Creative business ownership is not always creating your products or performing the services you offer. Sometimes, you have to stare at numbers for hours. Bookkeeping is the most common reason you’ll have to work with data but when it comes to your website, visitor data can help you fine tune your message and design. When choosing a niche and crafting an ideal client profile, having a good idea of the type of person who already follows your business can help save you a ton of time.
The easiest (and also free) way to monitor a library of data for your website is to use Google Analytics. Obtaining the code needed to start tracking your site’s data is quick and simple. You need to have a Google account to connect your website. But once you do, there is a lot to sift through once the analytics themselves start rolling in. Today, we’ll cover some of the most important data and how you exactly use it.
When you first login, you’ll automatically be presented with an overview of your Google Analytics. There are multiple bits of information here, but it also shares the data you need to review most often.
First, you will see the sessions, broken down by the day. The numbers shown are the number of unique visits to your site that were made each day. This includes new and returning visitors. At the end of each month, I also switch over to the monthly view because you can see overall growth and months where you drew more visitors. When you compare month-to-month with marketing, blogging, or launches you had, you can see what has been working and what didn’t in the perspective of your website visitors.
Second, you have some numbers to look over. Sessions shows the number of site views from above added together for the time period you’ve chosen. Users outlines how many people make up the number of sessions. This number will be lower than the sessions, since a user can return to your website (returning visitor) so they have more than one session.
Pageviews shows the number of sessions multiplied by how many pages those viewers went to while on your website. Pages/Session averages this data to show how many pages were visited per session. This is a great way to see how much of your website each person is viewing before clicking away. The Avg. Session Duration is similar to the last stat, as it gives you an idea of how long someone is on your website. Don’t be surprised if the time is low!
Your bounce rate is another important factor. That percentage you see lets you know how many people landed on your site, didn’t interact with it (like clicking a link for instance), and closed the tab or went to another site. You want that number as low as possible. A low percentage means less people visiting your site just suddenly left.
Demographics, system, and mobile are collectively the third section that can give you great details and stats. Country and city info can help you see where a lot of your potential clients are located. Most likely for the country, it will be the country you live in. But seeing the 2nd, 3rd, and so on spots can be really eye-opening!
Systems allows you to see what browser people are using, which is great info when you’re testing your site before a launch. You will know which browsers you need to view the website in to make sure it looks great and works perfectly. You can also view if your audience uses a PC or Mac when viewing your site.
Finally, mobile shows you if your website is being viewed mostly on mobile or desktop, which is essential to making certain changes on your mobile version of your site and how responsive it is when sized down for smaller screens.
I hope this post helps you to better understand why Google Analytics is so important and how it can be an asset to your business when honing in on your niche and ideal client (or when designing the site). What are other tools or apps you’d love to know more about? Let me know in the comments! There may just be some in-depth resources coming your way and we’ll dive into Google Analytics more.