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Get this: According to researchers, more than 80% of consumers research products and services online before making a purchase. Stats like this indicate how it’s more important than ever to have a professionally designed, robust website as a core component of your company’s brand and marketing strategy.
Whether you’re the business owner or the company’s web developer, you understand that it’s not enough to simply have a working website; you need one that appeals to your target audience and gently guides consumers to a buying decision. The one question you need to ask is: Is my company’s website and online presence working?
To answer this question, you have an abundance of data to study: Website traffic, unique visitors, page views, conversion rates, and other statistics. Did you know that the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery makes it even easier for you to make sense of all that data you’re culling?
What is Google Analytics?
Let’s take a step back and start from the beginning. Google Analytics is a free tool you can install on your website to collect and analyze data regarding your traffic. With this tool, you can gather a list of important data points such as: geographic location of your visitors, what web browsers they’re using, the average spent time on your site, what keywords brought them there, and other useful details.
Meet the Solutions Gallery
So, what does one do with all that great intel? Welcome to Google Analytics Solutions Gallery where you can create custom reports from the solutions gallery, and find insightful dashboards designed by experts. This free, often overlooked tool, is a crowd-sourced platform that helps you dig deeper into your data, identify gaps and opportunities, and make decisions to strengthen your website. You’ll be able to parse your data and dig for the specific insights you’re seeking by using templates in 16 different categories.
Making it work for you
There’s a treasure trove waiting for you in the gallery, but having access to such a comprehensive resource can be overwhelming. What do you select? How do you find the right dashboard or template to yield the appropriate insights?
Below, I will walk you through the simple steps you can take immediately so you can navigate the gallery and fully capitalize on its resources and functionality.
If you have not already registered for Google Analytics, you will need to do so before proceeding. You will get a tracking code to paste into your pages so Google can collect the data you want to see. Within hours of dropping that code into place, you’ll be able to access the stats you want. If you are already tracking site traffic with Google Analytics, make sure you’re signed in, and then head to the Gallery home page.
Before you start clicking through the templates, do your research and decide what you want to glean from the process. What are you really trying to get your arms around? Are you looking to measure the ROI of your latest marketing campaign? Are you wondering if your time on Twitter is yielding click-through results? Are people spending more time on certain sections of your site than others? Be as specific as you can be when defining your data goals. The clearer you are in your intentions, the better your data will be.
Get a suggestion
If you are having trouble putting a finger on what type of information you need, poke around the lists of what Google recommends on its Solutions Gallery landing page. You will see what others are searching for or what they’ve ranked highly. You might find there’s information available you didn’t even know you wanted. That’s the beauty of the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery; you can automate reporting and show data that isn’t typically available in the standard reports you’re used to seeing.
Create your dashboard
Now that you know what you want to find, open a new dashboard with Google Analytics. Start at the Gallery’s home page. In the search box, enter the keywords or phrases that best match the type of information as identified in step one. Let’s give it a try. Enter “traffic from social media” into the search field. Found one you want? Great, click “import.”
Narrow it down
Your search yielded hundreds of templates. How do you know the right report for you isn’t nestled deep on page 10 of 17? The good news is that you can hone your search to narrow down your choices. Using the sidebar on the left side of your results screen, you can drill down deeper into your search by filtering by type (e.g., dashboard, goal, segments, and attribution model), by ranking or by category (e.g., branding, campaign, engagement, mobile, paid search, and more.) Now do you see what you’re looking for? Go ahead and click “import.”
Once you’ve signed in and imported your new dashboard, your own site data will populate the relevant fields. The report is now yours to use as part of your regular analysis.
Still not quite right? Even with the slew of templates currently available, you may not find exactly what you are seeking. That’s okay. Find one that has most of what you need and then customize it further. If you’re not sure how edit the template, that’s something we can help you with. You can reach me here: https://old.marknetgroup.com/contact/
Not only can you tap into the genius of other web-pros, you can share your own knack of analytics with others too. Head back on the Solutions Gallery Home page. See the “Create” button? Go ahead and click it to share your own templates with other gallery users.
Studying your analytics properly is essential to growing your business. Without a complete understanding of what’s working on your website (and what isn’t!), you are shooting in the dark, wasting your marketing dollars, and failing to strengthen your online presence.
Ready to dive into your analytics? What report will you import first? If you’re still not sure how to use this tool, let’s talk: https://old.marknetgroup.com/contact/