Having a website without Google Analytics is like driving with your eyes closed.


Google Analytics.

I was recently advised of a situation which underlined three key messages that a lot of businesses fail to be aware of:

1.The role of online ads versus your website.

Recently I was advised of a situation where a new renovation business was unhappy with their results from one month of advertising using Google AdWords. They felt that there was a problem with the agency as they had spent a lot of money, but only received a few phone calls.

The Google report showed they had received a great number of clicks on the ads, so in actual fact the ads had done their job.

The job of an ad is to evoke an action: a) Call b) Visit c) Go to website. That is it. The ads don’t sell. The Google report showed that most chose to visit the website. The job of the ads at that point is done. It is now the turn of the website to do its job.

It is the job of the website to sell something (if it has a merchant facility) or convince people to call or visit the business. The fact that they weren’t getting the calls, wasn’t down to the advertising, it was down to the fact that they have one of the worst websites I have ever seen for that industry. What was worse – the website was new!

2. Different products or services will evoke different responses from people.

The nature of what you are selling online will have a significant impact on how people behave. In the case in point, one of the people also had a business that removes Asbestos from buildings. In that case, he had a lot of direct calls off the ads, so no doubt they were expecting a similar result with the renovation business.

This brings us to a key mistake people make, not stepping back and considering customer behaviour. Selling Asbestos removal is entirely different to selling a home renovation. With Asbestos, people just want it removed. People might want to make sure that the business knows what they are doing, but it is not that complicated or visual, so it is reasonable to expect a lot of people will just make a call and decide from the call whether to engage them.

A home renovation is entirely different. It is very personal and significant in a homeowner’s life. People are subjected to many TV programmes about home makeovers and the stunning results. Is it not reasonable to expect that people will want to do a lot of research before they choose someone to do their renovation? Will they not want to check out your website and be greeted by stunning photos of transformations? Why would they ask you to send through examples of your work, when they should be able to see them on your website?

The website for a home renovation company is far more crucial than that for an Asbestos removal business. In this example, the renovation website was dark and depressing. There were no clear before and after photos. Photos were taken at different angles and were small and of poor quality. Unless you were a landlord just wanting a cheap tart up, it is hard to imagine anyone wanting to proceed with a renovation from this business.

3. You wouldn’t drive with your eyes closed, so why have a website without Analytics?

Sadly, the renovation company didn’t have Google Analytics linked to their website. If they had, then their state of denial and determination to blame the advertising agency could have been dealt with. Analytics would have shown that people were very quickly leaving the website (high bounce rate) and those that stayed for anytime longer, still did not hang around.

Why go to the expense of building a website and then not install Google Analytics so that you can see how your website is performing? It makes no sense. Analytics provides valuable insight into your website’s performance and enables you to get ideas of how to make it perform better.

If you want to succeed online, then you need to understand the role of the various components, the behaviour of your potential customers and use analytical tools such as Google Analytics to get the best results!

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