Google Analytics: Don’t Be An Idiot!

I’ve recently started working with the team at Fruitbowl Media and as part of my initial training I was asked to take the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) exam (which I’m about to take any day now!). I’m all for adding to my CV and it will also show our clients that I actually know what I’m doing when it comes to Google Analytics and SEO!

In a previous job I had used Google Analytics to produce a number SEO reports for clients so I thought I was fairly up-to-speed with how Google Analytics worked and how I should be using it. However over the last few weeks I’ve been working through the Google Analytics IQ lessons to help prepare me for the exam and I now realise I had actually just been a member of the group HITS… How Idiots Track Success (I didn’t come up with that acronym)!

Many of the reports I had created in the past for clients involved looking at how many hits (or visits) that website had received and what the current bounce rate was for the various pages so nothing too in-depth. But one of the biggest things I learnt from completing the Google Analytics lessons is that I needed to move beyond just tracking hits to websites and to look at the bigger picture… goals!

Every website is created for a reason whether it’s just for having an online presence for your business or for selling products online. One thing every website should have though is a goal, something that they want their website to achieve and this is where understanding Google Analytics and knowing the ins-and-outs of the 130+ reports can really help you achieve that goal.

Lets say for example you have an online shop and your main goal is to sell products. Whilst it’s still important to know how many people visited your website, I believe it’s much more important to understand why you may not be achieving your goals. Think of it this way, you’ve spent hundreds of pounds on marketing for your website and getting your website to appear on the first page of Google and you’re receiving hundred’s of hits but you’re only making a few sales! What’s going on? What if I was to say your customers were adding products to their shopping basket, proceeding through to the checkout but then suddenly leaving your website completely? This might suggest customers are finding the checkout process too confusing. Maybe customers are leaving the checkout, going to the delivery page and then leaving the site, which may indicate some customers are finding your delivery costs too high.

I believe information like this is much more valuable to you than just knowing the number of hits your website has received. Any member of the HITS group can easily tell you the number of hits your website has had but you need to move beyond this basic type of reporting and delve a little deeper to find the really important stuff to help achieve your goals.

So don’t be an idiot, get to know Google Analytics, take the Google Analytics exam and don’t become a member of the HITS group! Alternatively contact us and we can do it all for you!