5 Data Points in Google Analytics Every Small Business Needs to See

In every small business it’s essential to understand where business comes from, what efforts are working and anything we can about our customers. Google Analytics is a great free platform to get this kind of information, however it can be very overwhelming to find it if you’re not familiar with it. My goal is to show you 5 metrics that will help you make better marketing decisions.

What is Google Analytics?

One of the free tools for collecting data on your website is Google Analytics. It tracks the actions a person takes while they are on your site. This allows you to see key metrics that can help you plan your marketing efforts, track their effectiveness and make adjustments to improve results.

Google Analytics allows you to track hundreds of data points and therefore can be a lot to take in if you decide to explore what it has to offer. Here’s a quick overview of what you see when you log in.

Google_Analytics_Dashboard

The main part of the screen shows a snapshot of your site’s activity along with insights from Google. On the left side you have your main menu of data points at the top and then your admin section where you can change your account settings. Let’s explore the menu a little further.


Realtime

When you want to learn about customers that are on your site at that exact moment, the Realtime menu can show you how many people are on the site, what page they are on, where they are from and more.


Audience

The audience menu has information about the people that are coming to your site. You can learn about their age, gender, interests, location, which device they are using and so much more.


Acquisition

This section has all of the information about how your visitors are getting to your site. You can learn which social media channels are driving traffic, which paid campaigns are bringing in the most people, which search engines are being used and so much more.


Behavior

When you want information about what content visitors are looking at or how people are navigating through the site, the behavior section can give you great insights. This section also includes your website’s page load time and even shows you how to improve it.


Conversions

The last menu shows us everything we need to know about conversions. A conversion is an action people take that you consider significant. These can be sales, email list subscribers, form completions or any other action that you want people to take.


Now that you have a basic understanding of the menus, let’s look at the data points that every small business should be looking at.

Source/Medium: Where Website Traffic is Coming From

We all want to know what source is getting the most people to your website. This is the first place I go when I log in. You can find this section under Acquisition, then All Traffic.

Google_Analytics_Source-Medium

Source/Medium shows you a breakdown of where traffic is coming from. The image below shows the top 8 of 22 sources over a 30 day period.

Google_Analytics_Source-Medium2

Here are three takeaways from this view:

  • The biggest source of traffic is people typing in the website address directly.
  • The second biggest source is people finding the site on Google.
  • People that came to the site from Facebook and Yelp had a higher average session than the other sources.


Note: The bounce rate on page is the amount of times a person visits your site but does not take action or click to another page. In some cases, this means the person did not find your site to match what they are looking for. In other cases, it’s hard to avoid this. Some sites, like recipe sites, always have higher bounce rates. And sometimes when you have a robust blog like this website, people do not stay to read more. The key is finding a balance and making the site flow a little better.


Action examples from the three takeaways:

  • Review Yelp and Facebook marketing and see what more you can do to engage your audience.
  • Since most of the traffic is from Google, investing in Google Ads may be beneficial.
  • Check the search terms used by people coming from Google organically.


This data will help you determine where your website visitors are coming from, but also which channels are producing results. If you see that people from Facebook are buying more than any other channel, it’s worth putting more effort/spend there.

Demographics: Learn About Your Website Users

Our next data point takes a look at the age and gender of your website visitors. This information is important to know so you can better target your messaging and digital channels. You can find this section under Audience, then Demographics.

Google_Analytics_Demographics

The charts show us the age groups and gender of the people coming to the site.

Google_Analytics_Demographics2

Here are two takeaways from this view:

  • People 25-34 are using this site more than other age groups.
  • The majority of users are female.


Action examples from the two takeaways:

  • Create content that fits the 25-34 age range.
  • Position marketing efforts on younger apps like Instagram or TikTok.
  • Create ads that target females and males separately.


User demographics can really help you decide where to put your marketing efforts. Make sure where you promote yourself aligns with the demographics of the platform.

