Some people love looking at numbers, and some people don’t! Which kind are you?
That was a trick question because it does not matter. You have an online business, so you have to look at the numbers period. It is that simple.
I am surprised that even to this day, there are website owners who are not using Google Analytics. So by using it, I mean actually using it, not just having it installed. If you don’t have Google Analytics installed yet, this article is not for you 🙂
If you don’t like looking at the numbers, think of it as listening to their story.
What story can you learn by listening to your analytics data?
The most basic story could be: your site is broken! A sudden drop in numbers or an unexpected spike in errors is an excellent indicator that something is not working. The sooner you learn about this, the faster you can fix it.
Another story can be the “unexpected audience.” You may be assuming that a specific demographic or geographical region is visiting your site, but you may be wrong. Sometimes you may discover that it makes business sense to translate your offer to a different language, or to promote a page to a different demographic. Without analytics, it is challenging (if not impossible) to adapt to the changes in the market.
However, the most useful way that I am using analytics is to predict the future by looking at the past. Instead of guessing how many sales are you going to generate this month, you can use the past data to get a reasonable estimate of the monthly revenue. This allows you to plan ahead and to budget for your growth. It enables you to think long term, to strategize, instead of just surviving.
The second most useful way to use analytics is for tracking the success of your actions. Meaning: how will you know if the changes you have implemented have helped your business or not? This kind of tracking requires a bit more time to set up, but it is worth it.
It is an excellent idea to have the analytics code installed, even if you don’t know how to listen to the numbers yet. By the time you learn, there will be a story in your analytics data for you to interpret.
Installing the code
Google Analytics has good documentation about how to install their code. Also, most WordPress themes allow you to configure Google Analytics in their options. If a theme does not allow you to do this quickly, maybe it was not the right choice for your website.
For the more advanced users, I recommend using this plugin: PixelYourSite (https://www.pixelyoursite.com/)
How are you using your analytics data? Have you made any breakthroughs? Have you learned any hard lessons :)? Let me know in the comments below.