Good morning, welcome once again to a new installment of Marketing Online, the podcast in which we talk about Marketing, but not just any marketing, but rather Internet marketing, the network of networks, digital marketing, which some call it… well, online marketing.
Today we will talk about one of my passions. Web analytics, that is, Google Analytics. A Google tool that allows you to analyze everything that happens on your website. The objective of today’s program is that when you finish the program you will be able to know what Google Analytics is, what it is for, and what you can use it for in your case. So here we go!
What is Google Analytics?
Well, to explain it in an easy way, it is a website that you connect to and you can see reports about the visits of your website. I know that some purists will say that this definition is bullshit, but for a long time I have been used to speaking non-technical terms to my clients, translating technical jargon into the words of people on the street. So, it is said. A website in which you connect, and see statistics and reports of visits to your website.
In addition to being a great tool, it happens to be free. Yes, you heard it right. Free. Completely. Like most services offered by Google. You go, you sign up, and you use it by the sideburn. In other words, it is really worth it, because with zero cost, we can draw conclusions and take actions to make the web much more profitable. But, let us start at the beginning…
How do I install it?
Installing it is the easiest. We simply have to sign up for the Google Analytics service, and follow the steps indicated. Google will give us a code that we must place on our website, and everything will be done.
From that moment on, all visits will be recorded anonymously and Analytics will begin to collect data. And depending on the number of visits we have each day, we can begin to discover behavior patterns of our users.
Ok, I have installed it, now what?
Before starting to make decisions, what we have to do is have a minimum of data so that the reports are meaningful. We cannot pretend to make important decisions based on the last 25 visits. So, the key question is… “How many visits do I need to be able to analyze?” Well, I also asked that a while ago, so I asked Avinash Kaushik, the Google evangelist, and you can see in the notes of this program.
To summarize the answer of the dear and appreciated Avinash, we will say that to make decisions about which keywords, campaigns, or landing pages work best, with 1,000 monthly visits we can already make good specific and concrete decisions (it is not a matter of remodeling the web either based on them), but we should have that minimum. In other words, with less than 1,000 monthly visits, we cannot trust the reports very much.
Well, assuming that we already have that minimum of visits, the question is “And now what do I do? What reports do I look at?” Well, imagination to power, we can generate as many reports as we want. But now I will summarize the main ones.
Audience, that is, visitors
The first group of reports that Analytics shows us, and by the way the one shown by default, is the “audience” reports. These are those reports related to the users who visit us. Specifically, we can have: Demographic data (age and sex), interests, geographic data (country from where they connect, region and city), user behavior, that is, how many are users who have already come and repeat visits, how often visit us, and how long they stay for each visit. Technology: With what they connect (mobile, tablet, PC…), what operating system they use, and from what network they connect, that is, their Internet provider.
Well, with all that we can generate what are called demographic reports. In other words, reports that tell us things about our audience. Analyzing them we can get a quick idea of our user profile.
For example, we can draw a profile that says that our typical visitor is a man between the ages of 25 and 35, who has an Apple computer, visits us through a laptop and sometimes from an iPhone, who lives in a provincial capital, or that is, in large cities, and who usually visit the web every day in an average of 5 to 10 minutes. Or maybe she is a girl between 15 and 20 years old, a fashion enthusiast, who visits us weekly from a tablet. Or perhaps men between the ages of 60 and 70 who visit us daily from a desktop computer. It doesn’t matter, they are just examples.
Here the important thing is that you make a profile of your typical user, and that you compare it with your typical client. If it is the same, you are winners. Congratulations. You have been able to attract the public that interests you. But if not, we have a problem. Your website is attracting a profile of a person who is not the one you are interested in. So, you have two options. Either you take advantage of that profile that is already visiting you, and create a product or service for them, or you change the content of your website to attract the profile that interests you. But if you simply keep doing the same, you will never make the web profitable.
