11 Nov Google Analytics Key Functions and How We Use Them to Our Advantage
When it comes to our dealers’ websites, on-site SEO is only part of the equation for managing digital content in a responsible and effective way. Once the websites are updated with media rich content, SEO value, and are indexing in the search engines, it’s extremely important that we are able to monitor their progress. But how can we do this? Google Analytics can be a highly effective tool, if you know how to utilize it. With this resource we are able to see who is visiting, when they are visiting, and how they have arrived at our clients’ sites. In this article I will break down a few key functions of Google Analytics and how we use them to fully optimize and grow our clients’ websites and digital advertising.
About Google Analytics
Google Analytics is something that bridges the gap between big businesses and small businesses alike. It is a powerful tool that is crucial to understanding how search engines (particularly Google bots) work and how we can make our websites highly noticeable to this ever-evolving technology. In April 2005, Google acquired Urchin Software Corp. and rolled out a Google-branded version of this software in November of that year. At first it was an invite only program that a select few had access to. Now, it has become the most influential and entirely free system featuring advances such as a new interface, custom reporting, and multiple dashboards. The convenient thing about Google Analytics compared to other tracking software is the easy tie-in abilities to other google accounts. Gmail, Google +, and Google Adwords can all be synced together through Google Analytics. This makes tracking website traffic easy and thorough.
Our 5 Favorite Features
Here are 5 (just a fraction) of the key features of Analytics that we use to our advantage.
1. Setting Up Goals – Not only do we want to drive traffic to dealer websites, but it’s important that this traffic is meaningful and creating leads. Setting up goals can help us at Chumney & Associates track conversions such as form submissions and service appointments scheduled as they happen and over a period of time so that we can see how to best improve the website’s navigation and direct traffic to these goals.
2. Referring Sites – Although this is a general feature that most analytics programs have, Google Analytics ups the ante by not only tracking where visitors are coming from, but the quality of that traffic and how many of those visitors follow through with a conversion such as a form submission or inquiry.
3. Popular Content – Whenever a page on your site is visited, Google Analytics tracks how long the person stays on this page and how many people leave after seeing this page. This can tell us a lot about the content of a page and whether or not we need to improve its design or add some more visually unique and original Chumney & Associates media to keep visitors’ interest.
4. Custom Reporting – You don’t have to be a Google Analytics expert to be able to read a report, and you don’t have to take our word for it, you can see for yourself! Analytics makes it easy to send individual or scheduled reports directly to our clients. We can choose which dimensions we want to see in the report, whether its keywords, search results, or bounce rate and highlight the main concerns of the client.
5. Geographical Data Summary – Amongst other statistical data, we here at Chumney & Associates are able to see where our visitors are coming from geographically and how long they stay on our sites. This is important information for us to have when targeting our dealers’ competitor cities. We do this by including these cities in the on-site metadata including titles, descriptions, homepage copy, and keywords.
These are just a few of the many features of Google Analytics. It is a comprehensive program that every website owner should utilize.
At Chumney & Associates, we are experts in SEO, SEM, website merchandising, and social media. Visit www.ChumneyAds.com to learn more about working with us to make your dealership #1 in the rankings.
About the Author
Morgan Chumney is an Internet Marketing Specialist at Chumney & Associates with a concentration in SEO and Google Analytics. Connect with her on Google+ here.