Fifteen years ago, when Google was launched, it included very basic capabilities, boasting that its search index included 25 million pages. That simple search engine evolved into one of the most powerful resources available, expanding to include a whole host of tools beneficial not only for individuals, but for the enterprise community as well.
Google now provides a range of capabilities for users, including Google Analytics. This series will examine the tools available with Google Analytics and how they benefit businesses.
Top Google Analytics Tools
Today, a considerable number of companies within the e-commerce and other sectors utilize Google Analytics. According to Venture Beat contributor John Boitnott, these are some of the platform's most widely utilized capabilities:
• Acquisitions: Track clicks, conversions and other metrics.
• Content drilldown: View website content in terms of which pages visitors are viewing, how often, and their traffic path throughout the site.
• Bounce rates: See how long visitors remain on a page and if a poor bounce rate impacts revenues.
• Keywords: Check the specific words and phrases that drive visitors to the site.
While these are the most well-known features, Google Analytics offers a number of other beneficial tools:
• E-commerce tracking: This tool is specifically geared toward companies that do the bulk of their business online, and allows for real-time revenue measurement. Company leaders can track all purchases made through the website from its launch through that second. Boitnott noted that this can help businesses gain insight into how their online sales compare to those taking place within physical locations.
• Goal flow: This feature allows website administrators to see the path users are taking to navigate the site, where purchases are made, and where customers are leaving the site.
"This flow feature allows marketing analysts to take snapshots of the progression customers are actually taking, including where they loop back, get redirected, or exit midway," Boitnott wrote. "This explains customer behaviors and shows areas of your website where customers are getting confused or losing interest or where steps in the process are becoming entangled."
Using this, decision-makers can see exactly where their website needs improvement to shape consumers behavior.
• Attribution modeling: This tracking capability provides a view of all the touchpoints – places of customer contact – consumers are using to navigate the website. These can include leads from social media, blog links, search results or other sources. In addition, attribution modeling also allows the business to see just how many of these touchpoints resulted in purchases. This offers an in-depth picture of how customers are finding the website and what leads them to buy.
Benefits of Google Analytics
Now that we have a better idea of Google Analytics' capabilities, let's examine the ways in which these tools are beneficial.
One of the most valuable advantages is the ability to adjust and optimize the website for better exposure and increased web traffic, noted Full Traffic contributor Shobha Atre. Through the insights gathered via Google Analytics, website administrators can see which sections or pages of the platform need improvements and can use these findings as a guide when revamping the site.
Another benefit is the ability to track and measure the results of a marketing campaign. Today's businesses put a considerable amount of time and resources into improving their brand visibility. Google Analytics enables these groups to see how their initiatives are paying off.
"There are different functionalities using which you can determine whether your marketing campaign will be successful or not," Atre wrote. "As a result, you can get lots of opportunities for growing and diversifying your online business."
Google Analytics also provides the best view of website traffic, including where users initially land, what pages they visit most and what drives them to make purchases. These insights can be immensely helpful in ensuring the platform's usability and value.
It is worth any administrators' time to examine and utilize the features of Google Analytics to improve their business.
The next part of this series will take a look at the technical side of using Analytics, as well as how Google Algorithms impact search engine optimization.