In today’s business environment, data drives decision-making at all levels of an organization. That’s why, across the board, companies are looking to raise the data analytics IQ of their business leaders. A recent PwC survey found that companies aren’t just looking for people to fill data analysis roles, but rather business people with data analysis skills.
So, whether you’re furthering your business degree or preparing to enter the workforce, becoming familiar with common analytic tools and software could give you an edge over your competition.
Let’s begin with one of the most common and comprehensive analytics tools that businesses use today: Google Analytics.
What is the purpose of Google Analytics?
As one of the world’s largest data powerhouses, Google is continually at the forefront of digital innovation. The company has leveraged its data capabilities to create Google Analytics, a free website analytics tool that allows companies to track and monitor website performance in real-time.
With Google Analytics, companies are able to make strategic, data-driven marketing decisions that can boost website traffic and grow sales and revenue over time.
Here are three ways businesses use Google Analytics to their advantage:
1. Track website visitors
Google Analytics allows companies to understand the complete profile of their target audience, including demographic (age, gender, geography) and behavioral information, such as which devices and browsers they use most frequently and where they’re likely to move around on a particular website.
Why it’s useful: Once companies understand who’s visiting their website and where those visitors are going, they can use that data to inform a plethora of marketing decisions, such as where to focus their advertising efforts or how to boost performance on pages that don’t get a lot of website traffic.
2. Learn about visitors’ search behavior
Have you ever become frustrated when you couldn’t find what you were looking for on a website? Chances are, you probably never went back to that site again, and you found your answers elsewhere. For you, that’s a minor inconvenience, but for a business, that’s a missed opportunity.
Google Analytics allows companies to see which search terms are most popular on their website. With this information, they can find out what visitors have trouble finding on the website, and therefore which pages or resources are likely missing from the website.
Why it’s useful: Companies can make changes to their website that will help visitors browse more easily.
3. Uncover top content
Through Google Analytics, companies can also determine which pages are most effective in generating traffic to the site and which pages are most valuable for turning new visitors into leads.
For example, let’s say an insurance company publishes a blog about tips for buying a home. At the end of the blog, there’s a link to learn more about homeowner’s insurance. If potential customers find that blog helpful, they might decide to click on the link and request more information.
Monitoring the performance of that blog post, such as visitors’ average time on the page, will help the company understand how it could improve or modify the content to encourage visitors to fill out a form with their information or learn more about a particular product or service.
Why it’s useful: Companies can produce better content that attracts customers and keeps them browsing on the website.
Interested in learning more? Google offers free training courses through Google Academy, which can help you prepare for your GA certification. Each course is broken up into short modules, with guided video simulations and practice assessments to help you solidify your understanding at each step along the way.
Becoming GA certified is a smart thing to do while you’re still in school, especially if you’re planning to pursue a career in marketing or advertising.