Google is 20 years old this year. The company began as a research project, nicknamed “Backrub,” between Larry Page and Sergey Brin, PhD student at Stanford University. “Backrub” was to find out what web pages link to a given page based on backlinks. The goals was to help make it easier to find citations in academic publishing.
Although they didn’t know it, Page and Brin created the world’s first search engine. Quickly, they were to find out a much larger audience than academics was interested in this advancement.
Today, Google is the world’s largest search engine, video provider and online advertising network. It’s hard to imagine a business that doesn’t rely on the company in one way or another,
Here are 50 facts about Google every marketer needs to know.
Google Analytics is the most popular web analytics tool in the world.
Google Analytics has been installed on over 10,000,000 websites. It is used by 64% of the Top 500 US Retailers, 45% of Fortune 500 companies, and 55.9% of the top 1 million domains as identified by Alexa.
But what good is the data if you don’t know what to do with it.
Here are 10 ways to get killer insights from Google Analytics with video tutorials.
SET DATE RANGES LONG ENOUGH TO SHOW TRENDS: The date range selector is at the top right of every page. It shows the last 30 days by default. But 30-days often isn’t long enough to show trends. Establish a time frame long enough to allow you to tell a story. 90 days, year to date or the last year is a longer and often more effective date range for showing trends, seasonality and the impact of key events. Here is how to use the date range selector.
USE BOUNCE RATE EARLY AND RATE: Bounce Rate is the percent of visitors to a website who leave after viewing only one page – the lower the percent, the better the Bounce Rate. It is a key web metrics for website relevance because if your site is interesting to visitors, they’re likely to view more than one page. Google Analytics shows Bounce Rate for many measures. The more often you use Bounce Rate, the more insightful are your conclusions. Here’s how to know Bounce Rate for all your pages.
UNDERSTAND ACCESS FROM SMARTPHONES: According to SimilarWeb’s State of Mobile Web US 2015 report, roughly 56% of consumer traffic to the leading US websites is now from mobile devices. There are many sources that report traffic from mobile devices by industries like financial services, auto and retail. Knowing mobile traffic to your site is an important way to look at traffic. It’s likely to already be a large percentage and it’s definitely going to go up.
IDENTIFY KEY LOCATIONS AND GEOGRAPHY: Let’s say your company’s operations are organized around specific geographical sales regions: East, Central, and West. By default, Analytics only reports on default geographical regions. Unless, by using the geographical type in Data Import, you create a mapping between the specific regions you use for your business. You then see your data organized around these custom sales regions. In the US, the data is available by state, metro area and city. And the maps are very telling.
KNOW WHERE VISITORS COME FROM: In web analytics, traffic sources are different kinds of sources that send traffic to your web site. The metrics you find are: 1) Direct Traffic: All those people showing up to your website by typing in the URL of your Web site or from a bookmark, 2) Organic Search: Search engines – Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask and other, 3) Paid Search: Paid ads on search engines from services like Google Adwords and Bing Ads, 4) Referral: Other Web sites sending traffic to you. These could be as a result of your banner ads or campaigns or blogs or affiliates who link to you and 5) Other: These include campaigns you have run, e-mail and direct marketing.
LOOK FOR INNOVATIONS WITH SITE SEARCH: If you have a search engine on your website which visitors can use to search the site, you can measure the usage of this feature. The results you can find under the Site Search category in Google Analytics. In the overview, you see the percentage of visits with and without site search. Also some other metrics such as % search exits, % search refinements, time after search and search depth. But the real nuggets come for the words visitors use to search. For example, we work with a scissors company and the #1 word in Site Search is “left-handed.” Imagine that. A new product idea is handed to you through Site Search on Google Analytics.
FIND MOST VALUABLE PAGES IN SITE CONTENT: Site content reports consist of: 1) Pages, 2) Content Drill Down, 3) Landing Pages and 4) Exit Pages. Pages report displays the top pages on your website based on traffic, as well as each page’s page views, unique page views, average time on page, entrances, bounce rate, % exit and page value. Content Drill Down is helpful for websites that have sub-folders such as domain.com/blog/ and domain.com/support/ or something similar. The Landing Pages report lets you see the top pages where visitors enter. Exit Pages show the last pages people visit before exiting your website. These are the pages you want to look at to see what you can do to keep visitors on your website longer.
