Perhaps one of the most amazing and absolutely essential tools we will cover in our Free Tool series, is Google Analytics. It is critical for businesses who spend resources on website marketing to understand and measure those efforts – which we think all businesses should do if they want to grow their business and bulk up their brain. Free with a Gmail account, businesses can sign up to access world-class insights and data that other companies would charge thousands per month to access. There is a paid, premium version of Google Analytics – but if you know how to navigate the free tool, as a small or mid-sized business, you probably won’t need it.
One of the reasons we love Google Analytics is that it equips you with the ability to track your customer behavior. Ever wondered how people are finding your site? Now you can know. Google Analytics will create pie charts and detailed statistics regarding where your website traffic is originating from. Distinguish between organic, direct and paid search, social acquisition, email marketing click-thru’s and more. These insights will help you determine what has (and hasn’t) been working for your business. Are you getting lots of hits from social, but not enough from organic search? Then you know you’ve hit your stride in talking to the right audience on social, but need to rethink your organic search strategy (aka: SEO).
Moreover, you can get a closer look at your social influence, and see which sites are most effective. Is the success/failure of your presence on one social sharing site due to the fact that your audience is on other sites, or your company voice translates best over this medium? Google Analytics gives you visibility into how long a shopper was on your site, where they clicked after they entered your site, and more. Set specific goals for Google Analytics to track, such as the number of clicks onto an inner page, number of email newsletter signups, etc. Dig deep, and discover your strengths and weaknesses to delegate your time and efforts in the most effective way.
We use Google Analytics, so we feel confident recommending it to other businesses, big and small. For our small business customers especially, Google Analytics can provide the insights you might have to pay another company to discover, at absolutely no cost. It’s truly a no-brainer if you are using your website to sell anything.
See what other free tools we’ve posted by browsing our Free Tool series, and discover the best apps for marketplaces, shopping carts, marketing, editing and more.