Have you checked your fitness or wellness website’s health with Google Analytics? Do you know how to use website analytics tools?
Blood pressure cuff? Check. Scale? Check. Heart rate monitor? Check. You probably couldn’t run your wellness business without these essential tools. Yet your business probably spends thousands on its website with absolutely no website analytics tools that measure its effectiveness.
We’ll show you how to improve your understanding of what’s working and what’s not on your website.
What are vital statistics for our website?
Websites have a unique advantage over traditional sales and marketing materials. While it’s hard to know many people really read a newspaper ad, the company that hosts your website maintains electronic files with vast amounts of raw data about visitors to your site.
Now, that raw data isn’t terribly helpful by itself. So “Web analytics tools”, also called “site statistics software”, analyze that raw data and transform it into meaningful information – vital statistics that you can take action on.
Unfortunately, many site owners don’t know that this information exists. And those who do often find it hard to interpret.
The good news is that Google offers free, easy-to-implement web analytics that are genuinely helpful for business managers. It’s a tool that many business owners don’t know about – and it won’t cost you a dime.
How can we get Google Analytics?
- Sign up for a Google account if you don’t already have one. You’ll be asked to place either a few lines of code in your home page file or a tiny file on your website to verify that you’re the legitimate owner of your site. It’s extremely easy to do this yourself or have your web developer do it.
- Next, you’ll copy a few lines of tracking code provided by Google to each page on your site. This code tracks the behavior of visitors on your site.
- You’re done! Within about twenty-four hours, Google will start reporting useful information about your site.
The information in Google Analytics can be overwhelming, so start with these key indicators:
Google Analytics Basics
When you log into your Google account, you’ll see several graphics. The first graphic gives you an overview of how many visitors your website has and how long they stay on your site. You can change the date range at the bottom of the graphic.
Look at users and bounce rate:
Users – total number of people who visited your site. As you tweak your site to make it more effective, this number tells you whether your changes had the desired effect or not.
Bounce Rate – % of visitors who left your site as soon as they arrived. Ideally, your bounce rate should be no more than 30% to 40%. A significantly higher bounce rate tells you that 1) people are expecting one kind of business and finding another when they get to your site or 2) that your business is what they expected, but they’re disappointed by your site’s content.
Acquisitions and Traffic
Next, scroll down to the Traffic Channels graphic. This report gives you a detailed picture of how visitors found your website. Hover over the bar graphs to see an exact breakdown for a given date.
Direct – means they typed your site’s web address directly into their browsers. For example, they may have seen it on flyer or business card.
Organic – this counts the visits from folks who find your site from doing an Internet search.
Paid Search – they found your site by clicking on an ad.
This tab breaks down visitors by the search engine they used to get to your site, for instance Google/organic, Bing/direct, etc.
This counts visitors who clicked on a link to your site that was provided by another site. For example, they may have clicked on a link on your local Chamber of Commerce’s website or they clicked through via Facebook.
Knowing how people find your website helps you decide how to improve your site and your overall business marketing.
For example, if most people find you through search engines, you may want to optimize your site so that it shows up higher in search results. If you just ran a postcard campaign – but your “Direct Traffic” count is low – your campaign may not have inspired many website visits.
The Pages Reports
Next, scroll down to Pages Report. Click on the “Page Report” link to expand the information.
You’ll see a list of the most-visited pages. Typically your home page will be first.
When you look at the list of pages (you can look at URL or page title by selecting the heading above the list) ask yourself this question: “If a site visitor is only going to look at a few pages, are these the top 5 or so pages I’d want them to see?”
If visitors are looking at relatively unimportant pages, consider deleting them or giving them less prominence. And assess whether your core content is well-written, clearly presented and compelling.
Notice the “Exit” column shown to the left. It reveals the percentage of times visitors left your website while on that page. For example, if there is a high percentage of exits on your programs and services page, your descriptions may be vague or confusing. If they exit on your home page at a high rate, that’s a major red flag and your bounce rate, discussed above, is probably high.
But wait, there’s more!
We’ve only scratched the surface of this useful tool. For example: if you use Google’s AdWords pay-per-click advertising and sell products like nutritional supplements or have other conversions set up, your AdWords advertising can be added as a report/graphic to track here.
You can also look at the navigation summary to see the path that visitors take through your site – which page they start on, which pages they go to next, and which page they exited on.
There’s also reports on what time of day people go to your site, where they are geographically, and you can also view “sessions by device” – which tells you if visitors are using a desktop computer, a tablet or their phone.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the basic reports, take some time to explore the capabilities of this powerful tool and customize your dashboard to show the data you want to see. You’ll find invaluable insights that help you dramatically improve the business results from your website.
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