We all know that having a website is crucial to gaining new customers and it is your face to the world. It’s a customer service tool, an e-commerce platform, and essentially your business card for the planet. But what’s so disheartening in beverage and food businesses is that too few people pay attention to what happens on it. Your website is essentially a treasure trove of information that your current customers and potential customers are giving you FREE.
When I’m talking about website metrics, I’m referring to Google Analytics. There are many other tools you can use that are super helpful, including a CRM like Shopify or Lucky Orange which tracks visitors in real time, but Google Analytics is pretty much the gold standard. This little bit of website code is free, fairly simple to install, collects data automatically and all you have to do is look at it. In addition, it offers customized reporting by date, location and acquisition source. What more could you ask for?
But, I know, to a novice, it can be intimidating.
The beauty of Google Analytics is it provides an overview of your website visitors. In real time even. You can glean knowledge of their behaviors, who they are, where they live as well as some general interests. Also, you can find out how many new visitors you are getting versus current. Because we all want the new people!
Some applications include:
- If you are a new brand or have gone through a website re-design, general metrics like unique page views and new users will help you determine if your efforts are working. I use year-over-year metrics rather than month over month for a basic overview for any brand growth.
- I’m a demographics and psychographics nerd. Most of my winery clients attract a similar interest psychographic of travelers, foodies, health and fitness buffs, and financial investors. This info allows you to tailor campaigns and marketing outreach to those people most likely to react to your brand. Geographic data can assist in determining where you might best spend marketing dollars, whether it’s in the digital space or in the wholesale channel. If you have a large pocket of fans in an unusual locale, give them some love with an in-market visit or special offers via email or paid social media. Find this information under Audience > Geo > Location > United States > Primary Dimension = Metro.
- You can also analyze how many of your customers are using mobile to access your website. This is helpful for beverage companies in a couple of different ways: 1) If you are tracking traffic to a retail location, you need to make sure your mobile experience is on point. For instance, is it easy to learn about tasting experiences and make a reservation? And 2) if you’re selling your products online, you need to make sure that process is extremely easy. In general, 25 to 30% of my clients’ e-commerce sales come from mobile.
Why Use Google Analytics? What are some key metrics brands should consider?
One reason is calculating Return on Investment (ROI). Are you running a digital ad campaign on a national website? The Acquisition report is where you would find information about how many people came to your website from that ad and what they did when they got there. For instance, the bounce metric indicates how many of those visitors arrived on the site and then left immediately. A high bounce rate is no bueno and might mean your imagery or messaging didn’t resonate. You’ll want to revise that page as soon as possible. Also, if someone arrives from that ad campaign and then spends an average of 2 or more minutes on the site and visits 2 or more pages, you might consider that a good investment. Setting up Goals within this report will give you the exact ROI conversion metrics you need.
Another reason to use Google Analytics is maximizing the customer experience. The Behavior Flow report, a visual representation of how visitors travel your website, is especially useful for anyone selling anything on their website. If you’re looking to determine where a customer loses interest during the shopping experience, this report shows you. If, for instance, you notice that a lot of customers are dropping off at the shipping page, you might want to reconsider your shipping charges or subsidizing them in some way out of your marketing budget.
In that same Behavior section of Google Analytics, you can also see which pages are most popular. If you use content marketing or blogs as a business tool, this report will help you determine what content is most popular and then you can drill down deeper into that topic. For instance, if you get a lot of traffic to recipes on your website, that ‘s the signal to create more of them.
But the most important metric that I follow in Google Analytics is the Goal reporting, shown in the Acquisition report. This allows me to track what marketing channel made a conversion happen. A goal could be anything from an email sign-up, a video view, a reservation or a product purchase. Goal reporting allows you to know where you should be putting the majority of your marketing efforts. Is paid social media getting most of your conversions or is organic search generating a lot of purchases? Dig deeper into those marketing channels to find more people who will appreciate what you have to offer.
If we can help you in any way, reach out!