Google Analytics: What It Is & Why You Need It
Google Analytics is one of the most popular and useful digital marketing tools you should have in your arsenal – and it’s free to use! Google Analytics has an abundance of uses but broadly speaking it allows you to gain in-depth and detailed insights about the visitors to your website. From page views to bounce rate and everything in between, GA is your go-to tool for understanding who is visiting your site and, perhaps more importantly, how they’re interacting with it.
The information available to you in GA can help you shape the future of your business by seeing whether or not your website is accomplishing the goals you’ve set, and where there are areas for improvement. Whether you’re interested in determining which pages on your site are most popular, how many of your viewers are visiting the site on mobile, or how people are searching for your services, GA can help you keep track of all the important statistics about your site’s performance.
Keep reading to learn why GA is absolutely essential to all online tour and activity providers. You can set this tool up in just a few steps, and then you’ll be on your way to valuable insights about your website.
Why Should You Use Google Analytics?
No gimmicks here – just free, valuable information about your website’s performance. Access statistics, figures, and other important information that will help you maximize your website’s performance. This way, you can invest your budget in other marketing channels or aspects of your business.
There’s no need to be a tech genius to make Google Analytics work for you. The program is designed to be very intuitive to use. Even newbie website owners can get this software up and running and begin to track campaigns and understand what changes need to be made to improve web traffic, bounce rate, and more. Check out this guide to take a deeper dive into GA reporting and how to use it to maximize opportunity.
Track Many Important Metrics in One Place
GA tracks many campaigns at once, so you can compare and monitor all aspects of your business and website, from user experience and device functionality to online marketing strategies, on-site content, customer engagement, and more. Having all of this information at your fingertips in one place means you can access everything you need with ease.
What Can You Do With Google Analytics?
Now that you understand why GA is so important, check out some of the most valuable ways you can use it to your benefit.
Learn Who Your Audience Is
As a tour operator, you already spend time interacting with customers who come to participate in your tours and activities, so you have a good idea about basic customer information: how old they are, where they’re from, and what gender they are. With a GA Audience Report, you can get this type of information, and more, about the people who visit your website, even if they don’t end up booking a tour with you.
These insights can be very useful, as you can use them to optimize your website to better cater to your core audience. For example, you can use the interests section of the report to see what your visitors are interested in and create content that will entice them to spend time on your website or even book a tour or activity. Similarly, knowing the age and gender of your visitors can inform how you write content for your website (will your language be more casual and friendly or formal and business-like?).
Pro tip: Use the Audience Report to see how many visitors viewed your site on a mobile device, desktop, or tablet. If you have many mobile users, you can use this information to optimize your website for mobile.
Understand Where Your Traffic Is Coming From
Once you have an idea of who makes up your traffic, it’s a good idea to see where that traffic is coming from, as it can inform future website advancements or changes. With over one billion websites on the internet, yours is just one of many that are vying for attention, which makes it more important than ever to understand how you’ve acquired your existing traffic, and how you can build more in the future.
Fortunately, GA has an entire section, called Acquisition, that’s dedicated to tracking how website visitors found your site. By dividing traffic into four categories, you can get a better understanding of where your visitors come from.
- Organic search: See how many people are coming from search engines like Google or Bing.
- Direct: These are the people who open up the search engine and type your URL into the search bar or come directly to your site from a bookmark.
- Referral: See how many searchers are coming to your site from sources other than search engines, like a link in a YouTube video or a partner blog.
- Social: Just as it sounds, social traffic encompasses the visitors that arrive on your site from social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Use the Acquisition Report to determine how to market your website across various channels. For example, if you notice that your organic search traffic is far lower than you expected, you might consider looking into improving your site’s SEO. On the other hand, if you see a lot of visitors coming from your social media pages, you know that your social strategy is likely serving you well.
Pro tip: Dig deeper into the four categories for detailed insights. For example, see if more of your organic search visitors come from Bing or Google, or see which social media platforms generate the most traffic.
Understand Why Visitors Are Leaving Your Site
Having a website and working hard to optimize it is all about attracting visitors to your site. So it’s important to know how many of these visitors reach your site and leave before effectively interacting with it.
Use GA to measure bounce rate, the percentage of people who leave your website after visiting only one page. Even if your website has a lot of traffic, the bounce rate can tell you a lot about why people are leaving your site.
If a particular page has a higher bounce rate than others, that conveys that either the user experience on the page is poor, or that they did not find the information they were looking for. Consider updating or optimizing that page. For example, if a landing page for an ad has a high bounce rate, perhaps it isn’t attractive enough or doesn’t have a clear call to action that’s driving conversions. Improving your website starts with identifying which pages are the weakest, and GA’s bounce rate tracking can help.
Determine What Kind of Content You Should Write
If you’ve already read our guide to creating amazing content, you know that when it comes to your website, content is king. Beyond creating mind-blowing content to promote your tours and activities on your website, a strong content strategy across various marketing channels is one of the best ways to reach customers through blogs, landing pages, and more.
GA can help you stay on top of your content strategy by tracking all of the content that receives views and shares. This is key for blogging – once you use GA to determine which pages are getting the most views (and which ones might need a little boost), you can enhance the blogs so they are more attractive to readers and generate even more traffic.
Use GA to compare two pieces of content, understand where page views are coming from, see which headlines are getting the most clicks, and even see who is reading your blog posts so you can tailor future posts to this audience.
Easily Integrate Google Analytics With Other Tools & Platforms
Another exciting feature of GA is that it can be easily integrated with other platforms and tools like Google Ads (track the success of ad campaigns) Google Search Console (monitor your site’s presence in search results), and even FareHarbor!
By connecting your GA account with FareHarbor’s Lightframe booking process, you can start tracking how many of your website visitors have converted into paying customers and where they came from. This conversion data gives you valuable insight into which sources are generating the most customers and how you can better target your marketing efforts.
Now that you’ve gained an understanding of how your business can benefit from GA, we’re sure you’re eager to get your account set up so you can start running reports and discovering lots of new insights about your business.
Go to google.com/analytics to create your free account and start tracking every aspect of your business today!