Interests: Learn About Your Visitors’ Search Patterns

We all strive to learn about what our customers are looking for that our products or services can be a solution for. But we also can get valuable targeting information when we know what else our customers are searching for.


Let me give you an example: If you are a life coach, you may notice that your customers also search for yoga classes. Then you can run ads that target people who have looked for those classes or partner with local yoga studios.


To find this data, go to Interests, then Overview.

Google_Analytics_Interests

In the example below, we see Affinity Categories, In-Market Segments and Other Categories. Affinity categories are what your website visitors have shown interest in. The In-Market Segments are what your website visitors are actively shopping for. And the Other Categories are more specific breakdowns of the user’s search patterns. For example, the Affinity category shows Food & Dining/Foodies and in the Other Categories we see Cooking & Recipes and Baked Goods.

Google_Analytics_Interests2

Here are three takeaways from this view:

  • Website visitors also like to travel.
  • Website users may also live healthy lives.
  • Some users are actively shopping for Women’s Apparel.


Action examples from the three takeaways:

  • Target people who are travelling to the area.
  • Target users who have healthy activities.
  • Show ads to users searching for Women’s Apparel.
  • Team up with local hotels to offer guests a coupon.


This type of data can really help you to shape your ideal customer persona or avatar. The idea is to position your brand in front of potential customers on sites that they are already visiting.

Mobile: Learn What Devices Your Site is Being Browsed On

This is a big one. In 2018 Google changed their algorithm to index mobile versions of websites. Translation: If your website does not have a good mobile experience (or any mobile experience) your site may never show when someone does a search related to your products or services.


To get to this information, go to Audience, then Mobile, then Overview.

Google_Analytics_Mobile

The chart below shows the breakdown of site visitors by the device type: Desktop, Mobile and Tablet. We can see how many people there were in this time period from each device and how many goals were completed.

Google_Analytics_Mobile2

Here are three takeaways from this view:

  • Over 85% of visitors came to the site from a desktop computer.
  • 91% of goals were completed on a desktop computer.
  • Barely any traffic comes from a tablet.


Action examples from the three takeaways:

  • Since most of the visitors were on a desktop computer, they may be less comfortable on mobile devices. Cross reference the most popular age groups.
  • The conversion rate for people on mobile devices is much lower than for desktop. Check to see if that rate is “normal” for your company by comparing previous months. If you see that there was a higher conversion rate before, test your mobile version to ensure there are no issues.
  • If you are running ads, exclude placements on tablets.


The mobile habits of your visitors can be enlightening. Make sure you are checking in on these stats. And if you do not have a website that adjusts for mobile users, let’s talk!

Site Content: What is Most/Least Popular

My last data point for you is taking a look at the content on your website. Content like blog posts drive traffic to your site because people are often seeking information before they decide to contact you or make a purchase.


You can find this section under Behavior, then Site Content, then All Pages.

Google_Analytics_Site-Content

Here you can see which website pages are getting the most attention. The top one (/) is your homepage. The rest are usually self explanatory.

Google_Analytics_Site-Content2

Here are three takeaways from this view:

  • The most popular blog post is How to Claim Your Google Listing.
  • Blog posts have higher exit rates than core pages.
  • The About page has the lowest exit rate.


Action examples from the three takeaways:

  • Promote the How to Claim Your Google Listing blog post more since people are using it.
  • Add something to the bottom of the blog posts to entice the user to stay on the site longer and visit more pages.
  • Since people seem to like the “about” info, make sure it has a clear call to action so the visitor knows where to go next.


If you happen to notice that some blog posts get barely any traffic compared to others, it may be time to update it or consider removing it. This data can help you sculpt a great site, use it wisely.


I hope you can now easily find some data to work with. Monitor these data points monthly or quarterly depending on how much traffic your site gets. The actions of your visitors can reveal a lot!


Until next time…


Rebecca Bertoldi