Find Google analytics overwhelming? Here’s what I think you should be looking for as a small business.

I get it, you log into google analytics which your tech-geek nephew or the IT guy installed for you and you’re totally overwhelmed. What does this stuff even mean?! Or maybe you’ve never logged in and don’t even know if it’s installed.

I’m still amazed at the number of businesses I come across that are using their CMS’s analytics or the analytics provided by Squarespace. You’re missing out people! There is so much valuable information you could be getting from Google analytics.

Okay, go and log in and I'll walk you through it.

If you haven’t adjusted your custom view when you log in yet, you’ll be greeted with a quick snapshot of the last seven days. Here’s an example:

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Next, you’ll be able to see a snapshot where your traffic is coming from. This is invaluable! Especially if you’re advertising on Facebook and are active on other social media platforms.

In my opinion, there are three things you should be paying attention to on Google Analytics:

  1. Number of visitor’s
    How to access it - Go to Audience. Click on overview. Change the date range.

    The number of sessions tell you how many times people visited your site. Number of users tells you the number of individuals that visited your site. Month to month look at any spikes on particular days. Did that come from a blog post or an ad or perhaps an interview you did?

    Why it’s handy – Have you got a product to sell online but not getting any sales? Check out your traffic. Your website could be beautiful and you could have a great product and deals but if no one is landing on your website, how can they buy from you

  2. The average session time – how long are people staying on your website?
    How to access it - Go to audience. Click overview. Change the date range.

    You’ll see ‘Avg. Session Duration’. This is how long, on average, someone is on your website for.

    Why it’s handy -  I worked with a client who was getting a TONNE of traffic but everyone left in under 30 seconds. The site was ugly and people did not want to hang around to see what her business was all about, let alone actually buy something from her. This gives you a good idea of what you need to work on. In her case, she had traffic but no one stayed therefore it was the website that was turning them off.

  3.  Demographics 
    How to access it- Go to audience. Click on demographics. Click overview.

    Here you can see the age, gender, interests and location of the people that visit your website. Pretty cool huh!

    Why it’s handy - This is a good one. You know how people always bang on about your customer avatar? Been in a business a little while but still don’t really have a clue who these people may be? OR if you’re a blogger or some sort of content based site and are looking to create a product to sell to people, this will tell you all about the people that are visiting your site. I worked with a client in the wellness industry last year. She was convinced her customer was aged 25-35 due to social media engagement but when we actually looked at her data, it was women over the age of 35 actually purchasing her product!

At the end of every month I sit down and go through my own analytics. I also do this when I’m reporting to my clients at the end of the month too. I take note of any spikes and how my audience may have shifted from one month to the next. I also look at which of my blog posts got the most traffic and where people dropped off. Know your data and take action based on it.