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Understanding where to advertise can be difficult. Most businesses receive a great number of offers on a daily basis. Many business owners base their decisions on price rather than the audience that their message will be displayed to. In many cases, a business will not know who their target audience is. The other aspect is that a business may not know or understand whether their advertising has had an effect.
The simple answer is that it does not have to be this way!


If your business has a website then it may have a product called Google Analytics operating on it. If not then you should look to speak to your developer and have this applied. Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that monitors the activity of users on your website. Contact us if you are not too sure whether your website has this and we can help to get this implemented or advise whether it is there. In addition, your business may have a Facebook Business page. Within the back office of your Facebook page will be a tab called Insights. This provides data on your Facebook audience and can tell you a lot about your audience.


The simple rule is that not analysing your traffic means it is hard to assess the effectiveness of your advertising and marketing strategy. Not understanding this data means your business could be advertising on platforms that are costly and just not delivering anything for you. 

Let’s start with Google Analytics. When you first look at this then it can blow your mind! So much data, it looks complicated and can be scary. I ask you to hold that thought. Google Analytics can give you some real truths. 


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These are just a number of data options available to your business. 


 A Glimpse at Google Analytics


We have touched on the power of Google Analytics and how it can deliver some really positive information to help your business. However, to make use of this information we need to understand what it is.


The back end of Google Analytics is split into seven main sections.


Nearly all seven main sections contain subsections within them. These all provide some extremely valuable data on your audiences and what they are consuming. The data will feature terms that you may not be familiar with. So before we go into some of the sections, let's give some of the terms that you will see.


●      Users - These are people who have visited your site once during the data period that you have set. These include new and returning users.●      Dimensions in Analytics - Examples of these are the browser, landing page, session duration, exit page.●      Metrics - Examples of these are sessions, how many pages per sessions, the browser used for search (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer)●      Bounce Rate - The percentage of visitors to a website that only consumes one page on the site and then leaves. They don’t go on and look at other pages on your website.●      Sessions - A period of time that a user is on your website or app.



Information is Power


As we have highlighted, a significant amount of information is available to your business. This helps you to understand just what your audience looks like, where they are coming from, which advertising/medium or portal is sending the audience to you. 


As a business, there are three areas that will hold particular interest to you.




Let’s look at the audience first. Understanding your website visitors is important. This section contains different sections that will give data on the gender, location, age, as well as details about their interests. Let’s take location. If you are seeing a huge rise in a particular location that is of interest to your business then it may be prudent to launch an advertising campaign there. 

Then we have age. It may be the case that you are seeing a particular age range that is engaging with the business that has surprised you. You may launch a marketing campaign that targets that age range. These are just a couple of ways to obtain information on your audience that you would not have necessarily considered if you had not studied your analytics data. This data ensures that you are using the correct marketing to target the correct audience that is engaging with your business.

Now onto acquisition. Understanding where your traffic is coming from is vital. How many times have you placed advertising or used a platform and come to a decision that it has not worked….two, three times? The fact of the matter is that sometimes advertising has worked but not instantly. It is all about timing and people being comfortable with your brand. This section will give you really detailed information on how people are arriving at your website and where they are coming from. These are split into the following:●      Direct - They came to your website directly by either typing in your website address (URL), clicking on a bookmark to your website or clicking on a link within an email. This is a strong indicator of just how strong your brand is.●      Organic - We have all heard the term SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. This is a good indicator of just how well this is doing. It is traffic that has come straight from a search via search engines. If it is rising then your SEO is doing its job.●      Paid Search - Advertising on search engines such as Google or Bing is called Paid Search. If your numbers are good on this then your paid search campaigns are doing well.●      Referral - This refers to traffic that has come via a link from another website. It could be your profile on a newspaper website, it could be a directory profile on things such as Yell, Thomson Local. It could be from a blog you have written for another website. If this number is good then that means your brand is building and other websites recognise the value of your business and services.●      Social - Many businesses do not use social but they really should. This section shows just how effective social can be, and shows you which social platform is driving the most traffic to your business. This is crucial when building a social strategy for our clients.

As you can see from the picture above the traffic is broken down into the metrics that I have highlighted above. If we click on the individual elements, and in this case, we have chosen social, it shows the platforms that have sent traffic to this website. These are in the order of most powerful to least powerful. All you simply have to do is select the date range you want to look at and this will tell you whether your social strategy is working. In this case, social accounted for over 20% of the clients' traffic on the website that month.



Now, we all know that using non-digital mediums to market is difficult. I am thinking traditional routes here such as radio advertising, TV advertising, press and magazine advertising. Google Analytics can still give an indication of whether these are having an effect on your business traffic. As long as your advertising message includes the website address or landing page address, you are able to simply choose the date range around when the messaging was running and see if direct traffic/specific landing page traffic rose during that period. Logic suggests that if direct traffic rose during that period of time in comparison to the previous month then your messaging has had an impact. It is not an exact figure but can be used as an indicator. If these marketing platforms are used as part of a wider strategy it is easier to understand whether the impact you deserve has happened. Not every piece of the audience will convert immediately, and some will convert days, weeks or months later. The table below shows the level of direct traffic that has come in during the audit period we have chosen.

This simple approach could save your company a significant amount of time and money in terms of where you market and what channels to use.


Finally, we look at the behaviour section. Knowing what people are doing on your website, what they are consuming is really important. This can give an indication of which services or products are really popular for your business. Ever wondered what you should be advertising? It could be the case that your audience is telling you. 


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