My nephew and I were going for a bike ride recently when he asked me what I did for work.
Working in Digital Marketing, we’re used to the challenge of explaining our jobs to our friends and family (what, do you run the Google?). I usually find that telling a real life story helps get the message across…
So, I asked my nephew (who is 11), “What would you do if your toilet got blocked?”.
The conversation went like this:
Me: What would you do if your toilet got blocked?
Nephew: Well I’d find a plumber of course!
Me: Where would you find the plumber?
Nephew: I’d go into town.
Me: Into town? What, like all the plumbers are just lining up on a side street waiting for people to come and give them work?
Nephew: Ooohh… Well, maybe I could look them up on the computer?
Good thing we can help all those plumbers (& other businesses) lined up in town waiting for people to come find them…
Everywhere we look, we’re bombarded by advertisements — targeted posts that seem to read our minds, businesses offering similar products or services, sponsored features that receive top billing when we perform a simple Google search.
It’s an oversaturated, relentlessly competitive market, which means it’s essential for business survival that you maximise your exposure and place your services or offerings in front of the right audience. But how exactly do you do this? And for smaller businesses, how do you do it without breaking the bank?
A strong digital marketing framework using the power of Google Analytics will go a long way toward helping you stand out amongst your competition. And the best part? It’s easy once you understand the basics. Keep reading to learn how you can use Google Analytics to boost your digital marketing strategy and grow your business.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a data collection and insights service that enables you to track statistics (such as how many people visit a given product page on your website) and to fine-tune and optimise your website and online presence for performance and conversions.
Essentially, it tells you who’s visiting your website and tracks their behaviour within your digital ecosystem. It’s an incredibly powerful tool for businesses of every size and industry.
What does Google Analytics track?
Google Analytics tracks a slew of information regarding your website visitors, including location, age, gender, interests, purchase preferences, and device type (mobile, tablet, desktop, etc.).
Outside of this basic demographic data, it tells you which of your website pages they visit, how they navigate there (do they come from a Google search? a Facebook ad? a different page within your site?), how long they stay on a particular page and on your website as a whole, whether or not they click any links, and which actions they take (product purchase, newsletter subscription, etc.).
Why should you use Google Analytics?
First off: it’s free. And second? It’s a truly valuable tool in your digital marketing kit that can help you better understand your audience — what they like, what they dislike, what compels them to stay, what loses their interest — and subsequently refine your website (messaging, imagery, user journey and experience) in order to drive sales and traffic.
With Google Analytics, you can tell what’s working (social media posts and campaigns, keyword targeting, word-of-mouth) and allocate more resources to those channels and platforms — and you can stop wasting time, energy, and money on strategies that aren’t providing you with solid returns.
Getting started with Google Analytics: a breakdown
Click ‘Set up for free’, and choose a name for your account. Customise your data sharing settings, and click ‘Next’.
Analytics gives you the option to measure data on your website, app, or both. Choose the option that’s best for you, and click ‘Next’.
Here’s where you enter the website URL or app information you’d like Analytics to pull data from. Google calls these entities ‘properties’.
Accept the terms and conditions, and create your account.
You’ll see an ‘email communications’ pop-up; select your preferred option(s), and hit ‘Save’.
Analytics will then take you to the tracking code page. This code enables Google Analytics to track your data, and it needs to be added to each of your webpages. The method by which you do this depends on your hosting platform (WordPress, Shopify, etc.), and a quick Google search should give you the step-by-step instructions you need.
Once you’ve added the code to your webpages, you should immediately see data in the ‘Realtime’ section of the left-hand sidebar (marked by the clock icon).
Next, you’ll want to set your business goals. Goals are the critical actions you’d like users to take on your website, whether that’s purchasing a product, signing up for your email newsletter, reading a piece of your content, or anything of the sort.
To set a goal, click the ‘Admin’ button at the top of the dashboard, and hit ‘Goals’ underneath the ‘View’ column on the right-hand side.
Click the red ‘New Goal’ button, and either choose from one of the template options (things like ‘Place an order’, ‘Make a payment’, and ‘Create an account’) or create your own custom goal. You’ll add a goal description and details (follow Google’s instructions), and click ‘Save’.
You can have up to 20 active goals at any one time, and goal conversion data is stored in the ‘Conversions’ section of the ‘Realtime’ tab in the left sidebar.
Using your data and insights
Once you’ve got your account and goals set up, you can start using Google Analytics to refine and optimise your online presence and performance through digital marketing.
Analytics offers several different reporting categories, all easily accessed via the sidebar on the left of the dashboard.
The Audience category tracks basic demographic information such as age, gender, interests, and location. Change the date range at the top to view time-specific data (useful if you’re tracking the success of a particular campaign, messaging around a new product launch or content piece, etc.).
