Using Google Analytics for Website Improvement
A business’s analytic data is vital to driving website effectiveness improvements. Proper understanding and implementation of Google analytics offers important feedback for continuous improvement, whether it’s your website or mobile application. Of primary importance is selecting which data to use and and how to use it in support your decisions.
Understanding what you want to measure, measuring it, and then analyzing your data, drives ongoing improvement. This is an iterative or continuous process, also known as an improvement loop.
Understanding your key performance indicators (KPIs) is the first step to your success.
#1: Define Business Goals & KPIs
In order to understand what data is relevant, you first must define your online business goals. Then you can determine the associated metrics or KPIs. But, it all starts with determining your business objectives. Knowing what you’re trying to achieve is fundamental to actually obtaining your goal. This may seem obvious to some, 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 questions like
- Who is coming to our site?
- What information will they most commonly look for?
- What are we trying to achieve on our website? Examples:
- Lead generation
- Product sales
- Informational source
Defining your business goals drives better results. For example, say your goal is to make it easy for potential customers to find your place of business or to call you. Then, you will put this information on your home page, making it is easily found. This sounds easy and it is, or can be if you have simple business goals. But you first must ask the questions and define your website’s goals. Then use the answers to guide the strategic design of your website.
You maybe thinking what’s this have to do with Google Analytics? Read on.
#2: Goals 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 an 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 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 the 1st month, to 61 the 2nd month. And so on.
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 can work the same for business services.
The key to your continuous improvement process is documenting everything. Note your current sales levels as well as the specific changes made to your website. Document the date of your change and exactly what you changed. For example, note what exact text used, the colors of your ‘call to action’ button, etc. At the end of your designated timeline, record your results. (Note: at least a month month is recommended to have enough data.)
Then watch your analytics for your steady improvement or any trends.
#3: Use Your Analytics to Inform Your Website Improvement Changes
You can set up funnels and goals in your Google Analytics account to track all your business’s trends. Event tracking allows you to actually know if someone is clicking on the video you’ve so carefully and professionally created. You can even find out if website visitors are watching it to the end! Event tracking can track all sorts of things, including white paper PDF downloads, clicks to other websites, clicking on email addresses, and click to call links. Anything that clicks can be monitored in your Google Analytics account.
With funnels and goals set up in Google Analytics you can get very detailed information about your demographics. Advanced techniques allows for really fine tuning and targeting your audience. Ongoing monitoring of your data allows for continuous website improvement.
It’s analytics that pulls it all together and gives us the information and feedback 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.
[article updated: 8/19/2021]