Want to know what I encourage my students to do inside of my courses? Sign up for Google Analytics. Why? Because if we don’t know what’s currently working (and what’s not) we can’t improve and make the changes that need to be made in our businesses. I know for some who consider themselves not “techy” this task can be intimidating, but today I want to make the argument that it’s worth it. In fact, installing Google Analytics might ultimately make LESS work for you.
Knowing which platforms are working and deserve your time and attention empowers you to either walk away from a strategy that’s not working or change things up and fix what’s going wrong. Conversely, it can give you the confidence to continue focusing your efforts where you’re seeing success. Sure, we can gauge our success in other ways like engagement and social media likes, but are those things paying the bills? The #1 strategy that drives profits in my business is my email list, and Google Analytics has been a tool we’ve used to analyze how to quickly and efficiently add subscribers to our list.
Google analytics is not as scary as we make it out to be and today I want to simplify this very useful tool for you in the hopes of encouraging you to sign up, dig into your analytics and make tweaks to your strategy that will offer huge results.
You can get really detailed with reporting and setting up goals and advanced strategies within Google Analytics, but even just signing up and collecting data on who is visiting your site and where they are coming from can be really impactful. Here are the 5 numbers we keep a pulse on in my business.
Your most read blog posts
Every time we get into content creation mode, I ask my team what content is currently doing well. Then, we expand on those topics for future podcast episodes or blog posts and replicate what’s working. Is our audience responding to more how-to, checklist type articles or story and personal based? The next step is to make sure that we have a way to convert the traffic that is landing on our most popular posts with a pop-up or opt-in. Our opt-in strategy is something we’ve executed over the last 2 years and a few of my best performing blog posts of all time are older than that. Without Google Analytics, we would have never known to revisit those pages and make sure we were getting the people visiting them on to our email list.
How you access it: Behavior > Site Content > All Pages > Sort by highest page views
Your least read blog posts
Knowing which blog posts are not performing well has saved me a ton of time and energy. There was a time when I thought my audience would be really interested in a certain topic and I was excited to teach and write a course on it. We started blogging on the topic and creating opt-ins and they totally flopped. In this case, this was data that we used to make the decision to go in another direction. Without Google Analytics, I may have gotten further down the path before realizing the course was not in high demand and wouldn’t have performed well. Knowing what your audience is NOT responding to can be just as valuable as what they are.
How you access it: Behavior > Site Content > All Pages > Sort by lowest page views
Where people are exiting your site from
Exit pages are different than your least read pages because they are the last page people visit before clicking away. Why is this important? Maybe the pages are low performing and the copy needs to be tweaked. Maybe the page doesn’t have a clear way for them to continue the conversation with you and simply adding a “read more articles like this” type action item at the bottom of the page will keep their attention on your site longer. Another strategy we use for these pages is to create an exit pop-up that generates our best performing opt-ins as a pop-up when someone goes “x” out of the page. Otherwise, simply making sure there is a sign up to your newsletter or opt-in within the text of that page (ideally “above the fold” meaning before someone would need to scroll to see it) would be a great strategy for converting traffic on those pages.
How you access it: Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages
Where your traffic is coming from
It’s no secret that Instagram is kind of my thing and I’m proud to say it generates a lot of blog traffic. I believe those little squares should be an invitation to connect with you on a deeper level off of the app and it’s a strategy that has worked in terms of generating blog traffic. Thanks to Google Analytics I can confidently say that my efforts on Instagram go further than pretty pictures and a large number of followers. People also engage with my content and connect on a deeper level.
When Caitlyn joined the team, she bet me if we could get Pinterest as one of the highest traffic sources in my business that we would write a course on the strategies we used. Guess what? In the last year, we’ve quadrupled the traffic and now have thousands of students doing the same. We wouldn’t have been as confident that these efforts were fruitful without that data to back it up.
You can also see how your SEO strategy is going and see which sites are referring traffic to you. As an example, when we went viral, one of the ways we figured out who was all talking about us was by looking at the referral traffic to the site. Who knew Perez Hilton blogged about us? We didn’t until we saw hundreds of people a day coming to the site from his.
Another way we’ve used this information is when we’re getting a lot of traffic from a specific site, we try to think about what that audience might most be interested in from us. I was on Amy Porterfield’s podcast and we were getting a lot of traffic from the episode where I talked all about Pinterest. Knowing we were getting this traffic, we created a pop-up for anyone coming to our site from Amy’s with our Ultimate Pinterest Guide as a free resource.
How you access it: Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels/Source/Referrals
Who is visiting your site
Are you interested in becoming an influencer? The businesses hiring you will want to know the demographics of people visiting your site, the number of monthly page views, is your traffic new users or returning? Where do you get these stats? You guessed it, Google Analytics. If this is your goal, my advice would be to start collecting data now, tuning in to your numbers and look for areas you can improve so that when an opportunity arises, you’ve got your best foot forward.
How you access it: Audience > Demographics > Overview
If you’re in need of a professionally designed media kit, I’ve got you covered with this template from the shop as well!
Hopefully I’ve painted the picture for how this data can be a valuable tool (and not so scary!) to help focus your efforts in your business. My hope is that you’ll take the plunge and sign up for an account so that you can use this site to your benefit.