If you want your website to gain as much traffic as possible, it’s important that you make consistent improvements to the site’s performance and SEO. By providing your main audience with a website that’s dependable, functional, and highly performant, there’s a great chance that the reputation your business and brand have will significantly improve. However, it can be difficult to understand what kinds of improvements you should make to your website if you don’t know how your site is currently performing. To mitigate this issue, it’s highly recommended that you use Google Analytics for your business and website.

Google Analytics is a tool that provides website owners with the ability to measure the SEO performance for their websites. If you have been optimizing your website for search engines but find that you aren’t generating the amount of traffic that you want, Google Analytics can help you identify why your SEO isn’t performing well and what changes should be made, which can be invaluable when you’re attempting to grow your website and improve your brand image.

Google Analytics can give you a wealth of valuable information that you can use to shape your future SEO and marketing decisions. If you find that many site visitors are leaving your website before they purchase a product or service that you offer, it’s possible that your website’s checkout process is poorly designed or doesn’t allow for a quick checkout. When you run the Google Analytics tool, you’ll be given data about where users live, how your keywords perform, how long visitors remain on your website, and the number of people who visited a certain page.

The information you can gain from Google Analytics is extremely useful to have because it can assist you in altering and strengthening your SEO efforts on a continual basis. Without analytics, you may never know that your SEO is performing worse than intended. This article takes a closer look at Google Analytics and why it’s of the utmost importance for any business that wants to garner continued online success.

Real-Time Reports

real-time reports with google analytics

These reports are designed to provide you with real-time data that pertains to who is visiting your website and what actions they’re taking while browsing your site. If you’ve recently written and published an article on your website’s blog, the real-time reports generated by Google Analytics can tell you how this article is performing and what types of improvements could be made to the written content. This data is simple to access if you know where to look.

First, navigate to the left sidebar in your Google Analytics dashboard. From here, select “Real-Time”. In the majority of situations, you will then be shown website traffic that has occurred over the past five minutes. It’s possible, however, for real-time reports to display actions that have taken place over the past 30 minutes, which will give you a more comprehensive view of how your website is performing with site visitors.

Locations

Another type of report that can be generated with Google Analytics involves user locations. This type of report can be found in the “Audience” area of your Google Analytics dashboard. Once you reach this section, scroll to the “Demographics” area to find the locations report. Google Analytics is able to identify a user’s location based on their IP address and where the internet service provider assigns the IP address.

The data you can gain from this report is largely accurate as long as you’re looking at the data on a state and country level. There are times when the city data can be inaccurate. When you access this report, you can view where users are located, how long users have been browsing your website and the exact page that these users are on. You should also be able to determine if a sizable percentage of your audience speaks a different language or lives in a different time zone.

Location data can be helpful for targeting your advertising and marketing and for improving the design and functionality of your website. In the event that a large number of users are visiting your website from a different country, you could improve your website’s functionality by adding multi-language support.

Events

Another key report that can be generated with Google Analytics is the event’s report, which allows you to track the exact interactions that your users have while browsing your website. These interactions can be practically anything you want them to be. Many website owners set their interactions based on their current conversion goals. If you want site visitors to view a video on your website, you can set video views to be an event that’s tracked through the Google Analytics tool.

A couple of additional interactions that can be tracked with Google Analytics include white paper downloads and ad clicks. Anything that increases a site visitor’s engagement with your website could be an interaction. With the real-time reports generated by Google Analytics, you can view events that have occurred in the previous 30 minutes. You could also select an event category to view activities that are specific to that category.

The information you gain in this report can help you determine if users are interacting with your website as much as you want them to. If site visitors only browse your website for a minute or two before leaving without having interacted with the website, this is a good sign that your website’s design or content is lacking and should be improved.

tracking analytics

Conversions

Among the most important reports that can be generated in Google Analytics involves the conversions that have occurred on your website. Your website’s conversion rate is a key measurement that can help you determine if your website is effective at converting first-time visitors into return customers who will continue browsing your website and paying for products for months or years to come.

When you implement an SEO or marketing strategy, the point of these strategies is to increase conversions and create new customers who may eventually become loyal to your brand. You don’t want someone to visit your website once and then never think about doing so again. If your current marketing strategy isn’t causing an increase in conversion rates, there’s a strong possibility that your marketing isn’t as effective as you want it to be.

The conversions report will provide you with real-time information about recent conversions. This data goes back 30 minutes and can give you the ability to view top website goals, the number of users who completed each goal, and the exact percentage of users who ended up completing the goal.

Content

The content reports generated by Google Analytics can be invaluable towards helping you determine which content is performing well and which content may need to be improved. If users aren’t getting to the end of one of your articles, it’s possible that the article is poorly written, doesn’t flow well, or is too long. If the article is too lengthy, it’s relatively easy to pare down the content into something more readable and engaging.

When you view this report, you can look at the percentage of users who visit specific site pages as well as the URL and title for each page you’re looking at. These reports can also help you understand where people are landing on your website. If a paid advertisement you’ve recently sent out leads back to a specific landing page, high views on this page could indicate that a sizable percentage of your site traffic is coming from clicks on the advertisement.

Traffic Sources

The traffic sources report can help you determine how users learned about your website. Maybe they typed the URL directly into the address bar or selected a link on your Facebook page. When you access this specific report, you can better understand how users are getting to your website.

Keep in mind that this report offers real-time data. If you’ve created a new social media post with a link to your website or would like to see how a new landing page is currently performing, the real-time data provided in these reports can show you the last 30 minutes of traffic.

Audience

Audience reports can be just as important to your website’s ongoing success as real-time and conversion reports. For any business to succeed, it’s extremely important that they understand who their core audience is and what they want when visiting a website. If you don’t know who your audience is, you can’t provide them with targeted content that satisfies their needs. Over time, they may become dissatisfied with the level of service you provide, which could lead to a notable decrease in site traffic and a worsened brand reputation.

Audience reports can help you gather data on specific audiences that are based on parameters you can set before generating the reports. Before you create audience reports, there are two things you should keep in mind. First, it’s important to define the audience you would like to track. Next, you should understand that Google has recently allowed site owners to view how target audiences have responded to remarketing campaigns.

When you generate an audience report, you can view many different types of data, which include the number of active users in the past 7-30 days, detailed demographic information about the gender and age of your users, interests, and behaviors. The “behaviors” section of an audience report is centered around how users react once they reach your website. You can also gain a better understanding of which devices your core audience is using. If the majority of your audience is accessing your website from a mobile device, you might want to enhance your website to accommodate these users.

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can show you an abundance of information about how your website is performing. With this information in hand, you can make informed marketing, website design, and SEO decisions that should improve your website and bolster your brand image.

Bryan Miller of Bryt Designs Long Beach Web Design, Development, & SEO
Author
Bryan Miller

Bryan Miller is an entrepreneur and web enthusiast specializing in web design, development and digital marketing. He is a recent graduate of the MBA program at the University of California, Irvine. Feel free to send Bryan a message here.

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