You don’t need to be an Search Engine Optimization Expert to figure out that knowing more about your customers makes it easier to give them what they want. And yet, you’d be astonished at how many businesses don’t have any form of tracking (i.e. analytics) setup on their websites. This is a dire mistake! How can you measure ROI from a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Campaign without any way to track results? It’s impossible! Analytics are how you measure what’s working, what’s not and why.
On top of that, Google Analytics – one of the most powerful traffic tracking tools in existence – is 100% free. If you’re using WordPress and semi-know what you’re doing, it can be set up in less than five minutes. More than just basic traffic stats, Google Analytics allows you to precisely measure how visitors interact with your website. At Big Red SEO, we believe there’s really no excuse not to use it. To get you to start taking Google Analytics more seriously, here are four ways to get more out of it than just traffic statistics. You’ll find tutorials listed with the more complicated methods so that there’s no excuse to avoid taking action.
Be Sure To Track Conversions in Google Analytics!
What if you knew exactly which pages on your website generated sales or leads? What if you knew which were performing well and which were losing customers? This is important for all companies especially for those performing a Search Engine Optimization Campaign as you need to know what is working and what is not. Google Analytics allows you to track conversions by setting up Goals. These are pages on your website that a visitor arrives at after taking a desired action, such as a Thank You page or Order Confirmation page. Once a goal is set up, you can track which pages lead to completed goals, your site-wide conversion rate, and which traffic sources lead to the most conversions. The conversion tracking features built into Google Analytics are incredibly powerful, and surprisingly easy to use.
Perform A/B Split Testing – It’s A Must!
As mentioned in our article (Using Basic SEO to Enhance Online Marketing), Big Red SEO highly recommends split testing. We perform this for several of our high end SEO clients. Google Analytics has a built-in feature called Content Experiments. This allows you to make informed decisions about your landing pages through the use of split testing. For those of you who don’t know, A/B split testing is when you compare one page against an alternative version of that page to see which converts better. With GA you can test multiple versions of each page and run multiple experiments at the same time. Our SEO team has found colors can make a huge difference in your page. The color orange will convert more for a purchasing tab than the color red. Split testing gives you the ability to test comfortably while providing the same streamlined message to your website visitors.
Whether you’re testing your home page, a squeeze page, a blog post, or any other important page on your website, content experiments will make it easy to improve conversions. Once you’ve setup your first goal, you’re ready to get started with your first split test. Here is Google’s Content Experiments tutorial to help you get started.
Track Growth in Relation on Press Releases and Other Marketing!
If you have had a chance to speak with our team at Big Red SEO, you will know that we are huge fans of press releases. The challenge with press releases can be how to determine if this form of marketing is receiving the exposure you need. Great News! It’s possible to use Google Analytics to track results after press exposure and other forms of off-line events. How? By adding custom annotations to specific days from within the Analytics interface. Here’s how you do it:
1. Navigate to the Audience Overview page within Google Analytics
2. Click the grey drop-down arrow below the line graph
3. Click +Create new annotation, on the right side of the drop down box
4. Enter a date and the event you’re tracking
5. Click save
You can also just double-click on the dot for the date that you want to add a note to. Either way, it’s super easy. So, the next time you attend an expo or trade show, or get some attention in the news, create an annotation to establish a reference point to track from.
Try The Measure User Experience – You’ll Be Amazed!
Another feature we love in Google Analytics is the ‘measure user experience’. Google Analytics has built-in metrics to help you analyze user experience. And no, I’m not just talking about Bounce Rate and Avg. Time on a Page here. You can actually track how users interact with each page on your website using the In-Page Analytics function. With this feature as you can literally see where your website users visit inside the website in real time. For example, say that you have put new content on your page and want to determine if people are reading it. With the measure user experience you can watch what pages they visit and you can see a heat sensor that will appear where there mouse is resting. In many cases, people will click or place their mouse where they are reading to help them keep their place.
The Google’s experimental heat mapping tool (i.e. In-Page Analytics) is by far the most popular tracking tool used. When used correctly this tool will save you time and money as it allows you to see exactly which parts of your website visitors find most appealing by tracking clicks on each page. You can either trim out the poor performing links, or figure out how to give them more attention. You can find a detailed In-Page Analytics tutorial, but I actually recommend you just dive into it and start playing around.
Contact Big Red SEO!
These four tools and more are why Google Analytics continues to be a favorite traffic tracking tool for both our own and clients’ websites. It’s incredibly powerful, 100% free and surprisingly easy to use once you get the hang of it. You certainly don’t have to be an advanced SEO Expert to gain powerful insights from its data, so check it out for yourself. As always, thanks for reading, and please feel free to contact Big Red SEO online or give us a call at (402) 522-6468 if you have any questions about website traffic, SEO or analytics. We’re always happy to chat and provide you any guidance to ensure you’re getting the best ROI!