As the leader of your business, what is your awareness of the actual operations of your business? Do you have a bird’s-eye view with an understanding of the overall picture but not the specifics, or are you down on the ground, plugging away at individual parts with an intimate understanding of each turn of the cog?
Business owners who successfully maintain growth have the former rather than the latter.
Do you know the answer to whether your site had more traffic this week as compared to last week? Or this same week last year?
Do you know if the marketing campaign that you started last month has directly led to the leads you’ve received this month, or did they come from somewhere else? Do you know which link on the email you sent out last week was most clicked on?
There is a range of tools and processes that you are likely already using in your business to keep it ticking. When you were in the start-up stage, you most likely will have been that engineer that is running around, knowing exactly which lever to pull and exactly when. As you grow, and you start recruiting, you must start to step away from the levers, start focusing on the dials instead, and architect the overall machine.
You should focus on the dashboards and the overall results of the business, not the processes.
There is a tool out there that you can access on your website right now, which will put the numbers right in front of you, so you can start seeing exactly how many people are visiting your website during whatever time frame you choose…
What I’m talking about is Google Analytics, and it is not so much a lever, but more like a set of instruments of measurement. Google Analytics is the set of wings that will let you soar above your digital marketing and give you that bird’s-eye view on all of your digital efforts.
Let me give you four reasons why Google Analytics is a tool that every business owner should be using and understanding:
1. It’s Free!
I am not going to lie – there are better web analytics tools than Google Analytics out there. But Google Analytics is free. It lets you gain in-depth insight into your company’s online activities at no cost.
It would make sense to get more advanced analytics software if that kind of information is going to give you a return that pays off. Otherwise, why would you waste the budget when Google Analytics comes at no cost?
Business consulting often comes down to helping business owners weigh up the balance – marketing is investment, not a cost, but knowing what is a good investment means understanding the return on that investment.
If your business isn’t performing complex analysis on your data to eke out specific returns on your business, then Google Analytics will serve your needs.
2. You’re Getting Information From Google
Anyone who has any sort of digital activity should know about the term “Search Engine Optimisation” or SEO. Sometimes it’s known as SEM – search engine marketing. This is essentially a marketing channel whereby you are trying to show up in in the search results on search engines organically (i.e. you aren’t paying to be there).
This has the obvious benefits of that if someone is specifically looking for what you do, and you appear on the search results, they’re likely to be a good lead.
And since Google has a market share of 85.74% as of April 2017 (according to Statista), the only engine you really want to focus on is Google.
And if you are trying to boost your SEO for Google, doesn’t it make sense to find out how Google itself is looking at your website?
Ta da! – Google Analytics gives you exactly that. So if you are doing any sort of SEO activity, then Google Analytics is only going to improve that.
3. There Is An Abundance of Support
The great thing about Google Analytics is that it is really popular, and Google is massive. This means that there are plenty of online resources available to ensure you can get as much nuanced education in it as you want.
There’s no need to pay someone for training. There’s no need to order a special manual. There is plenty of support for using and understand Google Analytics to the nth degree.
Whether you just want to know what it is capable of, or you want to delve deeper and use it for complex data analyses, you will easily be able to find the tools and resources you need online.
Just a thought: your competitors are probably learning about Google Analytics, so this may well be one of the things that will determine whether you are falling behind or staying ahead of them.
4. You Can Test and Measure EVERYTHING
If you are doing marketing without being able to test and measure the results of that marketing, then you are essentially stabbing in the dark and hoping you hit something.
Google Analytics shines a light on your digital activity – IF you know how to read it.
You can track where people are coming from as they land on your website, what they do when they are on it and on what page they leave it (amongst many other things).
You can use the data to test and measure the effectiveness of almost any kind of online marketing and pick out when something has suddenly worked well, and when something has completely tanked.
This gives you extreme power to hone that marketing investment and ensure you are putting your money into the channels and strategies that are giving you actual return (and not perceived return).
Want to Know Your Website’s Visitor Numbers?
If you haven’t yet got Google Analytics running on your website (or, worse, don’t even know whether you have it or not!) then now is the time to get it sorted.
Even if you do not plan to use it or look at these numbers until later, you have to set it up now.
The reason being that Google Analytics cannot start tracking any information until after the code has been installed. It cannot look at historical information – so prioritise just getting the code onto your site.
Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to do so – as I said before, there is plenty of help. If you have a web developer, they should know how to do this really easily. If you are on a WordPress site, you can do this easily with a plugin. And most other websites will have some sort of function that makes it as easy as copying and pasting the code from Google Analytics into a box on your website that puts the code onto every page on your website (inside what is known as a <head> tag).
Once you strap on these Google Analytics wings, I hope you can learn to take to the skies above your business, and start seeing where you can target and hone your digital marketing and become a true business leader.
If you would like to discuss any of the points covered here, please feel free to request a free call below.