Google Analytics Explained [Plus, 3 Benefits of Working with a Certified SEO Agency]
Written by Lesley Goodaker, Digital Marketing Manager
The importance of Google’s marketing tools has grown tremendously over the last decade. Today, any business that wishes to grow its search engine rankings must make use of these tools — and for good reason.
Google Analytics is one of the many tools that Google provides to help business owners understand what visitors are doing on their website. Like, Google Ads, Analytics is an essential component of any business’s marketing toolkit.
What is Google Analytics?
Google has one of the most well-known analytics reporting platform for tracking web performance. Serving as a host for data collection, the platform can gather a wide range of data about your site and the visitors who use it. The best part — Google Analytics data is not presented as raw data but in the form of custom reports.
Using a tracking code, Google Analytics reports back to a central dashboard which provides a visual representation of site data in real-time (or by a specific date range). These are designed to make it easy to identify patterns and gain insights about your performance.
Why is it Important?
The insights you gain from Analytics reports can be a valuable tool for improving your site performance. Rather than operating on guesswork, you can set up goals with concrete objectives, including:
- Identifying the pages that convert best. This can be particularly beneficial to business owners looking for enhanced eCommerce, improvements on a contact form, or to improve bounce rate.
- Understanding the origins of your site’s referral traffic. Referral traffic is Google’s method of reporting visits that come to your site from sources outside of its own network. This can be helpful in learning about your audience and their interests.
- Tracking the location of your site visitors. Using your users’ IP addresses, Analytics can help you identify where your traffic is coming from (geographically speaking). This can be a great asset for determining lead potential.
- Determining how many new (and returning) users visit your site. Tracking your ratio of new to returning visitors can help you better understand the function of your site for customers. Are new users using your site to gather information about your services? Are returning customers using your site to contact you?
But, that’s just the start. To the untrained eye, the admin menu and functions can be overwhelming, As a result, many business owners simply choose to not set up Google Analytics. That’s exactly what you don’t want to do!
What if I Don’t Have the Time to Get Certified?
As a small business owner, it’s very likely you already have too many hats to wear. The last thing you want to do is invest your time (and money) in learning the ins and outs of a platform as cumbersome as Analytics.
So, how can a time-starved business owner still benefit from Google Analytics? Simple — enlist the support of an agency (like Harris & Ward) that is trained in the management of Google platforms.
We are proud to offer search engine optimization services for small businesses that are backed by team members who are Google Analytics certified. Using the expertise of trained digital marketing experts, we take your site’s data and turn it into real results.
After all, the greatest value of Analytics is not in the data itself but in the actionable takeaways for your business.
Benefits of Google Analytics Certification
While virtually every self-proclaimed marketer on the planet is using some form of Google Ads or Analytics, few of them are actually certified.
Google certification programs have long been an industry standard for gauging a marketer’s competence in different areas of digital marketing. However, with the wealth of information already available online, many people fail to see the point in certification.
Though analytics is easy enough to use for beginners, with proper attention, it stands to be a very powerful tool in the hands of knowledgeable users. That’s why we’ve compiled the 3 most compelling benefits of Google Analytics certification.
- Better business practices. During training, students learn the nuances of Analytics and how to best manage Google Analytics custom features and tools. While any marketer or business can access Analytics, SEO professionals that are certified by Google are held to a higher standard than others in the industry and operate according to Google’s best practices for account management.
- Ongoing education. To maintain status, individuals (or agencies) must retake their certification annually to ensure they are well-versed in the latest and greatest technology. As a result, certified marketers are being encouraged to practice continuing education in order to maintain their status. This ultimately ensures you are benefitting from the most contemporary SEO tools and services.
- Improved strategy. Certified professionals must be well-versed in all features of Analytics including keyword research, competitor research, site performance, and much more. When you’ve learned how to properly set up and navigate an Analytics’ property, you’ll be well on your way to making better recommendations and business decisions on strategy implementation.
So, why wait? Contact us today to discuss how Google Analytics can benefit your business today!