ANALYZE ACTIONS WITH EVENTS: Events are user interactions with content that can be tracked independently from a web page or a screen load. Downloads, mobile ad clicks, gadgets, Flash elements, AJAX embedded elements, and video plays are all examples of actions you might want to track as Events. Using Event Tracking to measure interaction and conversions on your website is really beneficial for getting a better understanding of how your users are engaging with the content and features of your website in a much more advanced way than the standard reports can manage.
MEASURE METRICS MOST IMPORTANT TO SUCCESS WITH GOALS: Google Analytics doesn’t tell you how your business is doing without some additional setup. You have to tell Google Analytics to keep track of what’s critical to your business – and you do this with goals. In Google Analytics, you have four ways to track goals: 1) URLs, 2) time, 3) pages/visit and 4) events. Here’s how to set up Goals.
“SHOW ME THE MONEY” WITH CONVERSIONS: Most of the time Conversion Rate is thought of in terms of e-commerce websites. But increasingly tools are making it ever more easy for you to track conversions of any kind. Form submissions (leads). Trial signups. Content consumption. Download Software. View support FAQ. And more. No matter what your website, you can start measuring “conversion rate”. It is the fastest way to the heart of why your website mostly exists.
Did this teach you how to use Google Analytics for killer insights? Are you ready to put analytics to work on your business?
Social media monitoring (or social media listening) is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, individual, product or brand. The 10-top social media monitoring tools are:
Google Analytics didn’t make this list. You may think it’s a tool for monitoring website behavior, not social media behavior. Isn’t that the point? Social media puts more control in consumer’s hand and enables them to learn about your business on their terms. If social media is working, the first place consumers are likely to go is your website.
Here are 15 reasons Google Analytics is #1 tool for social media monitoring
GIVES COMPLETE PICTURE Show all the places where your target audience comes from on the internet through Traffic Sources: Search, Referral (Social Media, Email) and Direct
SHOWS KEYWORDS PEOPLE USE TO FIND YOU: Identifies Keyword Flow to provide direction on words to be used in social media posts
IDENTIFIES WHERE THEY COME FROM: Provides location and geography where visitors come from
TELLS THE DEVICE THEY USE: Lets you know whether a computer or mobile device was used as well as the browser
POINTS OUT MOST INTERESTING CONTENT: Identifies Key Content that drives the most visitors
IDENTIFIES CONTRIBUTION FROM EACH SOCIAL NETWORK: Shows the visitors that come from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Google+
SHOWS LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT FROM EACH SOCIAL NETWORK: Shows how much time visitors from each social network spend, how many pages they view and percent who viewed more that one page (Bounce Rate):
LETS YOU KNOW HOW TO ALLOCATE RESOURCES: Once you know who is coming and from where, you can compare how you are allocating resources to manage your department more effectively and efficiently.
GUIDES RIGHT MARKETING MIX: Social media is meant to be an integrated part of your marketing program. Now that you know how and what the contribution from each marketing channel is, you can decide on the right marketing mix for better business effectiveness.
IDENTIFIES YOUR ADVOCATES: Lets you know the websites that write about your business or link to your website the most
MEASURES ACTIONS CONSUMERS TAKE: Accounts for more actions (e.g. email sign up, downloads, video views, purchase) to draw a closer correlation between online behaviors and sales
SHOW HOW MANY CONVERT: Every business should want consumers to take a specific action. Google Analytics lets you know the Conversion Rate.
PROVES RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI): Once you know conversion rate or, if you sell directly from your website, sales, you can know the return on investment both overall and for each media channel, including social media.
IS FREE: Price should not a factor for choosing a tool to measure business effectiveness, but Google Analytics is free.
Companies should go into social media with a business goal, and an understanding of the resources required to achieve it. Since social media is still a relatively new channel, this isn’t always clear. In which case, you should consider a measurement tool that can be counted on for guidance.
