What is a “data-driven” company? You’ve probably seen the phrase crop up in articles online or heard it thrown around by other business owners. It may sound high tech but what’s behind it is actually really straightforward. These are companies that optimize their service using numbers and statistics… you can do it too!
Once you connect Google Analytics to your website, you can start to understand the behavior of your website visitors in detail: where your visitors come from, which buttons they click on your website, and how well you reach your target group. What’s the advantage to having this info? Knowledge is power! And these insights have the potential to transform your online presence and give your business the edge over the competition.
In this article, we’ll explain what Google Analytics is all about, how to connect the service to your website, and how you can quickly and easily take advantage of this tool, even if you’re a complete beginner
1. What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a free service that gathers data about your website traffic and traffic sources. It also has the ability to measure sales and conversions on your website, when set up properly. Plain and simple, any website owner that wants to grow and expand their website should use it, even beginners. Here are just some of the things Google Analytics can show you:
- The number of visitors
- Visitor trends during certain periods (e.g. peaks during the Christmas period)
- How long visitors stay on subpages
- How many times a certain button was clicked
- Whether a visitor is new or revisited your site
- How visitors reach your website
The tool also gives you a lot of options to customize the analysis of your visitors individually. For example, you can define specific audiences to evaluate how well your content already reaches them. You’re able to view, analyze, and interpret data to help you understand visitor demographics, how they found your site, what they do once they’re there, why they end up leaving, and much more. It’s these insights that guide your decision-making when it comes to adjusting marketing efforts and making changes to your website.
You can also create very specific goals. For example, you could find out how many times a particular button is clicked. Analytics offers you different templates or you can set your own goals, which you can then evaluate with just a few clicks.
What makes Google Analytics special? To start, the scope for individual settings is almost limitless. This is why large and data-driven companies generally rely on Google Analytics as their main source of information. That said, the statistics program is also excellent for beginners and small businesses. So whether you’re a part of a small business or a solopreneur, it’s a win-win!
Ready to get started? Before you can get any of this information, you’ll need to set up Google Analytics and connect it to your Jimdo website.
2. Connect Google Analytics to your website
- Sign in to Google Analytics or if you don’t have an account just click on the Start for free link to create one.
- Once you’ve logged in, click Start using Google Analytics.
- Enter an account name, the name of your website, your website URL, your industry, and your time zone. You’ll also be asked to check or uncheck four data sharing settings. Google uses these to improve their service.
- Click Get Tracking ID at the bottom of the page. You’ll also need to accept the Google Analytics Terms of Service Agreement.
- Copy the snippet of code under Tracking ID starting “UA-13…” (like the one pictured below), and enter this in your Jimdo Dashboard > Settings for Dolphin users. If you’re a Creator user go into your website then click SEO > Google Analytics. Done!
3. Get started with Google Analytics
Google Analytics is already connected to your website. Don’t let yourself get distracted by all the options. Follow these tips and you’ll find your way around in no time:
Focus on 2 key figures
Once Google Analytics is connected to your website, it will track your visitor behavior in real time. On your Google Analytics homepage, you’ll see an overview of the most important numbers.
Keep in mind that Google can’t process old data and it can take up to 48 hours for new data to start rolling in. So if it feels a little slow, don’t worry, you’ll start seeing figures in a day or so.
On the left side of the menu, you’ll find the following options:
- Real-time: What’s happening on your website right now?
- Audience: This is the visitor behavior of certain target groups. You can either use one of the templates or pick your own target groups.
- Acquisition: Where did your visitors come from?
- Behavior: Here you get deeper insights, like which pages your visitors found most interesting.
- Conversions: How many visitors take an action on your site? Like click a button, or fill in your content form.
Under Audience, you’ll get accurate information about your users. Even without defining a custom target group yourself, you’ll get interesting insights about your audience here.
If you click on Audience > Overview you can now discover (if GA has had enough time to collect data) things like where your visitors are from and what operating system they used to access your site.
More importantly, you’ll be able to see age and gender under Demographics (also on the left menu) and Interests. Under Geo > Location you can see which regions your visitors come from.
The exciting part? Based on the data, you can see whether your visitors match your intended target group. If you reach a whole different age group or region, that may be a reason to adjust your marketing. You can tweak your content to make it a better match for your visitors!
Choose Behavior from the menu, then go to Site Content > All Pages. Here you’ll find detailed visitor data for your individual subpages.
Sound boring? It’s not, trust us on this one. This overview is a kind of “starting point” for further analysis. The period comparison is particularly insightful. Professionals will regularly check back after optimizing a page to see if there are any improvements and adjust, if necessary.
Start gathering data
Now that you’ve gone through these steps, you should do…nothing. Seriously, I recommend waiting for at least two to four weeks before checking your data. If you’re patient and wait two weeks, you’ll be able to compare data from one week to the next. And moving forward, this is the best way to monitor the success of your website. As time passes and you collect more data, you’ll be able to compare results from month to month, quarter to quarter, and year to year. Then take a look at these few basic reports you should run in Google Analytics.
The beauty of website statistics is that they’re always constructive. If you draw the right conclusions from the numbers, you can optimize your own website and really become successful.
With the statistics on your Dashboard, you already have a great success tool built-in to your website. Google Analytics is the ideal complement to it if you want to delve even deeper to your website visitors’ behavior.
Give it a try and let us know how you get on! You might be running a data-driven company sooner than you think.