Google Analytics and Google Ads are two tools that can help you reach more customers. Google Analytics helps you improve your website with key insights about how people use your online store, while Google Ads lets you build paid campaigns and search for relevant keywords with its planner.
They can be the difference between increasing sales or missing out on opportunities, but using them isn't always straightforward – especially if you’re a beginner. For that reason, we’ve put this mini-guide guide together detailing the essentials of Google Ads and Analytics.
Let's start with Google Analytics (GA), where you can measure success and find areas for improvement. Logging into GA for the first time can be daunting, especially if you're not a data person.
But keep with it, and we promise there's a world of insights waiting for you. You can check your website's real-time movements, see audience profiles, page views, bounce rates, and where people are coming to your site from – essentially, anything to do with how people use your site.
The information available is vital for progressing sales and making the most of your eCommerce offering. It lets you find out which products are popular and the pages people are spending the most time on.
The main components of Google Analytics
Pageviews is the total number of page views, not the number of visitors to your site. For example, you could have 10,000 page views from 300 visitors. This is an important distinction, as it gives you clarity over the most popular pages of your website. Looking at the page views offers more insights about what shoppers do when they visit you online.
Entrances are when people come to your website externally (from Google's homepage or another website, for example) rather than navigating from one page to another. This is an excellent indicator of how well your content performs on search engines or the number of backlinks the site features.
The bounce rate reveals how many website visitors leave your site after the first page they land on. A reasonable bounce rate is considered anything below 70% and below 90% for blog posts and informational content. However, online stores tend to have a different set of metrics. Data shows that consumers spend more time on eCommerce websites and they have lower bounce rates, with an average of 20% to 45%. Therefore, anything above 45% is considered a poor bounce rate.
Exits are different from bounce rates, as they show the percentage of people who navigated multiple pages on your site and then left. An exit isn't always negative, as it could be shoppers leaving the checkout page after completing a purchase.
A session is defined as group interactions one user conducts over a specific time on your website, which Google Analytics defaults to 30 minutes. Therefore, no matter what the user does on your site during that time (browsing, buying, etc), it counts as one equal session.
Google Analytics also lets you set trackable goals to see if people are doing what you want them to on your site – eg, buy products or fill out enquiry forms. Goals also let you see a visitor's journey once they're on the website, from where they go to how they interact with pages – all of these actions are viewable in GA.
Understanding your website with Google Analytics
Google Analytics holds the key to understanding your website and making improvements so you can sell more. From the number of times shoppers view specific pages to where they’re leaving the page, Google Analytics offers in-depth insights designed to give you more transparency about the performance of your online store.
You can then use that information to create content, run campaigns and tweak website pages until you get the desired results.
Once you have those valuable insights from Google Analytics, you'll want to take action on them. One way of doing that involves using Google Ads to create paid campaigns designed to attract more customers and build a keyword strategy with the planner.
Budget permitting, there's plenty of value in a paid campaign – especially as organic keywords are hard to search for and take time to rank. With Google Ads, you can devise a paid campaign with the aim of getting your content seen at the top of Google’s first search page.
Using Google Ads can help you with factors like the cost per click (how much you pay each time someone clicks on your ad) and how to measure conversions. It essentially gives you a complete overview of all of your ad campaigns and how they're performing.
With Google Ads planner, you can also search organic keywords (free) to see what you should target. Over the years, other options like SEMrush have arguably overtaken keyword planner, but it’s still a helpful tool that provides insights on terms your store can rank for. Find out what people search for and then create content around their intent.
There are two types of keywords: short tail and long tail. Short tail keywords tend to have higher search volumes but lower intent, while long tail keywords have the opposite effect. Ideally, you should create content for both sets of keywords.
Winning the Google game
Google can potentially make or break your business, which is why understanding how its tools work is vital for increasing revenue and building a successful online sales strategy. When Google Analytics and Ads are implemented correctly, the results can be impressive. You’ll see more traffic coming through your website from the right type of customers.