How to use Google Analytics to improve your website - understanding your audience

Blogging, Business, MarketingChloeComment

This is part 2 of my guide to using Google Analytics so if you haven't yet got it set up for your website or you're a beginner you might want to take a look at that first HERE! So assuming you now have Google Analytics installed, how do you actually use it to improve your website and therefore your business or blog? We covered the three basic audience, acquisition and behaviour overview reports last time so it's now time to dig deeper into the audience reports to help you understand what's working well with your website and where you could improve things.


Google Analytics - Audience Reports

I'll cover the 'Acquisition' and 'Behaviour' sections in future blog posts but today we'll focus on the 'Audience' section in more detail and the key statistics within it that could help you improve your website:

Audience location

Where are your website visitors located? This is particularly interesting if you have a physical, bricks-and-mortar business location but worth looking at for online brands too. You can see which countries your website visitors are coming from by selecting 'Geo' then 'Location in the left hand side 'Audience' menu, which might be particularly relevant to see which timezones your content publication needs to align with?

You can also see which cities your website visitors are coming from though, to do this use the little menu titled 'Primary Dimension' underneath the map and select 'city':

If you are in a physical location this could inform how well your local marketing efforts are doing or whether you could be doing more to raise brand awareness in your region?

How are your audience viewing your site?

Do they prefer to use your website on their mobiles, tablets or desktops? In general mobile visitors have dramatically increased over the past few years as you'd expect so if you're website isn't yet mobile-friendly this could explain why you're numbers are low. However it also gives you a huge opportunity to improve the visiting experience for mobile users!

To find this information select 'Mobile' then 'Overview' from the 'Audience' menu:

Have you tried viewing your website on your phone recently to see how easy it is to use or find certain information?

All the websites I design are mobile-friendly and given the trend towards mobile this element of the design is always a big consideration!

Are you audience new or returning visitors?

You can see these percentages in the Audience Overview report as we covered in part 1 but you can breakdown the information further by clicking on 'Behaviour' then 'New vs Returning' under the 'Audience' heading.

If your website is fairly new (like mine) you don't need to worry if the 'Returning Visitor' percentage is on the low side as everyone will be a new visitor during the first few months. However keeping an eye on these numbers can help you to focus your attention on the group that needs it most!

Do you need to concentrate on getting more new visitors, encouraging new visitors to become repeat visitors or on looking after your returning visitors?

If you need to focus on new visitors and converting them into returning visitors you could:

  • Make sure it's clear exactly what you do and who for on your homepage
  • Ensure your contact information is as easy to find as possible
  • Improve how easy it is to use and navigate through your website
  • Create an FAQs page to help answer initial questions
  • Think of ways to encourage new customers to engage with your website, for example offering them a freebie to sign up to your newsletter, running a give-away or competition, etc

To show your return visitors how much your appreciate them here are a few ideas:

  • Send them thank you emails or post a thank you message on your website every now and then
  • Offer discount codes for repeat purchases
  • Ask for their feedback in an annual survey to get ideas of how you can help them if more going forwards

There's a wealth of useful and interesting information in Google Analytics so if you're a self-confessed geek like me I hope you're finding these posts valuable to understanding your website performance? In parts 3 and 4 (coming soon) we'll cover the 'Acquisition' and 'Behaviour' sections then I'll wrap up with some tips and tricks in part 5!

Chloe x