Would you consider Google Analytics for social media monitoring on your business?
If your business has a website and you don’t regularly review analytics, it’s like getting into a car and driving someplace without knowing where you’re going.
When Google Analytics was released in 2005, it was a watershed event for any brand doing business on the internet. Google made available sophisticated analytic software for free.
Although Google Analytics is an invaluable guide, it can be an overwhelming amount of data. And less may be more. How do you navigate Google Analytics? What are the measurements that matter? Here are the 9 Google Analytics metrics every marketer should know.
UNIQUE VISITORS: Are the count of how many different people come to your website within a specified period of time, usually 30 days. Google Analytics software distinguishes from cookies the visitors who visit your site for the first time withing a specified period. Every business has to create awareness to drive business growth. Unique visitors let you know if you’re building momentum and heading in right direction.
BOUNCE RATE: Is the percentage of people who view only one page of your website. “Bounce Rate” is a measure of site’s relevance because, if the site is relevant, people are likely to view more than one page . A lower percentage is always better For example, if your “Bounce Rate” is 35%, then 65% of people view more pages.
SEGMENTS (SEGMENTATION): For every business, there a wide disparity between best and worst customers. Once you know how many visitors come to your site and its relevance, it’s time to focus on the ones with the highest value to your business. Does your brand have a geographic skew? Do people who visit 3 or more times show a greater likelihood to buy? If you invest in media, what media generates the most visitors and sales? Segmentation can be easily viewed within Google Analytics on almost any dimension you decide or set up with their Advanced Segments feature.
TRAFFIC SOURCES: Show viewers from 3 “Traffic Sources”: 1) Search, 2) Referral (e.g. social networks, email, other sites) and 3) Direct. You can drill down to see in even more detail the visitors, time and bounce rate for special properties in each. Once you know the percentage from each “Traffic Source,” you know how people find your brand online and you have a blueprint to create your outreach effort.
KEYWORDS: let you know why viewers come to your site. “Keywords” are on your Google Analytics dashboard in the “Traffic Sources” section. A balance of “Keywords” with your brand name plus some with the category or industry you compete is a good goal. This means people are finding your site because they have an unmet net as well as know your brand.
CONTENT: What pages are viewed most often? Are your viewers taking the journey you want? This is answered by looking at “Content” to see the pages viewed in rank order. If your “Bounce Rate” is not where you think it should be, the result from your “Keywords” and “Content” give the greatest insight to correction and setting you on the right path. Through “Content Drilldown,” Google Analytics gives rich information about every page.
CONVERSION: What is the action you want visitors to take once they get to your website? This is the fundamental question for every business online. Do you want them to buy your product from the site? Or download a video, or eBook or White Paper? Sign up for your email or subscribe to your blog? These are examples of “Conversion” which is the action you want consumers to take when they visit your website. It can be answered in the “Conversion” section of Google Analytics.
AVERAGE SHOPPER VALUE: If you sell a product or service on your website, these last two metrics are for you. “Average Shopper Value” or “Average Value” is the best measurement to watch and take action to positively effect sales. Do customers buy one or two products when they buy? Or two or three? When you know “Average Shopper Value,” you can put a plan in place to increase sales and measure the results, almost instantly.
ABANDONMENT RATE: Is the percent of people who intend to buy, by clicking on the add to cart button, and make an order. “Abandonment Rate” can vary but usually is between 50 to 70%. If “Conversion” and “Average Shopper Value” is not where you think it should be, “Abandonment Rate” is one of the first places to look for the culprit and the solution.
The point of this post is to prove with just 9 or less Google Analytics metrics, you have a road map for your business; one that keeps your business strategy on track. If you look at it regularly and take appropriate actions, it’ll deliver significant benefits. Isn’t that worth doing to keep your brand going in the right direction?
Or, as Laurence Peter says, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up someplace else.”
Were these key metrics for Google Analytics helpful? Would you include any other measurements? Do you agree with the ones that are here? Would you like to see more posts about how to use Google Analytics to help your business grow?