Do you know your audience? Not a lot of new website owners do or even care about it. After all, people are visiting the website already and that means everything’s good! But anyone with experience will tell you — the knowledge of your audience is a key to true success.
Why do you need to know your audience
There are three kinds of people who visit your website:
- Visitors. These guys do not care about your website. They just followed a link from Google to read an article or see the prices on your products. You should interest these visitors and convert them into leads.
- Leads. Visitors who had shared some information with you. For example, they subscribed to your e-mails or passed an online test. Leads are at least somewhat interested in your product and you should market more aggressively to them.
- Clients. Those, who already bought your product. You still need to work with clients, but on a different level.
Sounds kinda complicated. Let’s look at an example.
- Johnny wants to find out how to feed his cat, so he follows a link to Wonderkitty.com. At this stage, Johnny is a visitor and he couldn’t care less that Wonderkitty is not just a blog, but a store too. He just wants to know whether or not he can feed raw fish to his three-month-old Luna.
- Johnny reads an interesting and useful article, which explains him that raw fish is not a good food for kittens. He realises that without Wonderkitty Luna won’t make it and decides to subscribe to the newsletter. At this point, Johnny is a lead. Now Wonderkitty can send him promo e-mails with links to new articles and ads for new GMO-free Kitekat for kittens.
- A couple of letters later, Jonny gives in and buys his first pack of Kitekat. From this point on, Johnny is a client.
But let’s imagine that the author at Wonderkitty made the article overcomplicated. Then Jonny, who is a carpenter and not a veterinarian, wouldn’t understand a word and certainly wouldn’t subscribe.
The owner of Wonderkitty knows their audience — new cat-owners from 9 to 85 years old. Which means that all their materials are suitable for anyone. But if the main audience for the website had consisted of sceptical academics — trust me, it would have been full of complicated research papers on cat biology.
How to find out who visits your website?
The only way to find out WHO was visiting your website was analyzing the comments of submitting polls — but both methods are highly unreliable and rarely taken seriously.
Everything changed in 2005, when Google launched Analytics. At that moment, the service could only report from which websites the visitors come, but even that was an improvement. As years went by, the feature list of Analytics grew, including an ability to track the visitors’ interests, their sex, age and social status. Google itself collects this info to improve the Search results.
Due to complete lack of competent competition, Google Analytics is the most popular visitors tracking service.
Why is Google Analytics better?
This question can be answered rather simply. Because it’s Google. Other web analytic services simply do not have access to the sheer amount of data that Google collects on its users, as well as the quality of their personnel. As a result, Google Analytics has more convenient and detailed reports than any other service.
- Real-time analytics. With GA, you can tweet a link to your new article and see the response to it in real time from your Dashboard. With other services, you are lucky to have daily reports.
- Product analytics in online stores. Google Analytics for stores in unrivaled. Most other services will simply tell you which products are more popular, but Google will also tell you how much time people spend going over their purchase, how many times they come back and what info is more interesting to them.
- SEO review service. It is not a feature per se, but you can use Google Analytics to review the level of SEO on your website. You’ll probably have to pull data together from several reports, but it is still a better solution than having no data at all.
- Larger feature list. Most users do not even know about some features of Google Analytics. But they are still there in case advanced users need them. There is even a premium tier analytics that costs thousands of dollars per month but provides a completely unrivaled amount of data.
How to install Google Analytics
- Go to Google Analytics website.
- Find an offer to register in Analytics and click it.
- Click Sign Up for Free.
- Click Sign Up.
- Fill in the data. Make sure that the Reporting Time Zone is filled in correctly, since it may lead to incorrect daily reports.
- Click Get Tracking ID at the bottom of the page.
- Read the ToS agreement and click I accept.
- You’ll proceed the page with a code and a tracking ID.
- If you want to install the Analytics by hand — copy the code. If you will be using a plugin — you don’t need it.
- Install the analytics to the website. There are two options:
- Paste the code by hand to every page on your website. It must be installed into the <head> section.
- Install a plugin. For example, Google Analytics for WordPress by Alin Marcu. After it’s installed, click on the new option on the sidebar called Google Analytics and click Plugin Authorization. Click Get an Access Code, choose your Google account and click Allow. Copy the code you get, paste it into the corresponding field and click Save the Access Code.
After you installed the analytics, you will see your website’s stats right on the website. If you installed it through the plugin, you’d be able to see it on the Dashboard too.
Not that you know what the analytics is and what it is needed for, you are able to make the first steps towards optimizing your website for your audience. You still have a pretty far way to go, but the first step has already been made!
And if you have any questions — I’ll be happy to answer them in comments.
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