This month I’m excited to bring you my friend Cinthia Pacheco, analytics expert, to explain why using Google Analytics for your business will be one of the best decisions you can make as a business owner.
Let’s face it: analytics and data can be boring (Zzzzz… I can hear you snoring already!) but if you know how to use them, they can be hella exciting too, because they switch the light on the mysteries of, for example, where traffic is coming from and what type of content you should create next so you don’t launch to crickets.
Trust me: using Google Analytics for your business can be tremendously helpful — especially as tech advances in 2017. Check out her guest post below on concrete examples of how it has benefited others and how it can benefit your bank account too.
Guest post by Cinthia Pacheco of DigiMorph, Digital Systems Strategy and Analytics for Creatives
Avoiding your Google Analytics might seem second nature at this point. But if you’re not using Google Analytics for your business, you’re missing out.
Maybe it’s because you don’t know where to start inside the maze of reporting and metrics. Other times, you just wonder if it is worth your time and energy to even look at the data. You are busy and sitting down to look at a jumble of reporting seems like an impossible task.
It’s Monday morning and you decide: today is the day! Today is the day that I start understanding Google Analytics. You straighten your back and dive in, a strong cup of tea in hand and with the determination of a badger during mating season.
After 15 minutes, you are in a very different state of mind. Squinting at the screen, shoulders slumped, and energy deflated, wondering, “What the hell does this all mean, argh!?”
What you don’t know is that inside Google Analytics lie many answers to many of your doubts and day-to-day questions about what is going on in your website and business.
- What blog content should I be writing about?
- What are people actually interested in reading about on my blog?
- Where should I be spending my time with marketing to get more clients? Is it the ever-expanding Facebook, or maybe Instagram is the cool thing to do now? Or wait..do I need to focus on building my emailing list to connect best with my audience?
- And most importantly… What actions can I take today that will lead to actual growth in my business and more clients/projects/opportunities?
How to Use Google Analytics for Your Business
What does all this have to do with Google Analytics?
Your website is your piece of land in the world that is the internet. It is how your business shows up online — and Google Analytics tells you exactly how it is performing.
It can tell you:
- What blog content is most popular
- Where people are coming from before visiting your site
- Where conversions are actually happening
This information exists in your Google Analytics and the only thing standing in the way is your predisposition to learn how to use the data waiting for you (or getting an analytics expert on your team to interpret it for you).
The truth is that the power of Google Analytics isn’t in the data, but in how you integrate the information you get from your numbers into all the important decisions you make in your business.
The coming together of the knowledge you have on your business plus your Google Analytics data makes for the ultimate business tool for refined and strategic decisions leading to clarity and growth.
This is for businesses who are confident in what they stand for and have a direction, and are interested in validating that north.
Here are three stories of real businesses that took a hold of their data and made better decisions, combining their creativity and judgement.
Case Study #1: Monica Ganley
Monica runs a boutique agriculture consulting agency at Quarterra.com, focusing on quality and integrity in every piece of content published. Right now, her focus is on publishing consistently and positioning herself as an industry leader.
She has been putting a lot of focus on her monthly newsletter and sharing all her posts in LinkedIn, since that’s where the majority of her audience lies. With her Google Analytics, we started to identify exactly where she was getting more leads to her site and discovered that the majority of her data was actually coming from Google searches. On the flip side, her newsletter was hardly bringing in any visits to her site.
Based off this data, Monica decided to:
- Focus on fine tuning her SEO a little more and paying attention to the keywords being used. This helped her write future posts and also motivated her to continue writing consistently to her blog, since that’s what attracted those Organic Search Visits.
- Shift her strategy for the newsletter, since she realized that the way she connected with her returning audience should be very different. She started to experiment with different email formats and documented everything, to then review the data again in a couple months.
This is one way that using Google Analytics for your business can inspire your marketing strategy, as well as the content themes your audience seem to enjoy more. The key here is doing an initial analysis and then documenting to note changes and come to even clearer conclusions.