The Acquisition category tells you how visitors landed on your website or webpage (social network, organic Google search, etc.). If you have a Google Ads account, you can link it to your Google Analytics account (in the ‘Admin’ section) to measure the success of ads and keywords and to incorporate that into your analytics.
The Behaviour category offers insights into your website performance and content — such as how quickly your site loads, which pages are the best-performing, and which pages are the worst-performing. It’s highly useful in determining which pages or sections of your website you might need to spruce up in order to keep people within your ecosystem.
And finally: the Conversions category tracks the success of the business goals you’ve set up.
Each report comes complete with layers of detail, so you can go as in-depth on your performance and analytics as you want.
Want some help tracking your digital performance and implementing Google Analytics? Book a strategy session with Harper!
Google Analytics can be a bit daunting — but we can help make it easy. At Harper, we specialise in helping businesses develop digital marketing strategies specifically tailored to their needs.
If you’d like some help setting up Google Analytics for your business and understanding how you can use the data and insights it collects to improve awareness, increase sales, and grow your business, then book a free digital strategy session with us here.
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11:26 26 Nov 20
Professional service with a good understanding of the nature of digital marketing. Easy to deal with. Recommended. Prompt and great communication at all times.
17:41 17 Nov 20
Since transferring from a big agency to Harper Digital our advertising engagement has been through the roof. Being able to track the offline leads has really helped understand our direct return on investment. Thomas and the team came highly recommended, they kept things simple and did what they said they would do.
02:48 16 Nov 20
Keeping us going bringing the people to the phone/email and front door
01:48 16 Nov 20
I have been working with these guys for over a year , its often difficult to write a review but not so for the service and the delivery achieved on a modest budget by these guys - highly recommend
The Events Group
08:01 11 Nov 20
Harper Digital are the only online marketing agency we have used that deliver on what they say the can and will do. We signed with them right before COVID hit. The help/support they gave us was great and their ability to move quickly in the ever changing covid/event landscape made a huge difference to our businesses survival. The team really care about us and what we do and they believe in us! Which makes us believe in them...we have never had such amazing results with web enquiries. Thanks to Steve and Zoie - and the rest of the team.
22:39 27 Oct 20
Thanks Adrian and Matt, and the rest of the team, for sorting my business marketing out so quickly, smoothly and professionally already seeing great results and I am really happy. We are already in a much better pace with incoming calls, bookings, vouchers and we have only just started! On top of that, its improving our business image and branding. Def will be recommending!
01:33 31 Jul 20
New to the world of google words and marketing, Harper patiently worked with me as I promoted our childcare business. Steve and Zoie listened to the results I was wanting to achieve and provided excellent feedback as to how we could tweak words and our google ads to get the best result. Once we have discussed our desired outcomes in our monthly debriefs, I leave it in the capable hands of Harper to execute.
01:48 28 Jul 20
Adrian is our go to man for all things digital marketing. We changed providers end of last year as we didn't feel we were getting a very good return for the money we were spending. For roughly the same amount of spend we are getting a much better result. Very happy with the service we are getting, highly recommend the team at Harper Digital.
04:57 22 Jul 20
I deal with Steve from day 1, has been there every step of the way in setting up our google Ads campaign & given recommendation on whats needed to bring leads into our site. Well recommended!
06:20 20 Jul 20
"We changed my advertising over to Harper Digital at the end of last year as I was not getting sufficient leads from my current Google Ads supplier. Adrian predicted that we could get 4 times the current amount whilst keeping the current budget. Despite the shutdown Harper has exceeded this figure and it is continuing to improve."
02:09 29 May 20
04:06 26 May 20
Harper Digital have been an integral part of our marketing 'team'. For a small business to learn the ins and outs of digital marketing platforms like Google Adwords and Facebook, it can take hours/days and still not get the right results.To be able to pick up the phone, understand solutions available to us and have them implement the ideas we come up with has been invaluable. Freeing us up to work on the business instead of in it.We've grown so much with their support and our own understanding of digital marketing has increased so much. At Zeenya we couldn't recommend Harper Digital enough.Open, patient and friendly. They believe in their clients and what can be achieved together. We never feel judged for asking the obvious questions.
04:56 05 May 20
Thanks Steve & Leighton for helping us navigate the convoluted beast that is Google! Appreciate all your help and constant attention to growing my business.
05:12 16 Apr 20
Harper Digital really are digital marketing specialists with a very professional, no nonsense approach and I have enjoyed working on a couple projects with them. They explain conversions and results in a way that is easy to understand. Best google ads in Auckland.
