Should you care about Google Analytics? If you have a website for your business, yes. What is Google Analytics? It’s a free (with some paid options) service for tracking and reporting on your website traffic. With Google Analytics, you can discover exactly where your web traffic is coming from, what they’re clicking on, and if they’re converting or not. You can sort your web traffic by location, age, and other key demographic information.

Google Analytics works with either a plugin (for WordPress sites) or a tracking code that you put into your website’s core files. It’s 100% web-based — so nothing to download: you just click on a link and log in.

So…now that you’ve got a grasp on what this is, how can it help your business objectives?  With Google Analytics, you are equipped to determine WHO (is getting to your website), HOW (they’re getting to your website), WHAT (they’re doing on your website), and IF (your website is resulting in the conversions you need). If you spend any level of time or financial investment on your website and online presence, this is information you can’t afford not to have.

Understand Your Marketing ROI
When you know who is visiting, how they’re getting there, what they’re doing, and if they’re converting, you can better understand how your marketing dollars and time are performing.

Beyond just understanding how your marketing is performing, Google Analytics gives you the power to tweak your messaging and really finetune your advertising dollars, contact forms, and so on.

Understand Your Website’s Strengths and Weaknesses
What if Google Analytics tells you your marketing is attracting the right visitors for the right reasons, but you have a lot of traffic jumping ship before contacting you? You can then use Analytics to understand why visitors are ‘bouncing’ before ‘buying’ or ‘converting’. Which pages are they most likely to leave? How long are they spending on different pages? When you can identify potential problem areas, you can do something about them!

Understand Your Target Audience
Google Analytics gives you key data on who, exactly, is visiting your website. When you can learn as much about your target audience as possible, you can better market to them. For example, you may be a landscaper in Hamilton, Ontario marketing to women in their 30’s and 40’s, but Google Analytics might just tell you that your audience is largely composed of men in their 40’s and 50’s. This information can help you refine your messaging.

Understand Your Spending
When you can measure how your online marketing efforts are delivering, you can better control your spending. If, for example, Facebook ad traffic bounces before filling out a contact form, while Instagram traffic fills out the form, you’ve learned it’s wise to spend your money more on Instagram than Facebook ads.

Bottom line? If you have a website, you need to get a Google Analytics account. Though Analytics is free, you may want to work with a digital marketing firm to better understand the insights within it. Information is power and when you fully understand what Google Analytics is telling you, you can have more control of your marketing dollars.