Every website should be using an analytics package that tracks what is happening on the website so you can make intelligent business decisions about how web visitors experience your website. Google Analytics is probably the most popular, in part because it is free. But it can be intimidating finding the data from reports in Google Analytics that you need to understand what is happening in your business.
Because there is so much data and because Google is continually updating the package themselves, it is important to know where the hidden reports are so you can get to them. Below are the five reports in Google Analytics every business owner or website manager should be paying attention to.
Before you start looking at reports in Google Analytics though, you need to have enough data to understand what is happening. We normally start with a year to date report – in the top right corner you can select the start date and end date for your reports. If you’ve been using GA long enough, you can even do a comparison to the previous year so you can detect trends that way.
The obvious reports of Audience Overview and Acquisition Overview are not the topic for today – but they are important reports you should review. We’re going to look at the five hidden reports that can unlock the secrets of how people are using your website.
Reports in Google Analytics:
Events Overview. Found under the Behavior tab, this report reveals specific actions that users take on your site including if they clicked a “mailto” link which is typically used to send you or someone at your organization an email. If you have pdfs or other downloadable files you can also see how many (and what) they downloaded. If your site is coded properly for clickable phone numbers, you can also see how many people clicked to call. And you can also see how many people clicked a link on your site that took them elsewhere.
Outbound-link Report. Closely related to the first report, the Outbound-link Report can reveal where people go when they leave your site. This report is found under Behavior -> Events -> Top Events -> Outbound-link. From here you need to look for Primary Dimension (between the chart at the top and the data below) and click on Event Action. Lots of sites, for example, have their social media icons on their site. This report can show you how many people actually click those links. Or if you have referral partners or members and there are links to their sites, you can show them how much traffic you are sending their way.
Mobile Overview. This report can be found under Audience -> Mobile. It is critical to know from a design or usage perspective, what device visitors are using when they visit your site. Is it a computer? A tablet? A phone? What is the breakdown on these? If you look at your website a lot on a computer, you might think it is working pretty well but then find out that your users are mostly on their phones. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on the wrong medium. This mobile overview report can save you from making that mistake.
Queries Overview – this report and the next require that you have connected your analytics to the search console but if you have, ooo boy do you get some good data. The Queries report is found under Acquisition -> Search Console -> Queries. This delightful report shows you not just what is happening on your site but what Google understands about your website. You see the terms that people have actually searched for when Google thought that a page on your site is what people are looking for – this is called Impressions. This doesn’t mean someone clicked to your site, just the number of times the site showed up somewhere in Google results. You can also see the number of clicks – from Google to your site – which leads to a click through rate. This report also shows you the average position of your site for that search – hint: if you aren’t in the top 10, you probably aren’t going to get many clicks.
Landing Pages Overview. This is the juiciest report you will find. Much like the Queries overview, it shows the number of impressions, the clicks, and the average position. In most instances, your home page is the top page signified by “/”. You will be able to see how many impressions the home page received and how many of those turned into clicks. The interesting part is you can then click through to see what terms people were searching for when your homepage appeared. This report, in particular, can reveal a lot about how both Google and visitors see your site. If the terms don’t match what you do or what you offer, you might need to rethink and rework your page or site.
Don’t get lost in the data. There is a lot and Google has recently released version 4 of their analytics which will likely change how to access these reports in Google Analytics. But do pay attention to the data. If you don’t you might find your site is not helping you grow. To get a complete understanding of your digital marketing, you need this data.
And if your site isn’t helping your grow or you are troubled by the results you see in any of these hidden reports, we’re only a phone call away at 303-268-2245.
There is a lot of news noise right now. Rioting around the world. Recovering from a virus. Murder hornets. How to reopen. Will there be a second wave causing another shutdown? Oh, and the US has now returned to space!
How do you remain relevant with your customers and potential customers amidst all the calamity sucking up everyone’s attention?
Here are five keys to remaining relevant and continuing to flourish:
Do not panic. If you make important decisions while panicking, you will regret it. Stay calm. Reach out to key vendors, customers and staff if you are in a difficult spot. But do not panic.
