A Brief Intro to Google Analytics For E-commerce Sellers
It’s good to have a plan before you take action, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about your next step. Many businesses turn to Google Analytics to help them climb the rungs of the business ladder, which isn’t surprising considering how many have found their way to success using Google’s comprehensive range of tools. In order to get to take the next step, you have to know your current position on your desired path. That means getting to know your target demographic more intimately and recognizing patterns in the way your customers shop. Google Analytics can help you think like the customer, or perhaps more accurately, let you see what the customer is thinking.
Too many brands make the mistake of thinking they have it all figured out because they got off to a hot start. If you’re committed to fighting stagnancy and dedicated to growing your business, then Google Analytics will give you the data you need to make that transition. If you’re interested in getting your business to the next level with Google Analytics, here’s what you need to know.
How Google Analytics Can Help You Grow
You can’t improve your business if you don’t understand its strengths and weaknesses, and analytics can give you valuable insights about your business and the tactics you use to promote it. Google Analytics is a popular choice because it’s free, effective, and easy to use—and of course, it starts with “Google”.
Countless successes have sprung out of an idea, but an idea won’t take your business from start to finish unless there’s very little in between. In order to find out what marketing tactics work and what resources end up going to waste, you need to understand your audience. That means in addition to knowing who your demographic is, you need to know how they interact with your brand.
Even if you’re not a particularly scientific, systematic type person, going on a hunch will only work so many times. You need to look at the real numbers to find out who is accessing your website, what they’re clicking on, and how you can improve your conversion rate. Google Analytics gives you the tools necessary to understand your customers with relation to how they engage.
So What Is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is essentially a small piece of code that you can use to learn about your viewers’ behaviors. It will track views, clicks, and interactions on your website so you can take a look at your usual trends. There’s a lot of data to take in, and while that’s a good thing in terms of understanding your target audience, it can be a little intimidating as well. Google everyone isn't savvy with their tools, so they present the findings in ways that are easy for the average person to understand.
If you rely on the play counter under your homepage video as your sole tool for tracking traffic, you’re not going to know how to improve your website as you grow. You need to know what videos are being played, what links are being clicked, and what products are being bought through your online store. Google Analytics keeps track of all the interactions on your website so you can identify trends and use them to plan future moves.
Google Analytics can discriminate between new and returning users, detect browser settings, and determine how long a visitor has been on a particular page. All of these specific events provide you with useful information about the browsing and shopping habits of your fanbase. The more you know about them, the better you can meld your business in their favor.
Do I Need All This? Can’t I Do This Manually?
The days of doing everything manually are over, and that’s fortunate because we’d never keep up by hand. Industry leaders use Google Analytics to get the data they need quickly and efficiently so their competitors don’t have a spare second to catch up. Mining all the necessary data to track keywords would be extremely difficult, and tracking clicks could become impossible. Here are some things you can’t or won’t want to do without Google Analytics:
- Tracking keywords. If we weren’t able to track keywords, we wouldn’t have SEO. It’s impossible to move up the search rankings without doing so. Unless you have the time and patience to test keywords manually, you’re going to need tools like Google Analytics. These programs take tedious, time-consuming tasks like these and turn them into instantaneous results that you and your team can use now.
- Measuring traffic. When you change a variable in an experiment, you look to see what effect it has. That’s what happens when you run a promotional campaign. You devise a plan based off of past experiences and data, and you measure the changes when you put it into action. In order to tell how effective your promo is, you’ll need to be able to see your website’s traffic. Google Analytics lets you watch the results of your campaign so you can see if it’s getting you closer to your goals. If you notice no change or a negative change, you can revamp your strategy on the go.
- Improving business decisions. You want to make your business as appealing as possible to your potential customers, but how do you know what move to make? Use Google Analytics to observe the effects of your decisions and plan for the future based on past successes and failures. Every business decision should be an informed one, as the decision probably affects more than just you. When you have hard data to work with, you can be more comfortable that you’re making the right call for your company.
What If I Forget How It Works?
It might be somewhat new in the grand scheme of things, but Google Analytics isn’t a mysterious tool that we’re still trying to master. It’s one of the best tools for data analytics available, and people all over the world swear by it. So if you step away for a while or you’re worried you might forget what you’ve learned—and there is a lot to learn—you can always find a free refresher course online. All of the resources you could possibly need are at your fingertips, and there are communities of similar users waiting to help you. You can find support on the Google Analytics Facebook or Youtube pages, or you can go right to the official community.
Do Other Brands Use Google Analytics?
The answer here is a resounding affirmation. Brands of all sizes use Google Analytics integrated with other tools to do market research, and they use them in different fashions. Airbnb has exploded in popularity over the past few years, and part of its success can be attributed to effective use of analytics. Massive companies like Twitter, General Electric, and NASA also rely on Google Analytics to see their page views, video plays, and traffic streams. Everyone from Airbnb to NASA is using Google Analytics, and it might be time to stop missing out.