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Track your site’s performance with Google Analytics

Screenshot of Google Analytics Dashboard

You don’t need to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to know that it’s not worth pouring money into a website or marketing campaign without being able to track how it performs.

Being able to assess what works and what doesn’t allows any businesses or organisation, big or small, to better target where you invest your hard-earned cash.

Did you know then, that it’s possible to monitor your website and track links to discover: how your visitors or potential clients have arrived at your website; what pages or sections of your site they visit; and how long they spend looking?

Google Analytics is a free service which allows you to do exactly that.

It’s startlingly simple. Once you’ve signed up you can learn which online marketing initiatives are cost effective and see how visitors actually interact with your site.

By knowing how your visitors arrived at your site and how they use it once there, you can better understand how to keep them there by giving them exactly what they’re after.

You can make better-informed site design and layout improvements, drive traffic to specific areas, and increase your conversion rates and profits.

For example, knowing that a lot of your traffic comes from Google’s search engine can mean that your online presence is strong and you are being ranked accordingly. You can also discover what ‘search terms’ visitors have used to find you. Understanding how people think can be very helpful when crafting your site’s content, assisting you to attract the attention of the all-powerful Google search engine (a process known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)).

A lot of traffic referred from social media platforms may indicate that you need to focus on other channels and / or put even more effort into growing your social media engagement.

Similarly, the amount of time someone spends on different pages or sections of your site is an indication of their interest. Knowing exactly what your clients or customers are after is imperative and tracking how visitors move through your site can be very helpful.

Knowing, for example, you’ve spent a lot of time and money on a particular promotion or website page which visitors rarely view, is useful in helping you plan your next campaign.

In short, you can tell a lot about your online visitors using Google Analytics, including:

  • how the visitor found your site / source of their referral
  • their country and city of origin (and language if relevant)
  • if they are a new visitor or are returning
  • the operating system they’re using, including whether they’re using a mobile device
  • which pages or links they click on
  • how long they spend on each page or section
  • where they go when they leave your site.

By default, we install Google Analytics on all websites we work on, if it’s not running already. If you want to have access to your website statistics, you only need a gmail address or a Google account (which can be your normal email address).

The Code Company