Using Google Analytics and Google Search Console to Capture the Right Audience

Posted on: April 19th, 2017 by Kyle Rose | in Blog, SEO and Marketing

Google Analytics & Google Search Console

You created or updated your website design. You worked extra hard to make sure you included all the services you provide. You made it super easy for potential customers to reach you. So why isn’t your phone ringing off the hook? Why isn’t your email getting bogged down with new requests for business? There are several basic SEO tips that can help you get more visitors to your website. However, if you don’t understand why and how visits come to your website, the information is useless. Luckily, with a little digging and some freemium web services by Google, these problems are becoming a thing of the past.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service that is offered by Google. Google Analytics can be used to track and report on website traffic. It provides all of the digital analytics tools needed to analyze data on your website and to better understand how visitors are getting to your website. You can also discover what actions your visitors are taking when they are on your site which will help you determine how to improve the experience for future customers.

Search Console? Don’t you mean Google Webmaster Tools?

Google Search Console is another free service provided by Google that allows webmasters to check multiple statuses of their website, including website performance and indexing. Many users still call the service Google Webmaster Tools, however Google changed its branding to Search Console in 2015.

How do I install Google Analytics and/or Google Search Console on my Website?

The first step to using Analytics or Search Console is installing them on your website. Both sites provide multiple options to help make this as painless as possible, including:

  • Adding a HTML Tag
  • Installing a Tracking Code
  • Uploading a HTML file
  • Signing into your Domain Name Provider
  • Using Google Tag Manager

This can sometimes get tricky, so don’t hesitate to ask Opt-e-Web for help. We are just a phone call or email away.

3 Tips to Help You Better Understand Your Audience with Google Analytics

Now that you have a better understanding of what Google Analytics is, let’s take a deeper dive into the analytics of your audience.

What Type of Device are your visitors using to reach your site?

We can’t stress enough to you how important it is to have a responsive design (mobile-friendly) website. With this report you can break down the sessions (visits) by device category.

  1. In Google Analytics choose your Account>Properties & Apps> Views
  2. In Reports open AUDIENCE>Mobile>Overview

This will show you the breakdown of visits to your website via desktop, tablet and mobile device. Having this information might change the way you market your website to your audience. Taking this report one step further, clicking on devices shows the actual device that was used (ie: iphone, ipad, Nexus, Galaxy 5 etc.)

Once online, how are visitors getting to your site?

There are multiple ways that people can find your website. Below are some of the ways Google tracks.

  • Direct – Visits where users navigated directly to the URL
  • Organic – Visits from organic (unpaid) search results
  • Social – Visits from social networks
  • Email – Visits from links clicked in email messages
  • Referral – Visits where users clicked a link from another site, sans search engines
  • Paid – Visits from PPC campaigns run in search results

Understanding this information can help you with future marketing efforts. If you notice that organic traffic is low, it might be time to beef up your SEO efforts, maybe social visits are really high, so it might be worth dedicating more effort into your social media campaigns. Use this report to truly start to understand your audience.

  1. In Google Analytics choose your Account>Properties & Apps> Views
  2. In Reports open ACQUISITION>All Traffic>Channels

Again, you can take this one step further and click into each individual channel for even more detailed information.

What pages are people visiting the most on your website?

Our last Google Analytics Tip will show you which of your pages are getting the most traffic. This is extremely important when gauging how your current marketing efforts are trending. Maybe those blog posts about the different services your company offers might not be driving much traffic, but the blog posts that share beneficial tips are driving loads of traffic. This might lead to a better campaign of tips and tricks blog posts. With the knowledge of this report you will understand which pages are working best for your website.

  1. In Google Analytics choose your Account>Properties & Apps> Views
  2. In Reports open BEHAVIOR>Site Content>All Pages

Search Console is Your Website’s Guardian Angel

At this point, you should be able to understand all the power that Google Analytics can deliver, but what about this Google Search Console? Search Console provides some amazing tools that not only allow you to check the health of your website, but also provide insights into trending searches to reach your website. Here are some of our favorites:

Check your site for 404 errors and more.

There is nothing worse than visiting a website and having a page load with the dreaded 404 error code, except maybe finding out that YOUR website has these error pages. Luckily, Google Search Console makes it easy to find these errors and fix them. Not all of these errors are bad, but if you recently changed the URL of one of your pages, you will want to confirm that people are not landing on the old site.

  1. In Google Search Console choose your Account (website)
  2. In the Dashboard open Crawl>Crawl Errors

See what keywords people are using in Google to find your website.

You hear people talk about keywords all the time, and this report can help you deliver more of what your audience is looking for. If your website is dedicated to selling football equipment and you find a large percentage of your audience is looking for helmets, it might be time to create a dedicated landing page for helmets. Maybe, you already knew helmets were a strong point, but wanted shoulder pads to get more views, so you could decide to create a dedicated landing page targeting the keywords that surround football shoulder pads.

  1. In Google Search Console choose your Account (website)
  2. In the Dashboard open Search Traffic>Search Analytics

There are a number of different ways you can view this data. We find that not only are the keyword queries extremely helpful, but we also love to pick a keyword in the query and then see what pages their search landed them. To do this, filter by Pages.

Want to learn more? Opt-e-Web is a phone call away!

Google Analytics and Search Console are must have tools for your website. Try out some of the tips we suggested and if you have any tips we didn’t cover please feel free to share. Two great articles to check out our Moz’s Absolutue Begginers Guide to Google Analytics & Moz’s Beginners Guide to Google Search Console.

Moz Logo from Joe Youngblood

Also, if you or your company are interested in learning more about these tools or want a more in depth walk-through, contact us today!

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