Measuring success: Why Google Analytics is vital to your business

Posted in topic Marketing insights on 22nd January 2019

What’s the number one goal of your holiday park or campsite’s website? On-line bookings, of course. It’s something we can all agree on. But, do you know how your customers got there? How did they find your site and what made them decide to get out their credit card and book?

Measuring success – and Return On Investment – is never straightforward. Luckily, there is one piece of software that’s free and easy to use that should be your go-to tool of choice -> Google Analytics.

What is Google Analytics?

Put simply this software is a way of measuring where your website traffic comes from, who your customers are, what actions they take (including how much they spend) and how well your marketing campaigns have done.

If you’re new to all this then the first thing you need to do is to set up a Google Analytics account (just do a Google search and you’ll see how) and get your web developer to add some tracking code to your website. Once this has been done then you can start analysing data.

Google Analytics is a massive piece of software and we’re not going to cover it all in just one blog post, so today we’re going to focus on Acquisition, i.e. where your audience comes from.

This is crucial as it will identify your various traffic sources to your website. If you’ve had the tracking code installed for a while then you will be able to see year-on-year comparisons, which is also extremely useful.

Your audience acquisition is found on the left hand tab of the Analytics dashboard and breaks your sources down as follows:

Organic – non-paid listings in search engines like Google

Direct – users that go direct to your site either via a bookmark or by typing in your website’s address

Paid – from such sources as Google Ads

Social – clicks through to your site from free social media accounts

Referrals – clicks through to your site from other third party websites

Email – any clicks to your site from your various email marketing campaigns

By keeping a close eye on these channels, and seeing how your traffic changes over the months and year-on-year, you can see which sources need work and which perform well for you.

Organic traffic is an important one to keep an eye on; if you start to see a real drop off here then you need to take a closer look at your SEO. Or perhaps you’re too reliant on paid sources? In an ideal world organic and direct traffic will be your biggest sources of clicks and, if you are spending heavily on someone to do your SEO, then you should see this leading the way. If you’re not then perhaps it’s time to take another look at your investment.

If you have enabled e-commerce (online revenue) and goal tracking (such as logging things like general enquiries, email subscribers on your site etc.) then the ‘acquisition’ field also allows you to see which one of the aforementioned sources brings in the most revenue and goal conversions – so you can better see a return on your investment.