Free (& must have!) online marketing tool – Google Analytics

by on November 14, 2010

Google Analytics for small business websitesThere are 2 very basic first steps that all small businesses must take to get their online marketing going:

1. Set up a website – I don’t care who you are, you need a website for your business!  And don’t just take it from me. Check out the findings of this 2010 local search usage study with goodies such as 70% of consumers go online first to find information about local small businesses.

2. Set up Google Analytics – a FREE website analytics program that gives your small business all kinds of valuable info about what’s happening on your website

Insights that Google Analytics can give your small business

  • How many visitors your website is getting, whether that number is going up or down and the ability to compare traffic history (eg. September vs. October, September of last year vs September of this year).

Power tip: Analytics can’t go back in time and collect your data. It will only start to track from the time you set it up, so don’t delay!

  • How visitors find you site. Eg. search engine or a referring website.
  • If your site visitors have come through a search engine, you can see which keywords they used to find you.
  • What pages in your website your visitors go to, which lets you know the type of information that they are looking for.
  • How many people come to your site and leave immediately. This is called a bounce rate and generally 40% or less for a business site (not a blog) is very good. It’s easy to obsess on bounce rate, but for starters, you only need to worry about a really high bounce rate (ie. Over 70%), as this is likely an indication that you are not delivering the information people are looking for. Here’s some more info about bounce rates if you’re into it.
  • Which countries, regions and cities you website visitors are from.


There are many, many, many more insights you can get from Google Analytics. In fact, there are individuals out there that specialize in analyzing, drawing conclusions from and making recommendations from website stats. If you want to learn a little more, check out the getting started guide from the folks at Google.

And make sure to grab your free Google Analytics Cheat Sheet that covers the basic terms and what they mean for your small business internet marketing. Get the report here.

Power tip: Even if you don’t foresee yourself looking at this information, if you ever get a consultant on board to analyze your website, look at your online strategy, whatever, this data will be INVALUABLE! And since it’s free, there really is no excuse for skipping this.

How to set up Google Analytics on your website

First you need to sign up and follow the steps. Once you have given Google your URL, you will be given a whole bunch of code, which will need to be inserted on your website.

How to do this depends on the type of site that you have. If you have a custom designed site, your web guy/gal or team will have to do it for you, so just get in touch with them. Here are instructions for some popular online website systems:

Power tip: Exclude your computer (and don’t forget your staff)  from your statistics, as you don’t want to see your own data! Follow these instructions to exclude your IP address from Google Analytics

There you have it – a basic intro to one of my fav marketing tools. If you have comments about how Analytics has helped you or tips for making the most of it, would love your 2 cents!

Comments, likes and tweets are always appreciated! Did I mention that I LOVE your feedback?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

SocialNature November 16, 2010 at 10:14 am

You sum it up well: “Google is a must have small business tool.” To be valuable, your website needs to perform. To measure performance, you need analytics. Websites aren’t written in stone anymore – they’re living evolving things. Keywords, page titles etc need to be tested, evaluated and likely changed over time. Google analytics helps you see what’s working and what isn’t. So crucial.


Martina November 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Yes, you are so right. Many business owners are in the mind set of getting their website up and then checking it off their list, never to look at it again. If you want a successful online presence, you have to be continually tweaking and improving, as you have said. If you embrace this, your website can truly help rock your business 🙂 Thanks for your comment!


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