Almost every business website relies on transactions. These can include:

  • Calling you
  • Clicking an email link
  • Filling out an enquiry form
  • Adding a product to a shopping basket

These ‘transactions’ are the most important goal of any online business. They’re often referred to as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

Most businesses aim to achieve as many transactions via their web site as possible. To achieve this, you need to find out as much as you can about visits that result in a transaction:

  • Where did they come from geographically?
  • Which of your marketing channels did they come through?
  • From which page or product did they enter your website?
  • If you’re advertising, which of your ads did they click?

Having the data will tell you:

  1. Which areas of your marketing are most effective.
  2. Who in your target market is most receptive.

This enables you to spend your time and money on the most effective activities. And to target the groups of people most likely to do business with you.

The tools of the trade

The ubiquitous analytics tool is Google Analytics. Over 10 years old and estimated to be installed on as many as 50 million websites! It’s free to use, and is relatively easy to set up. Unfortunately, even web design agencies make mistakes in setting it up. A complete set-up guide is beyond the scope of this article, but there are a few things you absolutely must do.

  1. Create goals: You should have a Google Analytics goal for each ‘touch point’ on your website.
    Ecommerce tracking: If yours is an e-commerce website, make sure you have e-commerce tracking enabled.
  2. Create a filtered view: Have one view which tracks everything, and another which filters certain visits out. If you have a static IP address, you should filter out your own visits and filter out visits from spam-bots (they’re not real visits).
  3. Link Google Search Console: This is another brilliant, free tool. It provides important information about how Google views your web site.
  4. Link Google Adwords: If you advertise on Adwords, you must link your Adwords and Analytics accounts, otherwise you’ll see paid visits as organic visits.
  5. Complete the setup: Don’t miss out information in the setup screens. It’ll leave holes in your reporting later on.
  6. Finally: Make sure your web agency sets up an independent Google Analytics account that belongs to you. Many will just create a sub account within their master account. If ever you part company, you need to be able to take your data with you, and that won’t be possible if you’re on someone else’s account!

How Woof can help

I’ve been setting up Google Analytics for over 6 years, and know exactly how it should be done. And I specialise in online marketing strategy. If you need me to take a look at your analytics account, drop me an email or call Gareth on: 07951216770

Next in this series: Acquiring visitors