by Courtney Gordner
Knowing what resonates with your customers, potential customers, and people who don’t even know yet that they need your goods is one of the keys to success on the Internet. Don’t worry: Your new startup won’t have to put a psychic on the payroll to divine what these people are thinking. Instead, you need to use Google Analytics to track everything from your bounce rate to your traffic sources.
It can be hard to keep all the information straight at first, so here are some tips on what to monitor on Google Analytics and how to use these insights to help your startup.
It’s important to know what parent sources people are using to get to your site. Are they finding you on search engines or clicking over to your site from social media? Perhaps they’re being sent by a post on a popular blog that links to your site. Use Google Analytics’ Traffic Sources Overview to find all this information and more. You can use it to figure out where you should be devoting more time to finding customers and what search engine optimization campaigns are really resonating.
This Google Analytics feature shows you where the traffic is going once someone navigates onto your Web page. For example, say your page is http://www.mosquitomagnet.com/and you want to see how many people are going to the “How it Works” page as opposed to the “Keys to Success” page. Use Google Analytics to determine which is more popular, and then you can decide how to use this to your site’s and your business’s advantage.
The bounce rate tells you what percentage of your visitors are only staying briefly. It measures how many “bounce” away from the page without clicking on any additional links. High bounce rates can signal trouble with your new business’s website. Perhaps it’s an indication that the layout is too confusing and people aren’t finding what they want to. Maybe your SEO campaign is attracting the wrong type of audience, people who aren’t all that interested in your product.
You can gain a lot of important insights that will help you clean up your page and aim your SEO campaign better by examining your bounce rate. When you offer content that potential customers can really use, your bounce rate should fall.
The conversion rate for Google Analytics is exactly what it sounds like. It measures how many people you actually convince to take measurable action on your site, like buy a product, subscribe to a newsletter or click on a banner ad. The greater the number of conversions, the better job your site is doing of selling itself to visitors.
You will want to track your website’s conversion rate for several weeks to get an idea of what is realistic and manageable for your site. You also may want to set some conversion rate goals that Google Analytics can also help you achieve.
The goal of any SEO campaign is to help new customers find your site. It’s wonderful to do repeat business, but those people presumably know where your site is and can find it whenever they want to. SEO helps you get in touch with people who haven’t yet found your site but may find something of great value there. Google Analytics’ tools can help you discern not only how many new visitors you are getting per month, but also what percentage of your total traffic that represents.
Landing and Exit Pages
The landing and exit pages measurements on Google Analytics are also a very interesting tool for new businesses. They tell you where people are landing when they get to your site and what page they’re leaving from when they go. For instance, say you have the aforementioned mosquito site. It would help you to know that people are landing on your page about a certain trap and exiting right after buying that trap. It lets you know that they’re heading to your page with a specific goal in mind, and perhaps you can find ways to entice them into staying longer and browsing something else.
As you can see, it’s important to start using Google Analytics to increase your web awareness. Once you have a better idea where your traffic is coming from and what people are interested in, you can target those areas.