How to Adjust Your Small Business Strategy With Google Analytics
Most business owners are aware of marketing strategies that supposedly work.
Run paid ads, build a great landing page, and target the relevant keywords. However, insights from Google Analytics drastically refines your business strategies, so that you’re able to make more money while spending far less for better results.
Actionable insights are why small businesses need to rely on a Google Analytics marketing strategy.
For zero cost, your company could benefit from:
- Audience insights
- Campaign performance metrics
- Web traffic data including sources
- On-page user activity data
Here’s how to adjust your small business strategy with Google Analytics and start improving your campaign results immediately.
Learn About Your Web Traffic
A good first step for your new Google Analytics measurement strategy is to look into the metrics regarding your regular web traffic.
You can use GA to gather insights about your main website pages or for any one of your PPC campaign landing pages.
Let’s start with some of the basics.
How Much Traffic Are We Getting?
Daily website traffic is a simple metric to understand. This number accounts for the total number of visits the domain receives on a given day.
This number includes any number of sources including organic search, paid ad clicks, or social media links. It’s good to keep tabs on this metric if one of your small business goals is to simply boost awareness and get more people circulating the storefront.
However, while website traffic tells us your business is getting attention, it offers little regarding optimizing your marketing and small business strategy.
We’re more interested in what comes next.
Where is the Traffic Coming From?
This is where we begin to get into the real meat of our GA insights.
Understanding the primary sources of your website traffic is a marker of where your small business is gaining traction.
This can be a sign that your primary audience is located on that channel, that your marketing strategies are working, or both.
For example, if you’re currently running a Facebook Ads campaign and receiving a lot of referred traffic to your landing page, you can infer that your paid ads are gathering attention.
Likewise, an influx of traffic from organic search can indicate that your SEO strategy and/or choice of targeted keywords are resonating with those interested in your products or services.
High-performing channels are where small businesses will want to invest most of their budget due to limited marketing resources.
However, you’ll want to take note of underperforming channels and devote some of your budget to researching alternative strategies. GA will provide you with the necessary insights to determine if it’s your team that’s ineffective or if the channel is a bust for your particular industry or brand.
What Devices Are Visitors Using?
Knowing whether your audience is visiting your site via desktop or mobile device can help you prioritize certain types of ads and web design choices.
If a bulk of your visits and conversions are coming from mobile browsers, your team will want to prioritize making your brand’s mobile experience even better.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll always want to optimize your ads and web pages for both whenever possible. Thanks to how easy it is to utilize most modern web builder technology, there’s seldom an excuse to ostracize potential customers from one device or another.
Furthermore, know that around 55% of all global web traffic now comes from a mobile device.
If Google Analytics is noting that your site has low overall traffic or low mobile traffic, then it’s time to optimize your mobile UX.
Gather Insights from Your Marketing Campaigns
With your website traffic analytics telling you where to look, you can use GA to extract actionable data regarding your performance.
What’s Our Average Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA)?
When it comes to actual dollars and cents, your CPA will tell you a lot about your campaign performance.
Paid advertising can be affordable or expensive depending on your budget and how effectively you monitor your campaign. Ideally, small businesses want a steady volume of new leads for a relatively low CPA. This means your ads are offering you a solid ROI.
Conversely, a high CPA may or may not be a red flag. Thankfully, Google Analytics can also show your immediate competitors to see where you stand in comparison. Some industries like the legal business naturally have a higher cost-per-acquisition than something like entertainment.
However, it can also mean that your campaign strategy requires some attention. If you’re overspending compared to your competitors to get the same or lesser results, it may be time to reassess, so that you avoid overutilizing your resources.
How Are Your Keywords Performing?
Another killer for small businesses is bidding on keywords with too high of a cost-per-click.
Keyword bidding can get cutthroat fast in competitive industries with big-budget brands all too happy to drive up keyword costs to hurt the competition.
For most small business strategies, you’re going to want to recognize these trends early and seek out alternatives if you’re not keeping pace. In these cases, you’ll likely want to pull back your spending and research terms that feature lower costs with similar returns.
