As more Australians are searching for financial products and services online, your digital presence is essential in today’s competitive market. But with the attention span of the average adult at just eight seconds1, you want to make sure that visitors to your website stick around for long enough to become actual clients.
So how can you know if your website is getting the attention it deserves – or if you need to make some changes so it can stand out from the crowd? The answer lies in Google Analytics.
How it works
Google’s web analytics tool collects and processes information about your website’s visitors and their online behaviour. It enables you to track how many people are coming to your website and what they’re doing when they get there.
For example, Google Analytics can give you insights into the age, gender and location of your website visitors – as well as how often they visit, and how long they spend on each webpage. It can also reveal other interesting details like which sections of the page they click on and how far they scroll down. You can even learn how people find your site, whether it’s through a search engine, paid advertising, your email campaign or a link from someone else’s site.
This information is useful for measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and understanding how you can refine and improve your marketing strategy to drive more traffic to your website. It could even reveal a potential new pool of clients and help you find ways to tap into them.
The importance of planning
Before you delve into the world of big data, it’s a good idea to take some time upfront to plan ahead. The internet has opened up access to such a massive amount of information that it’s important to narrow your focus and think about what you actually want to achieve.
Otherwise, you could end up being overwhelmed by the sheer quantities of data available.
To navigate your way through the data, you’ll need to decide what you want to measure and why. Make your aim as specific as possible: whether it’s finding out how many people completed a contact form or clicked on a recently added feature of your site. You might also want to know if visitors are checking your website from their smartphones, or what the trigger points are that make people leave the site.
Whatever your end goal, go in with a plan – then create a personalised dashboard in Google Analytics to report on the results. That way, you’ll only receive the metrics that are important to your business.
If you don’t already have a Google account, you’ll need to set one up before you can use Google Analytics. Then you can create a Google Analytics account by entering a few details, including your Google account name and your website’s address.
Next, you’ll be given a range of options to set up tracking for your website. One of the easiest to use is the Google Tag Manager, a free and easy-to-use online platform.
With Tag Manager, you can make changes to the data you wish to track without having to update the code on your website each time. But if you’ve never used the platform before, it’s worth watching an online instruction video to make sure you get it right.
Making the most of the data
Remember, the data you track is only valuable if you put it to good use – for instance, to shape your marketing strategy based on the insights you gain into your clients’ behaviours and preferences.
If, for example, you find that most visitors to your website are directed from social media channels, then it may be worth investing more time and energy into developing your social media presence to attract more potential clients.
Or, if you find that visitors aren’t staying for long on your website, you might want to think about new features you can add to keep them interested – and turn your website visitors into real, live clients.
1 As at the time research was released in 2015. Consumer Insights, Microsoft Canada, Attention spans, 2015.