Want some good marketing data? Look to your website.

Few, if any, business owners invest in a website without expecting some return on their investment, whether those are online sales, client contacts or even just brand recognition.

So it’s rather remarkable that a great many of those same business don’t take greater advantage of using the data their website can provide them about their future marketing efforts. Many do look at rudimentary data about the number of visits or the number of visits generated by online advertising or what search terms are generating organic search results, but those are just the tip of the iceberg of the usable data the website can generate.

Enter Google Analytics. There are other analytic tools, ranging from rather simple to robust, but Google Analytics is free, its training courses are easy to follow and, well, who knows more about search?

Let’s start with your bounce rate.

The bounce rate, in its most simple terms, measures how many people might leave the site after looking at only one page. But comparing that rate to multiple pages could tell you a great deal about what content your visitors find engaging and what content they don’t.

In Analytics it’s easy to set up a dashboard that reveals this data, so you don’t have to constantly be making the comparison yourself.

The new version of Analytics also allows you to exclude certain actions by the user so that the page is not counted as bounced. That might include interacting with a menu, a video or scrolling down the page.

In essence, Analytics allows you to easily exclude certain user actions, called events, from the bounce rate, giving you a clearer vision of the overall success of your content.

A/B testing.

A simple A/B test might include an advertising campaign conducted on two separate social media channels, say Facebook and Instagram. Let’s say you used the same content on those ads.

So a simple test might just measure how many visitors visited the landing page from those two sites, but that probably doesn’t tell the entire picture. Analytics can also track individual users to the end of that visit, to see, for instance if they actually bought a product. That allows you to fine tune your messaging.

We also know that the visitors from Facebook and Instagram could have very different demographics – principally age. So our copy probably isn’t exactly a right fit for one or other of these platforms.

How can we tell what copy works for what audiences?

Enter Advertising Features.

A new addition to Analytics is Advertising Features, which does require audience notification that your site does take advantage of Google advertising cookies. Of importance to almost any business owner is the access to Google data concerning the visitor’s demographic and their personal interests information.

That information can be used to create audience segments. While you might, or might not, use this information to address copy of your entire site, you might change the content for certain ads or a remarketing effort.

We’ll be addressing other aspects of displaying and using the data from your website in weeks to come. In the meantime you might want to explore how easy Analytics can be to use, or contact a local contractor to help you set up how you view that data.