Google Analytics – a fantastic free web analytics tool provided by Google that helps you track and analyse your website traffic. In this article, we talk about Google Analytics for small businesses, including setting it up, what it can track for you, and importantly, why you need to get switched over to GA4 – the sooner the better!
Are you using it yet? On a regular basis?
If the answer is no, then here’s everything you need to know about this little beauty.
First off, you need to sign up for Google Analytics and ensure it’s linked to your website:
- Sign up for Google Analytics: Go to the Google Analytics website (why not google it!) and sign up for a free account. You will need to provide your website URL, your business information, and agree to the terms of service.
- Add the tracking code to your website: You need to link the account to your website, so once you have signed up, you’ll need to get the tracking code and pop it into your website. This involves adding a piece of code to the header or footer of your website’s pages. You can find the tracking code in your Google Analytics account under Admin > Tracking Info > Tracking Code. If in doubt, it’s always best to get your ‘website people’ to do this bit for you.
- Play around with it: spend some time looking at all of the different functions and information it can provide. It’s so interesting, and there might be some info there that surprises you!
- Analyse your website traffic: Once you have set up Google Analytics, you can start analysing! You can see how many visitors are coming to your website, where they are coming from, what pages they are visiting, and how long they are staying on your site – and that’s just for starters!
- Use data to make decisions: Use the data you collect in Google Analytics to make informed decisions about your website and your business. For example, if you see that a particular page is getting a lot of traffic, you may want to optimise that page to convert more visitors into customers.
So in summary, Google Analytics is a powerful tool for small businesses that want to better understand their website traffic and make data-driven decisions to improve their online presence.
LET’S GET INTO THE MEATY STUFF – WHAT CAN GOOGLE ANALYTICS TRACK?
Google Analytics can track a wide range of metrics related to your website traffic and user behaviour. Some of the key things that Google Analytics can track include:
- Website traffic: As above, Google Analytics can show you how many people are visiting your website, how long they stay on your site, and what pages they visit.
- Audience demographics: You can see information about the age, gender, location, and interests of your website visitors, which will help you further understand your STAR customer, and if this is changing over time.
- Traffic sources: You can see where your website traffic is coming from, such as search engines, specific social media, or referral sites. That’s very important, as it will allow you to optimise those different traffic sources accordingly.
- Behaviour flow: Google Analytics can show you the paths that your visitors take through your website, including where they enter and exit your site. This is valuable information, as you’ll be able to see which pages are loosing people – and you can then work out why, and fix it!
- Conversion tracking: You can track specific actions on your website, such as those that fill out a form, make a purchase, or sign up for a newsletter. You have to set this up, to that Google Analytics knows about it – but once done, it’s invaluable.
- Ecommerce tracking: If you have an ecommerce website, Google Analytics can track your sales, revenue, and conversion rates, making it a whole lot easier to understand performance.
- Mobile traffic: You can see how many visitors are accessing your site from mobile devices (or indeed other devices) and how they interact with your site. That will allow you to ensure your site is optimised for the right devices.
GOOGLE ANALYTICS 4 (GA4) IS A MUST…. KEEP READING…
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google Analytics, and as of July 2023, the old version will stop capturing data, and you will HAVE to move over to GA4. So why not consider doing it now.
GA4 comes with a range of new features and improvements that provide more comprehensive and accurate data for businesses. It’s actually quite exciting to see what they’ve done!
Here are some of the new features of Google Analytics 4:
- Event-based data collection: GA4 uses an event-based model for data collection, which means it can track user interactions with your website or app more accurately.
- Machine learning and AI: GA4 includes more advanced machine learning and AI capabilities, which can help businesses gain insights from their data more easily. We particularly love the ability to write a question into the search, and it answers in an instant!
- Streamlined user interface: The GA4 user interface has been redesigned to be more intuitive and user-friendly. It also includes new reporting capabilities, such as a new analysis hub that allows businesses to create custom reports and dashboards which is fantastic for small businesses who want to spend less time measuring but enjoy the rich information.
- Focus on customer-centric measurement: GA4 is designed to help businesses focus on measuring customer interactions across multiple channels and touch points, rather than just measuring website traffic.
Overall, GA4 provides a more comprehensive and accurate view of user behaviour – both trends and realtime – across multiple platforms and touch points which is incredibly valuable as an upgrade of Google Analytics for small businesses. Its advanced features and capabilities can help you gain more insights from your data that will allow you to make sensible decisions that will help the growth of your business.