Most business owners know all about their website’s traffic stats – monthly visitors, conversions, bounce rate, etc. However, if you’re in the “set it and forget it” camp, and you haven’t been keeping track of your website’s performance, here are some ways you should be using you Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools to make your website work for you!
First: What ARE Analytics and Webmaster Tools, anyway?
Google Analytics is a free tool to help you measure your website’s traffic and performance, and gain insight into your customers and visitors. Key statistics include: visits, unique visitors, devices (mobile vs. desktop), most popular pages, where visitors came from, and how many completed a specific goal like filling out a form.
Google Webmaster Tools allows you to monitor your index status, stay on top of potential issues, and gain insight into keywords and search rank.
Why Do I Need to Check Analytics?
It is easy to get lost in the weeds, and as a business owner you certainly don’t have time to waste on checking website traffic every day. However, you should keep an eye on the following key stats at least once a month:
Check your traffic levels
How many unique visitors did you get this month? How much did you get last month? Are you growing month-to-month? If not, is the decrease seasonal? Check last year’s traffic and make sure your trends are on track.
If you see traffic decrease month after month, when it should normally be growing, then it is time to dig deeper.
Set up specific goals and track the success of your site in converting visitors into potential customers! Some things you can track:
- Contact form submissions
- Phone calls from your website
- Make Offer, Contact Dealer, Get Sale Price, and Email to Friend
- Credit Applications
This is a critical piece of information! Conversions are the #1 measurement of your online success. If you aren’t generating leads from your website, it is time to dig deeper and figure out what is stopping visitors from converting.
Where’s your traffic coming from?
Google Analytics can tell you where your traffic’s coming from. In broad terms, you can see what kind of traffic you’re getting – Organic Search, Social, Direct, Email, Paid, and Referral traffic. This let’s you know which overall strategies are working for you, and it helps you identify weaknesses. In specific terms, you can see which traffic is the most valuable to you – which channel has the best conversion rate?
Spend more time and resources on your highest converting channels. (Do visitors from Facebook convert at a higher rate than email? Then spend more time on Facebook, and less time on emails.) In addition, be sure to catch abrupt downtrends, especially drops in your percentage of search traffic.
What Can Webmaster Tools Tell Me?
It isn’t necessary to check Webmaster Tools often. However, there are some key pieces you can leverage:
RSS and XML submission
You can help Google’s search index find and crawl your web pages by providing it with your RRS feed and XML site map files. All websites developed by NetSource have an always up-to-date RSS feed of their inventory. And if you are a monthly PPC, website maintenance, or social media customer, our team will generate a brand new XML site map each month for you. You can also generate your own XML site map using one of the many free generating tools available online.
Webmaster Tools monitors errors, possible malware or hacks, and performance issues automatically, and will send you an email if it thinks your site might have an issue that needs to be addressed. It also keeps up with changes to browsers and search algorithms, and you’ll get an early heads-up with advice on needed updates before they can adversely affect your search rank.
If you are worried about your organic search ranking, this is the tool you need! You can track your average rank, click through rate, and search impressions for all of your ranked keywords. Identify your best performing keywords, locate areas for growth, compare mobile vs. desktop search rank, and more!