For any business owner, regardless of size, understanding your customer is key to longevity and marketing success. It's the basic tenet of Marketing 101: If you understand and meet the needs of your customer, you will understand and meet the needs of your business.
In today's increasingly digital world, this understanding has become somewhat easier, especially given the data-driven tools at our disposal. With the importance of content for today's consumers when it comes to research and helping them make a decision, the insights we can gather from this data is key for our conversion goals.
Access to these insights—and the strategies we can implement around them—doesn't need to break the bank, thanks to Google Analytics and the wealth of information this free solution offers.
Power Of Simple Data
As a business owner, you constantly have different goals for your marketing results, based on your own current needs. These can usually be broken down into a few core metrics:
- Brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Customer retention
Depending on what goal is driving your current needs, Google Analytics can help in each of the three areas above, even in its most basic form.
Say you have a new product launch, or you have a new service, or you simply want to get your business in front of potential new customers. By using Google Analytics' "Traffic Sources" option, and viewing the "Organic Search" data, you can view the top referring search terms that drove Web traffic to your site.
You can then use this to optimize content—either a blog post announcing your new product, or a dedicated landing page—around these search terms. To attract a wider audience, use Google's Keyword Planner to identify related keywords, as well as highlight High Search/Low Competition keywords (this offers an opportunity to place highly for these search terms).
Building off your brand awareness campaign, Google Analytics also offers key insights into driving more leads for your business, either directly from your website, or to help drive foot traffic to your storefront.
Using the aforementioned Organic Search results, you can couple this with demographic information and behavior found in the Audience section:
- Age, sex, browsing preferences (desktop or mobile), and location are four immediate examples
- Behavior on site—action taken, content shared, explore or leave
By analyzing this information, you can now craft dedicated landing pages and sales copy based on the visitor (and redirect your visitors based on search queries).
If you have an e-commerce website, your offers can be tailored to offer a specific CTA (call to action) that encourages the visitor to buy there and then. If your business is a physical storefront, simple downloadable coupons can be optimized to encourage a purchase within a specific time frame.
Perhaps one of the least used options when it comes to Google Analytics is the ability to use the data to reduce churn and increase customer retention and loyalty.
When visitors come to your website from a search term, it's for a specific reason:
- Information that enhances research to make a decision
- Comparison of products or services with your competitors
- Contact information for key personnel or help desks
By understanding the reasons behind a visit, you can determine if the visitor is a new or returning customer.
This data can help you optimize the response (human or automated) for existing customers, as well as overcome any issues they may have. For example:
- If a search term is something like "What companies are like Business X?" (your company), you can track if that person came to your site and, if so, what the next URL was after leaving your site. If it's a competitor URL, you know there must be an issue with that product or service, and allocate the resources to fix that.
- If you have an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page, and you see that the same questions are the ones being searched for, that would suggest you need to make that particular FAQ easier to understand. This can transfer to sales training, customer service awareness, etc.
Even just by digging into the data for these two examples above, you can begin to improve the copy on your site and start the process of providing the kind of information that lets your customers know why they should stay with you.
Data As Deep Or As Simple As You Want
These are just some of the more simplistic ways you can use Google Analytics to improve your marketing tactics immediately, particularly when it comes to the content on your company website.
The real benefit comes from you, and how deep you want to dive into the data available to you. Google has a wealth of resources on optimizing the information you wish to gather, and the official Google Analytics blog has in-depth articles that help you glean the exact type of data you're looking for.
This open knowledge approach ensures your business—and the goals you have for it—are well catered for, regardless of how much prior knowledge you have when it comes to understanding analytical data around Web traffic.
For that reason, as well as the opportunities this brings, isn't it time you dug a little deeper into what Google Analytics can do for your business?