Do Certain Channels Produce Better Results?
While it’s ideal to gather steady leads from different sources, your options may be limited on a small business budget.
For this reason, you’ll want to compare GA’s findings for each channel to determine which marketing channels are more deserving of your attention.
You’ll not only want to investigate your average CPA, but also look into the actual quality of the leads you obtain. A PPC campaign may boast a high volume of leads, but it amounts to nothing more than wasted money if a majority of those leads are duds.
Google Analytics provides businesses with the numbers they need to run an effective cost-benefit analysis of different marketing channels and the resources your brand allocates to get results.
If the cost is worth the volume and quality of leads your business obtains, then the next step is to examine the actual campaign content.
What’s the Typical Visit Look Like?
Google Analytics not only tells you where your visitors come from but can also tell you a lot about the average user’s behaviors.
Those behaviors share a direct relationship with the quality of the user experience that your website provides.
You can see exactly how long visitors are spending on a page, what they chose to engage with, and what actions they take (clicking links, filling out a form, etc.).
GA even allows you to set up your own custom goals so that you can better track certain actions that directly reference what you’re attempting to track.
All of this will help you to conclude different aspects of the experience including:
From there, you can begin to make adjustments as necessary and observe how this affects your metrics in GA. The platform even allows you to A/B test two versions of one page and automatically direct traffic to the one that performs best.
Better Understand Your Target Audience
Your campaign insights will tell you the areas that require improvement. However, you’ll struggle to make meaningful changes unless you better understand who is listening.
This leads us to our final tip – use Google Analytics to gather powerful audience insights to guide future marketing campaigns. When your small business strategies involve highly-personalized targeting, you’re far more likely to discover success.
What Demographics Are Expressing Interest?
In addition to telling you where your visitors originate from, Google Analytics will also unveil important data about your audience members.
This information can include:
Using this qualifying data is essential for truly understanding your target audience. With this information, you can begin to explore the unique value proposition your small business offers to different audience segments.
Segmenting your audience is also the best way to perform more effective marketing. While your business may benefit a large number of groups overall, each group will have its intent and reasons for interacting with your company.
Eliminate Low-Quality Demos and Focus on Key Performers
To keep costs low, it may be worthwhile for your small business to eliminate underperforming demographics from contention for now.
When you identify who is more likely to convert, you can focus more of your budget on capitalizing on that group. That means more resources are spent on getting results and less on trying to mass appeal to uninterested segments.
However, keep other potential audiences as a footnote. As you use GA to discover newfound growth, you can begin to experiment more with those underperforming demographics to find new strategies that perform well.
Create Different Campaigns for Important Audience Segments
Use your GA audience data to guide future campaign creation.
Now that you understand who to target and who to avoid, you can split your budget between the campaigns that have potential.
As an example, many local services often benefit both homeowners and commercial properties alike. The actual prospects you’re selling to will differ, however. You wouldn’t offer the same sales pitch to a homeowner and a business owner. The same must apply to your advertisements.
After you refresh your campaigns, you can circle back to all of the points previously discussed in this article. Watch your traffic sources, track engagement, and test out different creatives to extract even better results from an already interested audience segment.
Create Lookalike Audiences
If your sales pitch worked on a particular group of individuals, wouldn’t you want to reuse that proven strategy on similar groups?
That’s why Google Analytics offers the ability to create lookalike audiences based on your current findings.
Google search accounts for about 94% of the total market share. This means that Google possesses an incredible database of marketing knowledge from an incredible amount of users.
You can use your segmented audience data and instruct GA to find and create lookalike audiences. These groups will contain users that match similar attributes and interests to those that are already likely to convert to one of your campaigns.
This means that your small business can continue to improve its ROI by cutting down on discovery time and focusing more on acquisition.
Create a Google Analytics Measurement Strategy for Your Small Business
Data-driven marketing is smart marketing.
Small businesses will especially benefit due to the need for optimal results with a much smaller budget than their larger counterparts.
Google Analytics is a free tool that makes this not only possible but easy for any marketing team. However, it will require persistence, attention to detail, and continuous testing to make your data work for you.