of offline events on your brand awareness. This is just one example of what annotations can do. It’s a very simple concept, but also very useful.
2. Campaign Tracking: You can build custom URL’s using Google’s free URL builder and track any campaign in Google Analytics. Let’s stick with the local sports sponsorship as our example. Let’s say you offer a $5 coupon on your banner. You build a custom URL for this marketing campaign like example(dot)com/5-dollar-coupon. You can assign this as a specific campaign in GA and very clearly see the effect on your traffic, including how many conversions it drives.
3. Goals: speaking of conversions, many people have not defined goals (i.e conversions) on their site. So let’s say a sports fan goes to that URL that you built and they use that $5 coupon to place an order. The action of placing the order is a conversion, also known as a goal completion. You definitely want to define your goals and set up GA to track them.
I could go on for an hour. I doubt there are many businesses out there utilizing every single tip in this post, so there is likely something in it for you.
Here at Baltzer Marketing, we are just getting started on the process of building a new website for our growing business. As we go through this process, we will be focused on what we want the site to do for us, and how we can measure and optimize the site’s performance to help us achieve wild success! After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?
This is a magical time in history for business owners who are capable and willing to utilize all of the amazing technology that is available to us. Google Analytics is so ubiquitous that it almost seems blasé, but it really is an extremely valuable and powerful tool if used properly. It can all seem overwhelming, but I recommend you learn how to use this great tool, or hire or partner with someone who is into it. If you want to become a Google Analytics master, Google offers a free course. I also recommend highly recommend Avinash Kaushik’s blog. It is absolutely brilliant.
So, what is the one thing from the linked post that could have the biggest impact on your business?