We all understand that businesses want and crave great search engine rankings but seriously at the end of the day you have to ask yourself what is the most important aspect of building your brand online, is it the search engine rankings or the actual quantity of people making it to your website? Call me crazy but I would think that looking at raw data that shows you exactly how many people are making it to your website and where they are coming from would be much more superior to just telling me where I appear in search results. Rankings should not be used a measurement for success. You can rank for hundreds of keywords that never bring you any business. The goal should always be to bring in qualified traffic over anything else.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important pieces of information that are given to you when you use Google analytics on your website:
Depending on how savvy you are with your website you can find out exactly what browsers people are using to view your website. This is important if you make many design & development changes to your website because often times a site will display a little differently between the various browsers. If you have errors in certain browsers you should fix them as quickly as possible.
Don’t you sometimes wonder where exactly people are finding your website and how they are getting there? Analytics information will tell you exactly how they are getting to your website every single day by letting you know which sites are referring traffic to you. These referring sites are usually the result from a direct link sitting on another website somewhere. It is important to understand which sites are sending you visitors.
You can see page by page how long people are hanging out on your individual web pages. Is it a second? 5 minutes? What is it? This is extremely valuable information to the overall success of your website. If the majority of your traffic leaves after just a few seconds on your important pages you know that you have a problem with that particular page. Sometimes it might take multiple tweaks to the layout of a page before that bounce rate comes down.
What keywords are working for you? Do you spend a great deal of time targeting a few select keywords that do not generate any rankings or traffic? Analytics data will tell you whether or not your keywords are working for you how they should. You can clearly see what types of keywords are sending you daily visitors which is important because you need to understand how your website is helping you grow from a visibility standpoint.
We recommend using Google analytics because it is free and very powerful. You get raw data right from the horse’s mouth that is extremely accurate. Analytics information will allow you to make calculated decisions on how to change your search engine optimization efforts. Try it out and use it for a little while. You will quickly see that it is a very important aspect of online marketing.