Google Analytics is a super powerful (and FREE) tool for your business but makes many a small business owner turn deer-in-the-headlights. Are you one of them? Don’t worry – I’m here to break down the basics & must-do’s of Google Analytics so you can harness its power without the headlight glare.
I present to you, my Easy-Peasy But Must-Do Guide for Making Google Analytics Your Small Business Super Hero.
Yes, I said super hero. How can you make Google Analytics be your small business superhero? Why, I’m so glad you asked.
Install it. Check out my Google Analytics tutorial for guidance or just head on over to www.google.com/analytics if you don’t already have it installed. Google does a pretty good job of walking you through the process. Have a WordPress site that you built from one of LKR’s programs? Check out a plugin like this one to make it easier.
Just like that – you’ve given your website some Google Analytics super power spidey-sense of who’s coming and from where.
Filter out your own visits. Head over to www.whatismyip.com and grab your IP address. Then while logged in to Google Analytics, head to Admin – Profiles – Filters – +New Filter. Give it a name like “Your Name IP address” then select “Exclude traffic from IP addresses that are equal to” and input the IP address you just grabbed.
Just like that – you’ve dowzed yourself with some Google Analytics super power cloaking ability.
Set up goals. This lets you know what visitors are doing the actions you want them to do on your site – as well as what sites are sending you the best traffic (the converting kind…oooo). Common goals for the small business website are newsletter sign ups, downloads or contact pages.
To set up the goal, visit the VERY LAST page in your goal process – this is often www.yourwebsite.com/thank-you or www.yourwebsite.com/confirmation. To add the goal, go to Admin – Profiles – Goals – +Goals. Name it, select URL Destination & Exact Match. For Goal URL, only enter what comes after your .com (just the /thankyou.html or /confirmation). Leave goal value blank unless you have a specific one in mind.
Note: If your Goal URL has random or changing characters in it, you might want to use Head match. More on that from Google.
Just like that – you’ve put some Google Analytics super power tracking devices on your goal pages.
Use Your Powers for Good
Now that you have Google Analytics set up, I urge you, Ms. or Mr. Small Business Owner, to use your powers for good. Use your powers for determining things like…
- how many visitors you get to your site each week, day, or month? (Audience – Overview)
- which social network is sending you the most traffic? (Traffic Sources – Social – Overview)
- whether you need a mobile site? (Audience – Mobile – Overview)
- what guest post is referring the most visitors? (Traffic Sources – Sources – Referring)
- whether you need to offer international shipping? (Audience – Demographics – Location)
- where are people leaving before they press ‘buy’ or ‘sign up’ ? (Conversion – Goals – Funnel Visualization)
Check out my recent post on funnels if you’d like that level of intel for your site.
One Last Thing…
Don’t let Google Analytics be your kryptonite. Over analysis can weaken even the tech-iest of small business owners. Remember to use Google Analytics for trends, not specifics. Make sure to back up your data every so often, and of course – have fun with it! Enjoy being empowered to make smarter decisions for your business on the web.