What Google Analytics Can Tell You About Your Business

You have a website, but how is it used? You add information, but what do users value most? These and many other marketing questions can be answered with Google Analytics. GA tracks a range of key stats and insights related to your website performance. It provides essential intel to help you target your marketing.

Data Available from Google Analytics

Google Analytics gathers a lot of data. What matters most to you depends on your type of business and your goals.

  • Where visitors are located
  • Visitor interests
  • Browsers and devices used
  • Age and gender

GA tells you what people do at your site:

  • Pages viewed
  • Links clicked
  • Time on page
  • Actions taken

You also get great intel on where people come from, whether it is social media, a search or  another website.

From Data to Insights

Data is nice, but insights are better. The default Analytics dashboard will give you great info which may or may not tell you what you need to know. Usually, you have to look deeper into the data to give you the info you need to guide your marketing.

Here are some common insights you can get from your Google Analytics Data.

  • Pages viewed tells you what’s most interesting at your site. You learn what people want more of and what they don’t care about.
  • Traffic sources tells you what marketing channels are sending traffic to your site. There’s no sense in investing more effort with channels that don’t get people to your website.
  • Devices tells you just how much effort you need to put into an excellent mobile experience. If half or more of your visitors are using their cell phones, you must make sure your site functions well on the small screen. You must.

Look at your online marketing goals and explore how Google Analytics can give you actionable data to measure progress as well as understand what to do next.

 

Increase Your Online Reach with Links

Often we focus our online marketing efforts on things we publish online. That’s great, but we also need to expand our audience to optimize on the impact of our content. Links increase our audience and help with search engine optimization (SEO).

Here are the steps to follow for a successful link building strategy.

Good Links Defined

Good links help get more traffic to your site. Good links are at sites that generate traffic to your own site.

To get good links:

  1. Get to know your audience
  2. Make a list of websites which appeal to your desired audience
  3. Write amazing content
  4. Match content to websites
  5. Reach out to site owners
  6. Use social media to amplify your content

Focus on Your Audience

You need to know your audience well to build effective links. What do they care about? What places do they go online? The answers give you a sense of the links that will get attention, and where they need to be.

Develop a List of Valuable Websites

List the websites that could help you reach more people in your target audience. Find the websites that already appeal to them. You can do your research on Google and also look at the websites that people in your audience share on social media.

Focus on Great Content

You knew I would get to this, right? It’s always all about great content. In order to get other websites to link to your content, your content has to be a worthy addition to the site’s content.

Ask

Now that you have target sites AND great content, you need to ask for links. Take time to find one or more places at the site where a link would make sense.

Don’t bother making a general ask like “please link to me.” Be specific: please link this page and this content to this page at my website. The more specific you are, the easier you make it for the receiving website to act.

Assess Results

Use your web metrics to determine which links drive traffic to your website and the behaviors of the users. This can help you determine the most effective links and give you insight into your ongoing link building efforts.

A successful link building strategy should always be aimed to bring new valuable visitors to your website who engage with your content and your brand.

Search Engine Result Pages Have Changed

Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) have gotten more complex. No longer ads at top and a button with 10 results sandwiched in between, there are now a variety of SERP features that are included for many searches.

SERP features are heavily used, so they are likely to become more common over the coming months and years.

SERP Features

SERP features are unpaid, organic content shared in a format other than a traditional search result. These features all provide answers or other helpful information to users directly on the SERP.

In the main centered column of content, common SERP features include:

  • Featured snippet
  • People Also Ask
  • Top Stories
  • Packs: image, video, and local
  • Carousel

In the sidebar, SERP features can be Google Business listings or Knowledge Panels.

What SERP Features Mean for Your Business

Most web content is found via search, mostly using Google. To be visible, your content must be attractive for more than traditional organic search rankings. You must also pay attention to SERP features and how you might leverage them.

Featured Snippets

Featured snippets are excerpts of site content that summarize an answer to a query. They are presented in a card and may consist of a paragraph, list, table or a video. If your content succinctly answers a common question, you have a chance of being the source of a featured snippet.

People Also Ask

People also ask a list of questions related to the query, presented in accordions. Each question unveils a featured snippet along with additional questions. Essentially, these are collections of featured snippets for related queries. Again, having content that clearly answers common questions can get your content included.

Knowledge Panel

The knowledge panel appears in the right sidebar on some SERPs. It shows attributes of entities (people, places, organizations, things), using information gathered from the web, structured databases, and other sources.

For organizations, knowledge panels usually have high-level information about a company such as leadership names, address and phone number. Most knowledge panels contain important and relevant details — such as the dates of events at a concert venue or the stock price of the company. This information should be easily harvestable at your website.

Packs

Images and videos related to a search can be presented in a pack. Tagging non-text content with common keywords and search terms leads to images being included in packs for those terms.

The Impact of SERP Features

Research shows that SERP features are highly used by searchers. They help them get information with fewer clicks, guide them to refine their searches, and more.

SERP features help users to quickly verify that the results are targeting their interests. User research shows that SERP features grab attention more than traditional search results. SERP features receive special visual emphasis and visual weight on the page. They stand out and attract attention.

Paying attention to the SERP features related to the keywords associated to a business is an important part of any SEO strategy.