Smart businesses make decisions driven by data. When we understand the numbers and metrics behind what is working or not working for, or what customer behavior trends look like, we can make better predictions or decisions for our business. Understanding the analytics for your website can provide deep insights to help you understand various trends and behaviors for both your business website and your audience. While there are several analytics tools on the market, Google Analytics is one of the tools Laing Media and other digital marketers often recommend.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics (GA) is a free, powerful open-source free software is simple to use. It offers unlimited access and is easy for small business owners and anyone who wants to gain access to their website or application analytics. Google Analytics is often a popular choice for those that use other Google features and applications, as it can easily integrate with other Google products.
There are several beneficial tracking features for your business within Google Analytics. Depending on your specific business goals, you have the option to monitor and track different audience behaviors and interactions within your website or application.
Google Analytics allows you to:
- Measure the performance of your website
- Monitor the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
- Evaluate which content or products are receiving the most engagement
- Understand your user demographics through segmentation (i.e. age, gender, country, device, etc.)
- Increase conversions through website optimization (SEO)
Free vs. Paid Google Analytics
Google Analytics offers a fairly robust free option for business owners. However, for larger enterprises interested in more detailed reporting, Google Analytics offers a paid version called Analytics 360.
Analytics 360 Features:
- Unlimited and unsampled data
- Advanced funnel reporting and attribution modeling
- Additional views, dimensions, and metrics
- Roll-up reporting
- Dedicated support and account manager
The price for these additional features is not cheap. The starting price for Analytics 360 is around $150,000 a year (billed monthly). That price also increases if your website surpasses one billion hits per month. For businesses with a budget and a dedicated analytics team to manage the tracking and reporting, Analytics 360 can be well worth the money.
How to Set Up Google Analytics
Setting up your Google Analytics account can be a tedious and intimidating process. However, once the setup is complete the tracking and reporting are easy to monitor in real-time and incredibly valuable for your business.
Set up a Google email address and password.
Register for a Google Analytics account. You will only be able to use Google Analytics with a Google email address.
Before continuing with the registration process, it is important to understand the organization of the Google Analytics hierarchy.
The first layer of the hierarchy is the organization, or in many cases the company. For example, Laing Media is the organization. Laing Media can have several accounts or users underneath the organization. The property is the website or application that you are monitoring. You will then need a minimum of two views set up for each property – one with zero configuration (the raw version) and one set up with filters to ignore any web traffic from within your organization as well as spam or bot accounts.
Add the name, URL, and industry of the website.
Add a view to your property.
Add your tracking code directly after the head tag of your website.
Visit your Google Analytics portal and verify the code is working.
Hire a Professional Analytics Team For Maintenance
Website analytics will continue to change and update daily. It is important to have a dedicated point person or team focused on monitoring and tracking the analytics. More importantly, businesses need to be able to translate the analytics into meaningful metrics for various departments including finance, marketing, advertising, etc. Laing Media has a team of analytics experts that understand how to maximize the use of real-time data from Google Analytics.