Using Google Analytics to Drive Website Improvement
Using Google Analytics to Improve Your Website
Analytics is all about using your business data to drive website effectiveness improvement. Proper understanding and implementation of Google analytics offers important feedback for continuous improvement in achieving your business goals from your website or other online property such as mobile applications. Of primary importance is choosing which data to use and and how you use your data. Understanding your key performance indicators (KPIs) is be the first step to your success. Understanding what you want to measure, measuring it, and then analyzing your data drives ongoing improvement. This is an iterative or continuous improvement process or loop.
Website Improvement Starts with Defining Business Goals
In order to understand what data is relevant you first must define your online business goals or KPIs. It all starts here, with your business objectives. Knowing what you’re trying to achieve is fundamental to actually obtaining that achievement. This may seem obvious to you, however let me ask you how often you’ve gone to a website looking for specific information, but are not able to find it? A common example might be that new restaurant you want to visit but can’t seem to find its address on their website. Or that new accountant you heard about who doesn’t have easy access their telephone number on their website. These businesses didn’t ask the question ‘what are we trying to achieve on our website’ first. Knowing your business goals drives much better results. If your goal is to make it easy for potential customers to find your place of business or to call you, you will put this information on your site so that it is easily found. It sounds easy and it is, or can be if you have simple business goals. But you first must ask the question, what are the goals of my business’s website? Use the answers to guide the strategic design of your website.
The Analytics Key:
A Goal Must be Measurable, Specific, and Obtainable
But it doesn’t end here. In order to determine if your website is successful, your goals must be measurable.
In our next business scenario, after careful analysis your team has determined that a specific product has great profit margins and you want to ‘boost sales’ of this specific product.
It’s critical to your success for your goals to be much more exact. The statement ‘boost sales’ is too general. A goal must measurable, specific, and obtainable. A goal that meets our requirements would sound more like:
Improve sales of x product by 10% each month, over the next 6 months. Sales should increase from 50 units per month to 55 units per month.
Stating your business objective in this manner offers clear metrics in which to base your success. In working towards your goal, you might choose to put cool new imagery and copy on your home page touting this product, with a call to action pointing to more details. The detail page would offer added information with a clear path to purchase. This works the same for services.
Key to your continuous improvement process is documenting everything. Note your current sales levels and the specific changes made. What is the exact text used and what are the colors of your call to action buttons. At the end of your designated timeline, let’s say one week or month, record your results. If you make any changes like changing the call to action button, record this. Watch your analytics for your steady improvement or any trends.
Use your analytics to inform your website changes.
Goal Setting is Just the Start to Better Websites
Knowing your online business goals is very important to achieving online success, but it’s not the only thing. Other important elements of a successful website are:
- Understanding your customer’s and their needs or pain points
- Understanding your customer’s language
- Performing regular competitive analysis
- Optimizing your technical environment
It’s analytics that pulls it all together and gives us the information to better our sites. Without analytics we would not know what to change. Analytics allows for the continuous improvement. But it all starts with understanding and acting on your business goals.
Call us at 734.997.3000 to find out how we can help you better your website’s performance.