This post is not intended to be technical in nature (as most of our Google Analytics blogs typically are) but rather eye opening, matter of fact and timely. In speaking recently with many different types of companies (large, small, ecommerce, lead generation) there seems to be one commonality, at least when it comes to analytics. Very few are utilizing their web stats in the manner in which they could/should be. The reason? From what I keep hearing, it is largely due to the following: time constraints and/or lack of knowledge of the Google Analytics platform itself.
Let’s address the time factor first. The majority of people would agree that there is never enough time in any given day, week, month or year and as a result, certain “to do’s” get pushed to the back burner, or are forgotten altogether. Most companies feel it would take too much time to focus on their analytics data, but this is untrue. GA offers custom reports that can easily be set up and automatically sent (via email) at the frequency you desire. There is no need to waste unnecessary time aimlessly searching through GA’s (robust) interface to try to find the information you need. You have the ability to include only the metrics of your choice, with the pertinent information grouped together right in one place. Some examples of the metrics our clients have pulled into custom reports:
Google Analytics describes these reports as: “Custom reports are like super reports. You can spend literally minutes building one to show just the information you want to see. It’s like your own personal dashboard.”
Now that we have addressed the time factor, let’s focus on the lack of knowledge. Many companies simply feel that they do not understand enough about the GA platform and are overwhelmed by the wealth of information available. Well, look no further than our very own.
GA Blog for the latest and greatest that GA has to offer. You can refer back to previous articles, as well as view posts by specific category, month or year. Another excellent resource is our Knowledge Center. Here you will find informative, time sensitive Webinars with a section dedicated solely to GA. Our most recent GA Webinar is How To Avoid The Most Common Mistakes in Google Analytics.
In addition, MoreVisibility is one of a select few companies to be named a Google Analytics Certified Partner (GACP) and employ Google Analytics (GA) on our corporate website, as well as provide training, support and consultation to our clients utilizing the GA interface.
I find it perplexing that more marketers have not set aside the time and budget to gain a better understanding of what is actually occurring on their website(s). Doing so would afford them the ability to make educated decisions relative to allocation of online advertising dollars. In today’s challenging marketplace, every dollar counts more than ever. You want to ensure that your analytics code has been added to the site properly and that your data is being collected correctly. Otherwise you are likely spinning your wheels and relying on poor and/or inaccurate data, which can be extremely detrimental to your overall online marketing initiatives. Take the time to not only learn what your analytics platform can provide, but also ensure that the website is coded correctly and with the most up to date version of GA available.
2013 is here and now is an excellent time to reevaluate your overall web presence. If that seems too overwhelming a task, make a list and focus on just a few elements for now. Then, tackle a little more over the next several weeks/months. As long as you are productive in some fashion, it is much better than doing nothing at all.
In the meantime, below are a few examples of where you could take a closer look to see if you might be falling short.
Analytics – This is a super important piece of the puzzle and too often, is overlooked. When it comes to truly understanding how your web traffic is performing and where your online advertising budget should be allocated, analytics is a key component. Your analytics data can (and should) offer insight that will afford you the ability to make intelligent business decisions.
There are many analytics platforms available today. As a Google Analytics Certified Partner, we utilize Google Analytics for our internal efforts, as well as recommend the platform to our clients. Regardless of which analytics platform you choose, the importance of employing the code onto the site correctly is mission critical to your success.
Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, the list goes on. How are you engaging with your social media circle? Are you updating your pages often enough? Responding to comments made about your company? Offering incentives or contests? It is precisely these types of activities that you ought to be doing and doing well. If you have not yet launched a Social Media Marketing initiative, well, what are you waiting for? Start with just one channel if that helps become less daunting. No matter which channel you choose, you will want to have a well conceived strategy in place beforehand.
Website User Experience – When was the last time you actually viewed your website at length or read through content, filled out the contact us form, downloaded a webinar, clicked through the navigation? I encourage you to. Chances are if you take the time to really comb through your site, you will find little nuances that can be improved upon. Remember, first impressions are everything and you want a user to have a positive experience on your website.
Make 2013 the year of improvements for your web presence. It will benefit your business tremendously.