Knowledge is Power
Online activity in 2013 will grow at a greater rate than ever before. People now know and understand that it’s no longer an option to be involved - it’s a necessity. But, increasingly, one of the things businesses are asking for is more information on what works and what doesn’t. Without reliable information a business cannot make informed decisions so it’s a perfectly reasonable request, but rather than looking for information from external sources, very often the most valuable information is right on their doorsteps in the form of Google Analytics.
If you’ve got a website you have to measure its performance. One of the best and most cost effective ways to do this is through Google Analytics; the information it generates is impressive and it’s free. Most businesses use it, or a similar system, however many businesses don’t use it as much or as well as they should. Some businesses are not even aware of the variety and level of reporting that is available.
One of the attractions of Adwords is the level of information and the transparency of this information that can be generated. You can see where every penny is spent. Linking this to a Google Analytics account builds on this and gives even more. In simple terms Adwords can tell you what you’ve done but Google Analytics can tell you the effect of what you did and what you need to do next.
There are several reports in Google Analytics that you should running on a regular basis during 2013. Among them are these three:
ROI – Return on investment
This report does exactly what it says on the tin. Running this report against Adwords traffic will show you which keywords and which products are generating the most money for your business but will also show you how much you needed to invest to get that return. This is perhaps the most important metric you’ll be able to access when it comes to making informed business decisions during 2013.
If you’re not tracking goal conversions you’re not doing it properly. Goals can be anything you want them to be from sales, to a desired visit duration. Running GA reports on goal conversions can give you valuable information about what your most popular products or services are.
Assisted Conversions & Top Conversion Paths
Very often the value of one traffic source is not given enough credit because businesses just look at the top level figures; visits, sign ups, sales. To understand true value you need to look under the bonnet. An assisted conversions report will tell you exactly what stage in the purchase funnel a particular traffic sources becomes important and how valuable that is. In many cases you’ll find out that paid traffic also plays a big part in the conversions that you thought were coming from organic visits.
For Businesses to grow in 2013 they are going to need all the information that’s available to them and in many cases that could be just a case of looking at the information related to 2012 and acting on it but for others it’ll be getting the necessary systems in place and running some creative – in the best possible sense – reports.