God loves Google! They are an awesome tech company and provide amazing tools like Google Analytics. So why is ROI Analytics so complex?
For business owners who really want to understand marketing ROI and what's going on with their business and website, as well as understanding what's underneath that is not visible on the surface, this is where Google Analytics is important. In our digital world, your website is often the first thing your potential customer will see and touch to have a little feel of your business.
Google Analytics started on 14th of November 2005. Since its creation, it has changed how we do business. Because Google doesn't share how many companies are using their tools, there are unofficial estimates that Google Analytics are being used by 13 million to about 29 million websites. That's a hell of a lot! But then, no one really knows because there's no central database of websites.
As a marketing consultant who wrestles with digital technology for my clients, I need to get an understanding of what is happening in their digital space. So in those initial meetings, we figure out what is going on with their website. Some businesses comes and say they got Google Analytics and then, when I ask for the last time they looked to find out their ratings and analytics it is often never or 12 month ago.
I always struggle to understand why one would have this amazing tool and then never use it. It comes back to human nature; it has got a good side and a dark side. The dark side is the stuff we don't socially talk about and for business owners, the reason why we do not use Google Analytics is probably because of its complexity and the second reason is that we often do not like what we see.
I remember when I started business; I went through my avoidance stage and won’t look at the monthly financial statements. In business this is like the most stupid thing to do and as a human, it was so normal allowing my fears control me. And to make it worse, I had the mental feedback loop from hell playing in my mind. That voice in your head that just goes around in circles and then you get analysis paralysis that is overwhelming and stress that it turns out to be easier avoiding the whole thing.
When people open up Google Analytics, is it confusing, that I agree. But the harsh reality is that you can learn to conquer our own mental feedback loop. The simple technique to use is identifying the problem as an outcome that you are looking to achieve. For example if somebody comes up to you and says they are lost, there is no possible solution compared to when a person comes up to you and says, “I am trying to get to Sydney”.
It changes the entire dynamic of the problem-solution process. When we are looking to sit down with our Google Analytics, it should not be about “I have no visitors to my website” or “I have no customers”.
Understanding our clear goals and defining them as an outcome is important to improve ROI marketing. Then we can look at Google Analytics to compare where we are today versus where we have come from.
You can start with looking at the last six months and ask the question “what has been working?” Has there been an increase in web traffic or conversion?” Ask yourself why and what did you do?
Then try to answer the question of how can you amplify that? The amazing part is when you flip your thinking; you will find two or three successes to create an action list of potential task for the next 90 days.
Don't look at the entire history of Google Analytics because what we get is going to be too much data. I like the 90-day rule because it allows us to look at what's been happening over the last three months and compare with our financials. In Australia, every quarter we have to submit our BAS (Business Activity Statement) after which we can now look at our financials.
Remember to also turn-on the “Compare to” option to help measure you progress.
If you see the number of website visitors is going up, quickly try to figure out what you have done that made that happen. How then can you amplify it?
If you see a negative downward trend, this often means you may have started something new which has taken all of your attention away from the other activities. Often, I see businesses will start a Facebook campaign and all of their mental energy and time is so driven into that whole new project that they've forgotten to do their blogging, or haven’t sent out their emails at their regular frequency.
This Google Analytics tool is telling you to get back to marketing basics and find the balance between the new ideas versus the boring stuff that works.
Because we are business owners and because we are human, that is reason enough why it is important to look at your analytics and your profit and loss statement. This helps to a great extent, us knowing the trigger point to understand the things that we know we should doing.
If you want to conquer your Google analytics fears, don't sit in the office and think about it. Follow the tips above and at least start! You will be surprised what great opportunities are waiting for you.