This article first appeared in Floor Covering News.
What if you had access to “million dollar” marketing research for your flooring company, it cost you absolutely nothing, and you didn’t take advantage of it?
Often, I speak with owners who have had websites for years and have never even heard of Google Analytics! Shame on their web developers.
Google Analytics is a powerful tracking tool that will give you enormous amounts of information regarding who is visiting your site.
The way it works is you or your webmaster loads a piece of code onto each page of your website.
Once loaded, you’ll be able to access reports the following day.
The Google Analytic reports will tell you …
- How many visits you had.
- How many were new visitors.
- How many were returning visitors.
- How many were absolute unique visitors.
- Which pages were the most popular.
- The average length of time on a page.
- How many folks “bounced” off a page.
- The average number of pages people visited.
- Where your visitors came from. (city, state, country)
- How people found your website. (direct / search engine / referring site)
- Which keywords they used in search boxes.*
- Which pages they entered your site on.
- Which pages they exited on.
- If you’re getting significant traffic on days you ran other promotions?
- How you compare to prior time periods.
- Plus a lot more cool data.
- When you review your analytics regularly, you make more informed decisions about your web marketing.
For example, if a popular entrance page has a high “bounce rate” you will probably want to revise it. On the other hand, if your bounce rate on the page is low and folks are moving on to another desired page, you know you can leave that page alone and work on an area more problematic.
Other items to watch for are which keywords are driving people to your site. Are they the keywords you’ve been targeting or are they keywords you never thought of. If they are keywords you’ve been targeting, you know you’re doing a good job with your search engine optimization (SEO). If they are “new” keywords, then you might want to develop their corresponding pages even further.
You can also see how many prospects visited your website after you’ve run a newspaper ad or a broadcast commercial. You’ll see how many visitors you get from that yellow pages listing or any other listing you pay money for. This data will help you spend all your advertising dollars more wisely.
In the past, companies paid tens of thousands of dollars for market research like this. It’s amazing that you can now get it for free.
To get started, simply type “google analytics” in your search bar and click. If you already have a Google account, the process will go faster. If not, you’ll have to sign up for a free Google account.
After you sign up for the analytics account, Google will give you the code with instructions. Once you have the code loaded, try to review your statistics at least once a week. At first, it will be overwhelming. But you will soon get the hang of it.
Of course, there are other analytical services. You may have one that came with your particular website. By all means, look at that data as well. You may find some discrepancies as different companies have different collection methodologies. But overall, they should be pretty close.
Remember, looking at your Google Analytics is like tracking how many people phone or visit your store. You want to know who they are, why they came, and what they did while interacting with your company.
* Since this article was written, Google Analytics has restricted the number of keywords it will show.