Welcome to part 3 of my guide to Google Analytics. Part 1 covered setting up your account, installing Google Analytics on your website and how to get started with interpreting all the information. Part 2 dug deeper into understanding your website 'audience' so in part 3 we'll move on to how you acquire visitors to your website.
Google Analytics – Acquisition reports
Understanding how people are finding your website is super useful to guide you to attract more visitors and therefore increase sales. Here's some of the key data to help you do this:
Which social media platforms drive the most traffic to your website?
To find this go to the 'Acquisition Overview' in the left hand side menu (or you can click on 'All Traffic' then 'Channels') and select 'Social' to see a breakdown of where your website visitors are coming through from (don't forget to set the date parameters in the top right hand corner) like this:
Are these numbers what you expected? Do you spend most of your social media time on Facebook but actually get the majority of your website traffic from Twitter or Pinterest? If so it might be worth investing more in the platform that is already seeing success?!
Or can you focus your social media updates more on driving traffic back to your site, by using clear and simple calls to action in your posts for example.
What other websites are referring traffic to yours?
To identify your top referring websites click on 'Acquisition", 'All Traffic' then 'Referrals'. If your website does get much referral traffic just yet then here are a few things you can do to encourage people to link to you:
- Are there any credible online directories in your industry which you could be listed on?
- Enter relevant industry awards, if you get shortlisted you're website is bound to see some extra traffic
- Comment on blog posts from key industry influencers in friendly and thoughtful way. By adding something of value to the conversation other readers may click through to your site to find out more about you
- Spend more time on the websites that are referring traffic to yours currently (if any) and thank them! There maybe ways you can collaborate with these website owners to increase the referral traffic even more?!
- Offer to guest post on other blogs and include a link back to your website in the copy
- Consider advertising on established industry websites or blogs
- Do you work closely with a group of suppliers? You could all feature each other or at least link back on your websites to cross refer traffic if your services are complimentary?
What keywords are helping people find your website?
Ah the wonderful world of SEO (search engine optimisation)! Essentially this is just about how well your website ranks in Google (and other search engines) so that you show up nearer the top when people search for particular keywords or your business in particular.
This makes knowing how to optimise your website SEO or 'keywords' is a key part to attracting the right visitors! To see which words are currently brining traffic to your site go to 'Acquisition', 'All Traffic', 'Channels' then click on 'Organic Search':
Once you've identified your top say 10 keywords you can start using them more throughout your website to improve their performance even more, or they may even give you ideas for future blog post topics?
Don't be too disheartened though if you are shown 'not known' or something similar at the top of your keyword list. Google is making SEO harder and harder because they'd prefer if we paid to rank more highly!
One further SEO tip would be to rename any images that you upload to your website. For example; rather than uploading an image named 'IMG_9859', rename your images to something that include your keywords like 'nottingham bakery'.
Now that we've covered how who your website audience are and how they are finding you we'll move onto part 4 (coming up very soon) which will take a look at how to enhance your website visitors experience, to make them more likely to return or actually go on to become a customer!