Watching Them Watch You- Google Analytics

google-eye
Source: www.thetimes.co.uk

It’s a weird feeling knowing that you’re being followed around the internet by online marketing research agencies with your every click. However, the internet is a web of opportunity and provides even those of us with the most basic tech understanding  ways to do our own market research.

I’ve had my own website up and running for the past three years. I’m a professional skier and I decided that this page would help me create an online presence and thus increase my social and digital following. This, I hoped, would increase endorsement offers from brands.

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I lured in a friend to help construct my website and added the Google Analytics feature. Occasionally I referred to this to see how many page views I was stacking, but that’s where my analytically savviness ended.

In retrospect I now see that I could have used online analytical tools to improve my web presence. Analytical programs, such as Google Analytics, can be used to measure and report users’ interactions with your website. Then, it only takes a sprinkling of initiative to analyse the basic stats in order to gain some meaning from them. For example, I could have taken note that the number of blog posts I made had a direct correlation to page views and revisits. I can also look back and associate periods of online activity with a number of factors.

  • Throughout 2013 I constantly blogged, leading to sustained views.
  • The spike in February 2014 relates to the increase in exposure I received during the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • The recent decline in views (to practically 0) is due to my retirement from the blogging world.

Google analytics

I now understand that Google Analytics offers a bounty of features that I can capitalise on to improve my website’s reach and therefore effectiveness. For example, at the most basic end, I can analyse data about the age and gender of my past viewers.

It seems that  the content on my website has been favourable to my target age group- 18-35 year old users. These are people that are  most likely to have an interest in action sports.

Age

The gender balance is fairly equal, however I would like to see a larger segment of female viewers as this is the market my ‘brand’ is directly selling to. Gender

Google Analytic’s video ‘The Importance of Digital Analytics’, highlights the necessity of continual improvement for websites.  Additionally, in their text International Marketing Strategy Chaffey et al. stress that content must be kept up to date in order to remain relevant and encourage return users.

So I’m going to take the professionals’ advice and give my website a much needed revamp.

This time around I’m  going to make better use of Google Analytics to direct the new site’s design. Furthermore, I’m going to give A/B testing a try to determine whether the new design is more appealing than the old (The Ultimate Guide to A/B Testing)

My old skiing website is http://annasegal.com. Don’t judge, I know it’s pretty tacky looking! If you have any additional insights as to how you think I could use Google Analytics to direct improvement, please leave a comment.

4 thoughts on “Watching Them Watch You- Google Analytics

  1. Hello Anna. It was great to read this blog post. An excellent opportunity to see Google Analytics really in action.
    As far as suggestions for the other things you could do with Google Analytics, I believe they offer information about the location of your audience. If you’re ever planning to gain sponsorship of companies that sell skiing equipment (or possibly be sent some free gear to endorse) then perhaps knowing which geographical markets you are appealing to would be valuable.
    I suppose this shows the benefit of Google Analytics for a person trying to brand themself, without the resources of a large company’s analytics team. I hope the information you receive from Google Analytics can be useful

    1. Hi Frances. Yes, that’s a good point about audience location. I checked up on where most of my past viewers were located and found that the majority of them were in the US. This is a good thing as my target audience is North American companies as they have larger budgets than ski related companies in Australia. However, Google Analytics highlighted that I do not have a strong following in Europe. This may be a good area for me to target in the future as the European ski/snow market is also large.

  2. Don’t forget that your target demographic isn’t just females in general, but female skiiers. I would speculate that there are fewer female skiiers interested in freestyle skiing than male skiiers. If that’s the case then I think a 50% female eyeball ratio is pretty good!

    1. Hi Matt. Yes, this is true. There are fewer female skiers interested in freestyle skiing. With this in mind, I would like to appeal to a broader audience than just those interested in the small niche of freestyle skiing. Google Analytics highlighted to me that in order to do this I may need to tactically focus my website content on the demographic I want to appeal to in the future.

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