01:52 15 Apr 20
These guys really know their stuff. Highly recommend working with Harper Digital for any business looking to increase traffic to their site and their conversion rate on inbound leads.
01:52 15 Apr 20
Highly recommend Steve and the team at Harper Digital.
04:56 26 Feb 20
Otara Family Health
20:33 28 Nov 19
Matt and Irene we were easy to deal with. In our initial brief we disclosed that we had a budget of $10K and Matt came to us with a quote for $6.5K which showed me Harper Digital's integrity and understanding of customer needs. They didn't quote us for the entire Budget.Irene has also been very easy to work with while building our new site.Exactly what a small business like ours wants - down to earth but great service!
01:56 15 Oct 19
Great support from a very friendly, professional team - helping us grow our business! Great to see the SEO growth our company has achieved from working with Harper!
04:21 19 Aug 19
Matt and the team have been great to work with. Great communication and great results!
21:39 11 Aug 19
We have recently signed over to harper digital with Adrian Clarke. We have been thoroughly impressed with the results that Adrian and the team have produced for us in this short time, we look forward to a long working relationship with Adrian and Harper digital.
00:44 07 Aug 19
Juliette, Irene and the rest of the team at Harper have been amazing to deal with and really deliver great results. Their communication is great and they are upfront when it comes to costings. With them, we've never encountered hidden fees or add-ons, as can sometimes be the case in the industry.
04:22 01 Aug 19
Very good, personalized and informative service.
04:53 31 Jul 19
Great working with the team, communication and good information flow makes things nice and easy!
01:49 31 Jul 19
I had a really great experience working with Harper digital.I worked closely with Leighton who was very helpful and offered a great service that boosted my business and client base of my company.Cheers Harper Digital
23:02 30 Jul 19
Engaged and interested in helping you grow.
07:04 30 Jul 19
Without Harper Digital's help with marketing my business would not be where it is. Their ability to get your business seen online is amazing.
08:29 03 Jul 19
A breath of fresh air - So many companies / individuals have had a bad experience with agencies and most for good reason, Matt and the team at Harper are different, right from first meeting them. No lavish promises or hard sell closing, no contracts just a good old fashioned - how can we help? and lets make it work!. A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
22:03 01 Jul 19
These guys produce results.......
04:13 15 May 19
Great boutique supplier of knowledgeable and effective online marketing for our business. Measured results and creative thinking ongoing. Very approachable and receptive to Client ideas too. Highly recommend to any business!
01:28 17 Apr 19
Matt and the Team at Harper Digital have been looking after us for about 2 years now. They do a fantastic job.
RP Studios Ltd
23:30 14 Apr 19
This team of guys are absolutely marketing genius. Two months into the campaign and huge increase on our bookings and work. Definitely has helped our new company to start up the right and strong way.
06:20 08 Apr 19
The team at Harper Digital are an absolute pleasure to deal with. They always follow up, see how everything is going and really make me feel important. Their digital marketing and campaigns are also incredible with easy to follow reporting, and if I have any questions I know I can pick up the phone and get an answer. I highly recommend this excellent company when it comes to wanting to be noticed online.
04:19 12 Feb 19
Bruno- Smart, listen to problems and come up with solutions. Very knowledgeable. Highly recommended.
20:53 29 Jan 19
Bruno. Gregarious, insightful and a real pleasure. The real deal.
07:18 26 Jul 18
The team at Harper Digital provide me with a Google Adwords and Facebook marketing campaign, through the leads they generate they cost me nothing. Highly recommend.
01:49 26 Feb 18
Harper Digital have done a excellent job of managing our Web Campaign for the past 18 months. They have assisted us in changing our customer profile and getting the right customers onto our website and through our doors. I always feel like a priority, and they get the job done quickly, efficiently and to our budget. Working with the Harper Digital team is always a pleasure, and I recommend them to everyone. Thanks HD!
19:37 31 Jan 18
Harper Digital have taken our business to the next level! We could not have done it without them. Their knowledge & experience in digital marketing has been second to none. Their approach was professional, yet personal, ensuring they got to know us & our business before putting any plans into place. Throughout the years as our business grew they ensured our marketing was keeping up, constantly keeping informed and ahead of the game. Thanks Harper Digital!
21:41 24 Jan 18
Great company to deal with,, they produce amazing results and great website design
20:30 18 Jan 18
I have been very happy with the team at Harper Digital. They are readily available to answer any questions that I have and we have seen an increase in our google adwords leads! It is a rough world out there looking for quality adwords offerings and I finally seem to have found one!
00:04 17 Jan 18
The Team at Harper Digital have been managing our Web Campaigns for the last year and we have had amazing results. They are committed, focused and we highly recommend their services.AmandaAuckland Garage Door Repair Man LTd