In the last couple of years, small businesses have increasingly begun to rely on data when building their operational strategies. As a result, many analytic tools emerged on the market to help companies measure their performance and increase success in operations. Still, Google Analytics remains at the top of the list as a web analytics service that has been around for more than 15 years.
Google Analytics for small businesses tells you what needs improving on your website to enhance the experience of both you as a business and your customers. While you get to increase leads, sales, and revenue, your website visitors can enjoy better access to information and buy your products and services quickly and more conveniently.
However, Google Analytics can seem overwhelming at first because it offers so many helpful features. We’ll cut through the confusion in this article and explain the tools that are the most beneficial for small businesses.
What Are Website Analytics?
Website analytics measure how well your site and your sales efforts perform. You can get information about how customers move through your site, how long they stay on pages they visit, and what pages they give up. Web analytics also show how well ads, pages, and links work to get customers to buy your products and services.
While there are many website analytic tools, Google Analytics is probably the most effective because it offers all the information Google gathers from its servers. Even more importantly, Google Analytics for small businesses is free.
Google Analytics is also intuitive as it shows the data using easy-to-read numbers, graphs, and charts. Armed with this valuable information, you can change visitor flow and eliminate or improve pages with high drop-off rates.
A Practical Example of Using Website Analytics
Let’s see how the aforementioned tool works. For example, Google Analytics may tell you that all your website visitors land on your home page. Many of them click the link to your about page, where most drop off. Another small group goes from the home page to a sales page where a few buy and the rest bounce off the homepage and disappear.
Knowing this, you can:
Make your about page more personal, engaging, and informative while stimulating curiosity about services and products.
Provide links to other pages from your about page to help visitors find the desired content.
Start using dedicated landing pages. Suppose a visitor has clicked an ad for takeaway pizza. They probably want to go directly to a pizza order page instead of going around your homepage to find a link. Most hungry pizza shoppers landing on a home page will click away to a competitor who lets them go directly from the ad to the order page.
Website analytics give you information about how your site works and how your visitors end up on your website. You can use that data to make changes to improve visitor flow, lower drop-off and bounce rates, and boost sales.
Let’s look at some other benefits of Google Analytics for small businesses.
Ways You Can Use Google Analytics
Small and local businesses can benefit from using Google Analytics in many ways. Taking a quick run through the dashboard will let you see how Analytics can help your business. We can navigate you through it.
In the left side menu, there are Home and Customization tabs. The latter allows you to choose one of three dashboards to view. The top row of each dashboard gives you the same general data. You’ll find information about the geographical area your visitors came from, the channel they used to get to your site, and the type of device they were on—desktop, mobile, or tablet. You’ll also be able to choose the period for gathering information.
Below the top row, each dashboard explores its topic: audiences, acquisitions, or behavior.
Here you get information about your audience:
The number of users: tells you if users are increasing or decreasing
The number of new users: informs you on how your efforts to get new users are doing
The number of sessions per user: suggests whether users are interested enough to keep coming back
Page views: tell you what visitors are interested in and how well pages are doing in the search
The average number of pages viewed in each session: suggests how engaging your content is and how well links move people through your site
The average session length: lets you calculate whether visitors enjoy your content based on how long they stay on your pages
The bounce rate: shows how many visitors leave your website without taking action (clicking a link or purchasing something)
This dashboard lets you get data about where your visitors came from, what they did on your site, and if they converted. Converting means signing up and clicking or buying something. Here’s a short description of each category in acquisitions:
Top acquisition channels: means where your visitors came from—social media, search, or another channel
Users versus new users: tells you how much repeat traffic you’re getting
Conversions: showcases how much of your traffic is buying or signing up
On the behaviors dashboard, you get to see how visitors act on your site:
Page views and unique page views tell you if people keep returning to the same page or are exploring new pages.
Average time on page calculation helps you see whether people stay on your pages long enough to read the content. If not, you need to update your content strategy for better results.
The bounce rate gives you the percentage of people who leave without doing anything. High bounce rates harm your Google Ad Quality score and mean you’ll pay more for ads.
The Most Powerful Feature of Google Analytics
Being able to divide your visitors into groups, also called segmenting, is the most useful feature in Google Analytics. Think about all the differences between your customers. Creating a single ad and landing page to appeal to all individuals won't show outstanding results.
But when you group your customers, you can send personalized messages to each group according to their preferences. Consider how valuable it would be to know that most of your sales come from a certain:
What if you knew the source of the most profitable group? Knowing where your customers come from can help you understand where to focus your efforts and decide between:
Social media or Google
Search ads or organic search
Mobile or desktop
Google Analytics Connects to Other Google Features
Google Analytics connects easily to other Google tools you may be using, like Google Ads, Local Services Ads, and Google My Business.
You can use Google Analytics to see how many of your visitors come from Google Ads and what they do after arriving:
If visitors bounce away and disappear, you probably need to better engage your audience, improve your ads, or enhance your landing pages. Maybe even all three.
When people explore pages instead of buying, you can learn what information they’re looking for and include it in your ads or landing page to keep them in your sales process.
If a high percentage of visitors take action when on your website, you know you’re on the right track. You only need to experiment with different ads and landing pages to increase sales.
You can connect Google Ads to Analytics in your Google Ads dashboard or your Analytics dashboard.
Local Services Ads
With this integration, you’ll be able to see how people coming from Google Local Services ads interact with your site. Local Services Ads show your ads first to searchers in your local area.
Do visitors coming from those ads drop off or buy? Do they click on other pages? Based on the insights, you’ll know if you need to improve ads or landing pages.
Google My Business
In your Google Analytics account, you can track website clicks from Google My Business to see how those visitors behave versus leads from other sources. If you’re getting good results from Google My Business, you may want to put more effort into posting so Google will show your listing more often.
How to Get Google Analytics for Small Businesses
Google gives you two ways to get Analytics. If you have a Google Ads account, you can sign in there. You can also sign up for a standalone account directly at Google Analytics.
Towards the end of the sign-up, the page will create a small snippet of code for you called a pixel. You’ll need to insert the pixel in the header code of your website. If you’re not comfortable using code, you can hire a freelancer to set it up.
If you have a WordPress site, you can also use a plugin like OptinMonster or ExactMetrics to install the pixel. All you need to do is copy and paste. The plugin inserts the code for you.
Once you install the pixel, all information from Google Analytics becomes available. After a while of use and website improvements, you'll enjoy watching your visitor numbers go up, bounce rates and drop-offs go down, and sales conversions increase.
The Final Word on Google Analytics for Small Businesses
Google Analytics for small businesses is one of the best tools you can use to inform yourself about your website performance. It will help you figure out what actions to take to improve the experience for your customers and boost sales.
And on top of everything, it's free.
You get easy-to-read-and-understand, real-time information presented the way you want it, free of charge. You can choose to see numbers, percentages, graphs, bars, or pie charts.
As a small, local business, your time and budget are limited. Google Analytics helps you make the most of both to get more customers with less effort and expense.
For more help with Google Analytics and other small business marketing efforts, contact the team at Scorpion.