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Even as a child, I loved measuring things: shoe sizes, my height, the volume of non-regular polyhedroid solids—you name it! That’s why I get so stoked about Web Analytics…or maybe it’s the third cup of Joe I’m currently downing. Either way, they’re critical to your business success, analytics I mean.
You need to have some sort of analytics package on your Website. If you don’t, you’re basically driving a car with no dashboard and blacked-out windows in the middle of rush-hour. Amidst the screams of innocent bystanders, you may think to yourself: “Wouldn’t it be great if I had a clearer idea of where I was actually going…”
So aside from appeasing your own burning curiosity, here are a few reasons why you should install Google Analytics today.
It’s Free, so Why Wait?
You may be thinking about starting a Website redesign, which is great! But don’t wait to install analytics. At the very least, you can add Google Analytics tracking code to your current site. It’s very simple to do, and depending on the complexity of your site, can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. Oh and by the way, it’s free to use.
I don’t advise waiting because you need to start establishing benchmarks now. Was a redesign really effective in bringing in more traffic? Without any analytics whatsoever, you won’t know. And don’t worry, you can easily transfer your tracking code to the new site.
It’s Like Having a GPS for Digital Marketing
Google Analytics is a great tool and measures a trunk-load of things from Website traffic, to what browsers people are using, what search engines they used, what sites they came in from, how long they spent on your site, what pages they viewed, how many of them were on mobile devices, where your visitors are located *breath in* how many visitors are new versus returning, and the list goes on.
With this easily accessible information, you can start answering questions like:
- How are most of my customers finding me?
- How effective was our Facebook campaign?
- What keywords are people using to find me?
- Where are my customers from?
- What are the most popular pages on my site?
- What devices are people using to view my site?
Knowing the answers can help you decide things like whether or not to get a mobile site, what platforms to develop an app for, develop content that excites and engages your customers, optimize your SEO strategy, and much more. If you do Pay-Per-Click advertising, you can also tie Google Analytics into your AdWords account to track your customer’s entire lifecycle from click-through to purchase.
Darn It Jim! I’m a Business Owner, Not a Math Nerd
But even if you don’t have a hefty marketing budget, keep in mind that you can access your site’s data at any time. So even if you’re six months or so away from doing anything with your marketing plan, get analytics now so you or anyone you hire can have the data they need to identify where you need improvement. The benefit far exceeds to cost to implement. And once you bring on the experts, they can make the proper configurations to get the most out of it. But you should at least start establishing a baseline performance level to improve upon, and don’t worry, you won’t have to stare at a bunch of spreadsheets to get a sense of how well your site is doing: Google puts it all in simple graphs, and I do love graphs.