Google Analytics contains large amounts of data which can provide insights into your business that you may not be able to find elsewhere. Here are some little known tricks which can help you get to the data you need.
1. Create Numerous Goals
Goals are an easy-to-use feature which are too often ignored. Most website owners focus on traffic, but translating that traffic into conversions should be your most important goal. Google offers many templates so that you can track goals. Go to Admin > Goals > New Goal to set up your first goal. Once this is done, you will not immediately have visible results, but over time you will be able to monitor your progress with graphs and other tools.
2. Identify Audience Segments
Most small businesses have multiple target audiences that visit their website. To distinguish between them and gain a superior understanding of the different audience groups coming to your website you should use the segments tool on google analytics to differentiate basic metrics such as age, gender, location, and language, access mode and traffic sources. Go to Admin and select Segments in order to create customized segments so that you can start tracking.
3. Track Browser Engagement
As a small business, to better understand your audience you need to analyze their behavior. For example you want to look at how long users engage with each page. This will allow you to understand how your audience is interacting with your site and may also guide you as to which pages are not so popular so as to troubleshoot why. To track this go to Behavior > Behavior Flow. At first sight the map may appear complex however you can simplify it by using the drop-down menu to choose different variables so as to have a more granular view.
4. Examine Referrals
As a small business it is crucial to look at referrals. Your referral stats based on a short-term and long-term view will allow you to evaluate which websites are sending you the most visitors. It is important not only to understand which websites are sending browsers to you but also so that you can keep building traffic from these domains. For example if social networking sites are the best source of referrals it will be easy to add more posts and attract more traffic.
5. Examine Search Results
Google analytics offers a tool that allows you to look at what browsers are searching for on your site. You will need to setup the search functionality. It is useful for a small business to track which keywords are the most popular, to see what browsers are seeking when they land on your website. This will also help you to understand whether they find the results useful or not, as well to develop content that better matches the most sought search terms so as to drive business.