July 7, 2016

How to use Google Analytics to identify business opportunities

When considering our business opportunities it’s worth analysing the performance of our website and the current trends affecting our industry.

This process is time consuming and requires sharp thinking, but it’s essential if we are to stay ahead of the competition. Luckily for us it’s starting to get easier with tools like Google Analytics, taking some of the guesswork out of business planning.

Google Analytics helps us to analyse our website traffic, target audience and conversion rates with data collected from our website. If you’re looking to develop an existing or new business opportunity, then Google Analytics is an invaluable resource for checking website usage and insights into your target audience.

Should I have a mobile app?

Data from Statistica highlights that the number of mobile users will increase from 7,278 million in 2015 to  9,038 million in 2020. The questions business owners should be asking is whether a mobile app can help to increase revenue. How you can get to this answer is by identifying the platforms your website visitors are using to engage with your website and forecasting if this is likely to change in the future.

You can find out the mobile usage on your website by searching under the Audience menu and the ‘Mobile section’. This will give you the breakdown of the number of sessions on desktop, mobile and tablet.

Mobile apps provide an opportunity for businesses to improve internal and external operations. At Greendog we’ve worked on a range of mobile projects with clients, including recent work with the Greenhatch Group to improve external communications.

Could I be getting more website visits?

Having amazing content is one thing, but if your strategy for driving people to your website is not working, then you will be wasting your time. Two metrics you should be checking are your page sessions and visits to your website. After signing into Google Analytics, navigate to the Behaviour section on the left hand side and select ‘Overview’. From here you will be able to find your page views, average time on page, bounce rate and exit rate.

Page sessions (number of people visiting your website) can sometimes be a better indicator of the performance of your website, as they don’t include visits from the same people.

Should I change my marketing strategy

You should be monitoring your marketing strategy on a monthly basis, to see how engaged your website visitors are. Do you know for example, how long customers spend on average on your website? What the bounce rate is for your product/service pages? If your page visits are high, but the average time people spend on your website is low, then you may be reaching people but not engaging them to stay longer. Your bounce rate (percentage of single page visits) can also help you to understand if you’re moving your website visitors towards a purchase. A high bounce rate suggests that visitors to your website were only engaged with one page.

Data from Google Analytics will help you to clarify how successful your content strategy is. Navigate to the Behaviour section, Site Content and ‘All Pages’ to find your stats on each website page. Struggling to find particular pages? Google Analytics has a search bar where you can search for content by typing in URLs.

Am I aiming my marketing at the right people

How well do you know your target audience? Understanding our demographics is becoming more difficult as our audiences are being subjected to an increasing number of social media platforms. The younger generation are interacting with eachother by video, whereas typically people in the 50+ age category are less engaged with technology.

In Google Analytics you will find an Audience menu on the left hand side and a ‘Demographics’ tab. Within this section of the website you’ll be able to find data on the age and gender of website users.

Could I be converting more customers

Conversions are the holy grail for most businesses, but they are not easy to track. Luckily though, Google Analytics can help you to keep up to date with your online conversions. In the Admin section of Google Analytics is the ‘Goals’ menu where you can start the conversion tracking process. However, finishing the set up is a bit complicated, unless you have technical website/SEO knowledge.

Concluding thoughts

Google Analytics can give you a detailed insight into your target audience and your website performance, which you can then put into a report and share at your next board meeting. It has the potential to save your business money and reduce risk, but in order to get the most out of it you have to put time into the research.