Acquisition, that is, traffic source
The other great category of reports that Google Analytics offers us is about the origin of the visits. I mean, where do they come from? As for the data that we can consult, there are several.
In the first place, we can see the acquisition channels, that is, if the visit comes from a search engine (which will practically always be Google), if it is a direct visit (that is, if you have written our address directly in the browser, or have came through a bookmark), if it comes from a , or if it comes from a link from another website that has a link to ours. Obviously, we can then detail that report to find out exactly which search engines, which social networks, or which websites are those that bring us the most visits.
Another very interesting fact is that we can know the keyword that they have used to search for us. Before we could know both the keywords that had been used whether the visit was paid or free. But Google has closed that information for a while now, and we only have the data for the paid keywords. Thus, we cannot know the keywords that they have used in Google if they have come through the organic results. A pity.
As for the , we can know everything. What keywords have they used to search for us, what campaign has been the most successful, what ad, etc.
In addition, we have the option of marking any URL with data that adds more sources of traffic. For example, if we make a campaign to all our contacts, and we put a small code on it, it will appear in the Analytics report and we will be able to see the impact of visits that we have generated with that mailing. Or if we place a banner on a website that we pay for it, by placing a small code we can see the visits that it is bringing us, and their quality. We can generate this code with a tool called , totally free. You can find the link in the program notes, at /podcast, in episode 9.
These reports are very important, because thanks to them we can see who is giving us visits. Perhaps we will discover that most of our visits come from Facebook, for example. In this case, we can further promote this route, if we see that it is the one that works, being more active on that social network, publishing more and better content, or even investing in some ads. Or maybe not, maybe we see that our visits come mainly from bloggers who talk a lot about us and link to us from their websites. So maybe we should create content to promote these blogger articles, or even talk to them to thank them for their links, or why not, send them samples of our new products or invite them to try our services, so that they can talk about them as they have already done in last.
In short, it will depend on each case, but with the reports from the traffic sources, the idea is to analyze who is providing us with these visits, and promote it in one way or another, depending on each case. Hence the importance of having a good online marketing consultant who knows how to interpret and propose solutions. Oh, by the way, coincidence of coincidences, I am an online marketing consultant… so if you want to hire my services, you know where to find me. 🙂
Well, we now continue with the third type of report. The behavioral one. These reports tell us about what the visitor does on our website. Let’s not confuse it with the audience reports, which tell us about the visitor itself. What these give us is information about what they do. What type of information?
Well, a bit of everything. To begin with, what is the entry page. We have to think that not everyone makes it to home plate. Some might land directly on a post page, or a product page, or perhaps a product category page. Depending on what you have searched for in Google, the search engine will have sent you to one site or another.
We can also know the flow of the visit. In other words, what does that person do at the moment they reach that page. Heading home? Is he there for a while, reading information? Go to the contact page? Maybe come back later? Do you use the web browser? In other words, what route does it take? In retail marketing that is done by following consumers. For example, in a department store. There are people who are dedicated to following visitors to analyze their behavior. To see where it goes, where it stops, what offers are looked at, what offers are not looked at, etc. Well, this is the same. We can know exactly what our visits do.
Finally, we can know what the exit page is. In other words, what is the last page they visit before leaving the web. If that page is the one that is shown once the product has been purchased, or after having contacted us, then fantastic, because it simply means that you have already achieved our goal. But if it is not like that, we should know which page is the one that has made it leave our website, because perhaps it is a page that backs down the visits. If we see that a page has a very high exit rate, perhaps we should rethink it, to prevent those visits from leaving.
We also see if they have used the search engine. You know, that little text box that is on some websites in which we can enter a word and it looks for relevant related content within our website. It is interesting to analyze this data to find out what percentage of visitors use it, and of course to find out what they are looking for.
In short, behavior reports are very useful to know what visitors to our website do, in order to improve it, offering better content. For example, perhaps we see that most of our users land on our “outlet” page, where we have many offers. Once they get there, they have four or five offers. We see that those who are going to…