We've reached the final section (part 5) in my guide to Google Analytics for small business owners! Today I'm going to round off the tour by sharing a few tips and tricks to using all the data to actually improve your website and marketing strategy.
If you've not read parts 1 - 4 yet here's what they cover:
Identifying the best times and days to post new content on your website
Knowing which days and times are most popular with your website visitors allows you to be much more strategic in when you publish new content. For example you could make sure you published blog posts, launch new products or announced a competition / event on high traffic days but if you were going to make changes to your website you'd want to plan this for a quiet time during the week.
To set up two custom reports to show you this information just click on the links below (as long as you have Google Analytics installed on your website of course!):
Busiest Day of the Week: https://www.google.com/analytics/web/permalink?uid=2wwKhoVQRMOidkIyrLqMgQ
Once you've clicked on the link select your website then click 'create' to install the report:
Select a date range in the top right hand corner then you'll see you're busiest days throughout the week. The days are numbered as follows:
0 = Sunday, 1 = Monday, 2 = Tuesday, 3 = Wednesday, 4 = Thursday, 5 = Friday, 6 = Saturday
So my busiest days are Wednesday, Thursday then Tuesdays.
You can also make a report for the busiest time of day by clicking on this link:
Busiest Time Of Day: https://www.google.com/analytics/web/permalink?uid=OUvLYZiiRwu9lQYbIYHSOg
And again select your website 'all data' then press 'create':
Remember to select a good date range in the top right hand corner to see the most popular times of day for visitors on your website:
This shows me that my traffic builds throughout the morning, peaks at midday and then again in the evening. It's really useful to know when people naturally prefer to visit my website as I can make sure I'm active on social media at the peaks times to hopefully encourage even more people to click over and read my blog posts!
Any time you want to visit either of these reports again you just go to the 'customisation' tab across the top of your Google Analytics dashboard and then click on the report you wish to view:
Compare your website performance to previous months
If you're investing valuable time and energy into improving your website and focusing on particular elements of your marketing strategy you need to know whether your efforts are paying off or not! The 'compare' function in Google Analytics is great for this as you can see all of the key stats we've talked about throughout this guide with a comparison to a previous period. So for example if you set your date range for the month of September as I've done in the example below, then hit the little 'compare to' tick box and select either 'previous period' to see the month before or 'custom' to enter a specific date range you'll see how the two sets of data compare:
As you scroll down and click through the audience, acquisition and behaviour reports as we covered in parts 2-4 you'll now see two sets of information to give you a quick view on how successful you've been!
To go back to just seeing this month or just one set of data just uncheck the little 'compare to' box in the date range box.
Finally another handy view point is the 'real time analytics' section where at any time you can see exactly how many people are on your website right now. You can also see where they're based and how they found you so if you're running a particular promotion or have just posted on social media you can see the impact it has on your website traffic straight away! This section is towards the top of your left-hand side menu:
Have these tips been helpful? Have you enjoyed my Google Analytics guide? I'd love to hear your feedback on the series!