Following closely on the previous point, stay the course. On March 9th, our outlook was rosy. The pipeline was filling up nicely and existing customers were ready to add new services. There was a two week period after that when things looked bleak as the pipeline emptied out and uncertainty ruled. But the spirit of free enterprise is strong in this country and our pipeline of new and existing customers began to fill again. You are not alone. Even businesses that are busier than ever understand that others are suffering. Stay the course.
Communicate. Communicate to your customers what steps you have taken and are taking to ensure the safety of your customers and your staff. Communicate what is different. Our Church shot a series of short videos showing how things would work before, during, and after the service so folks can understand before they even go in the door.
Leverage. You are not isolated and you have not been operating in a vacuum. Look through your contacts. Email or call people. I have received several very nice messages from my connections – messages just to connect and show concern. These are delightful and stick with you. Think about ALL of your contacts. Reach out to your LinkedIn connections. Try your Facebook friends. Of course go through your “rolodex” of contacts. Ask if you can help or if they need help that you might be able to do an introduction for.
Get creative. My friend Mike Larkin started making videos. In a recent video he “introduced” his friends. He had printed off, for example, my picture from LinkedIn and my logo and had put them on a paddle board – showing my picture on one side and my business on the other. He proceeded to introduce several of his vendors and colleagues in the same way. It is a delightful video that both shows he cares about folks and endears those of us mentioned to him. Think about how you can do something similar – to both help others and draw your network closer to you.
And of course there is a sixth key – use your website for each of these keys. Set it as the hub so that as the business climate, your people and your network know to come to your site for the latest and greatest.
You can remain relevant. It takes a bit of focus. Don’t be distracted by whatever the news is pushing as the latest thing to fear. Keeping your eye on your goals will help and of course, if there is anything EduCyber can do to help, let us know.
Between Maki and Brian, we know a lot of people. And we want to help. So whether it is something for your website or some other business need, let me know. Hiring? We know people. Downsizing? We know people. Need help with a local government? We know people. We want to help so let Maki or Brian know if there is anything we can do for you.
Join EduCyber as we walk through the FIVE (Digital) steps you’ll need to go through as you re-open your business. You’ll see how you can take the next steps with more confidence and figure out how to integrate the New Normal into your business routine.
You will learn: • How to prepare your business as you re-open your door for your customers • What risks should you consider and how to avoid it • New-normal – Why ‘We’ve always done it this way’ doesn’t work anymore
For a couple of years my email signature read “Go outside. The graphics are amazing.” Though it wasn’t original to me, I did have several people ask me if they could use it in their signature.
It’s important both for personal and professional reasons to step away from the technology. There are dozens of articles about why that is important for your personal well-being. I want to address the importance of stepping away for professional well-being.
The Tyranny of Email. Us desk workers often have our email up on our computers all day long. The problem is with what I call the tyranny of email. Whenever a new message comes in, if you feel the need to stop whatever it is you’re doing and respond to the email, you have a problem. If getting away from your computer isn’t possible, close your email for a while. This morning I ignored email for more than an hour to work on a proposal. The proposal turned out well and I was still able to respond to the emails in a timely fashion, just not IMMEDIATELY.
A Change of Pace. We are blessed to have offices on the north bank of Clear Creek. When we need a break, taking a walk along the creek is awesome. But you don’t need a creek to get away. Walk down the hall. Turn away from your computer and do a few stretches. Close your office door and jump up and down. How does any of this contribute to your professional well-being? Often you can be much more productive by taking breaks throughout the day. I have to force some folks on staff to do this but when they do, they always come back refreshed and with a new perspective on the issue(s) they are addressing.
A Different Medium. If you do all of your work on a computer, try using a different medium. Your brain actually thinks differently with different media. Use your white board instead of your keyboard. Try using a notepad (not a computer tablet! I’m talking about one of those yellow notepads with lines on them) to take notes or compose on. I’m not asking you to do this every time but by doing it from time to time it helps you use different parts of your brain and you might be surprised on the different kind of results you get.
You might be getting a raise sooner or landing more clients faster by trying one or more of these. The overall goal is to take steps to help you focus more or focus differently on what is really important. Technology is just a tool to help you do your job.