Case Study #2: Erin Flynn
Erin is an amazingly talented Web Developer who wants to inspire her community with great resources. She has a nice following and wanted to get more information about where her audience is spending most time when coming to her site at Erinflynn.com.
We started to look through her content posts and identified something interesting: she was bringing in a good chunk of traffic through Pinterest, but these specific visits were bouncing as soon as they opened that initial content. A bounce is when a user views one page of the site for their visit, and then leaves.
Erin was surprised since she had recently done some work on her Pinterest traffic, and didn’t realize that all this traffic was leading to unfulfilled visits. It kind of seemed like she was throwing her efforts to the wind since most of those visits were just consuming her one article, and not continuing on to another article, her courses pages, or maybe signing up for an opt-in.
Based off this information, Erin decided to:
- Change her strategy and expectations on Pinterest and realize that this type of social media traffic was more fleeting. She didn’t stop marketing on Pinterest, but she had a different mentality when putting together her Pinterest posts and knew that the majority of these weren’t going to be direct conversions.
- Because she changed her view on Pinterest, she also viewed her other marketing channels and re-evaluated how everything played together to attract traffic and leads to her business.
Erin was alleviated from this news because she took the pressure off of just one channel of bringing in traffic. Getting clarity from the data on the variety of ways that you are bringing traffic can help give you the big picture of your marketing strategy and reassess what you are doing on each channel. This is one way using Google Analytics for your business can help direct where your dollars go when deciding where to invest in your efforts.
Case Study #3: Tiffany Han
Tiffany runs a successful branding and coaching business at Tiffanyhan.com, where she empowers female creatives to take their businesses to the next level. Late last year, she was getting ready to redesign her website and wanted to see what the data told us in terms of site design.
We were looking at her podcast page (if you don’t know it, it’s amazing and called ¨Raise Your Hand Say Yes¨) and one of the things we noticed is that the specific podcast category pages were getting more traffic. It seemed like her audience liked relying on this organization of her podcast episodes, instead of having the full list of episodes to choose from.
With this information, Tiffany decided to:
- Get more intentional about how she organized her podcast! She reviewed her episodes and hashed out new categories, looking at the most popular, least popular, and existing categories that people chose.
- As part of her site redesign, she decided to place these categories more visibly on her podcast page and help it lead the flow of how new users listen her episodes. In this way, she is able to fully exploit the volume of content she has already created for her podcast, instead of it getting buried in parts of her site that no one sees.
Not only was Tiffany able to use the data to inform her site redesign, but she also transformed it into an opportunity to reorganize her podcast episodes and highlight the themes that connect with her brand voice.
For Tiffany, her podcast is one of the central marketing efforts that has attracted future clients and led to spreading her work in many other areas. Plus, she loved to interview people! Essentially, it is a key part of her work now! If she can assure that it is getting the maximum exposure it deserves on her site, she knows she will continue to bring in leads to her services and programs.
How will YOU use Google Analytics for your business?
I hope these case studies inspire you to start taking your data more seriously and realize that you are missing on a big opportunity to make decisions with greater awareness if you don’t leverage Google Analytics for your business. Some of these decisions might seem small, but over time, you can get more and more information about how users coming to your site are interacting with the content and flow, as well as what channel they came from.
It is your interpretation and understanding of your website, complemented with the data, that is the powerful potion for traction and growth in your business.
Want to take your work and content strategy to the next level using Google Analytics for your business? Check out my Google Analytics course here. Not only will you learn how to set up the tool correctly, but you’ll also action your first reports and integrate it into decisions you make for your content and marketing.
Cinthia Pacheco is part nerd, part creative, out on a missions to help amazing women with their analytics and online tools.
She loves to work with creative businesses as a “secret digital weapon,” complimenting what you already do best: run an inspiring business that changes how things are done in the world!
Check out her Google Analytics course here.