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How to track, analyse and optimise website performance using Google Analytics

Using Google Analytics to track, analyse and optimise website performance of your website and campaigns.

Tracking of digital marketing campaigns is easy, this is especially because of the vast performance tracking tools the internet has to offer. For this particular article, we refer to the use of Google Analytics to track, analyse and optimise website performance of your website and campaigns.

We know that creating a website can be a long and strenuous task. In most cases, once the website is complete, we neglect or unaware of tracking our performance as most of our time was spent on getting it off the ground. At this point, we as web owners and marketers, simply want to perform, so how do we do that? 

The answer is Google Analytics.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google to help track, monitor, and report on the performance of a website. Google Analytics enables marketers to set goals, track website traffic and customer behaviour, monitor conversions, and many more aspects of your website and how users interact with the site.

How to set up Google Analytics?

Setting up GA is as easy as copy and paste. Simply go to https://analytics.google.com/analytics/ or search for Google Analytics. Follow easy three steps; sign up for GA, add the GA tracking code provided by GA onto each and every page on your website and start analysing your audience.

How to set campaign goals?

Once your website has been set up onto Google Analytics, the next step is to set campaign goals as you want to track how visitors interact with your website. There are four types of goals; destination, duration pages per session and event. These goals are defined as actions a visitor can perform on a particular website, Google Analytics records these actions as what we call ‘conversions’.

To set up goals, you can simply go to Admin settings > Goals and create up to 20 goals. Here you can create different kinds of goals depending on what the campaign aims to achieve or how your website is structured.

For example, if your campaign goal is to increase the number of registration of applications, you would create a registration form on the website to track this goal. You’d then create an event goal in GA called Registration Form Submission, this goal will be aimed at tracking how many visitors complete the registration form.

Note that this type of goal is called an event, as the event triggered by visitors is a click on the submission button of the registration form (see above).

What are the key metrics to look at?

There are a number of metrics to look at when tracking and analysing the performance of your website. Web metrics can be defined as a measure or a method of measuring a visitor’s behaviour. This includes page views, sessions, traffic sessions etc.  Here are the top 10 metrics we believe every website should be focusing on:
  1. Page views
  2. Returning users vs new users
  3. Mobile vs desktops visitors
  4. Traffic Sources
  5. Conversions (goal tracking)
  6. Average sessions duration
  7. Bounce Rate
  8. Landing Pages
  9. Exit Pages
  10. Site speed
How to track, analyse and optimise?

For instance, let’s say your website is an online academy that offers online courses. Every month end you’d like to know how many students registered, how many visited the site and how did they get to the site in the first place.

To track these goals, you’d have to set up goals such as Registration Form Submission to track how many students registered for the online courses. You then set an objective of 100 conversions between the month of April and May. When this period ends, you’ll use the Conversions tab in GA and track your performance. You can even filter dates (top right of GA) to see on which dates had the most goals completed.

Based on data you’ll receive from GA, you could then further optimise your website by changing the way questions are asked, where is the registration form is placed and how convenient it is for users to complete the registration form. You could further add more content for users to interact with so they are informed enough to convert.

Conclusion!

Google Analytics is a web analytics tool provided by Google to help webmasters/owners and marketers to track, analyse and optimise their performance.

Using all the above steps, you can set up your website onto Google Analytics, set campaign goals and track the most important metrics that will help you measure the successes and failures of your digital campaign.

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