Stop Shooting in the Dark–Gather Insights of your Website Visitors with Google Analytics

Drive traffic to your website, customers get to know you. Analyze your web traffic, you start to know your customers.

Let’s dive into this story first.

When we were working with a Nigerian e-commerce company, we were curious to know why we had a high bounce rate and low engagement rate on one of our main product pages. 

While our product was ranking top of Google search results, had won a featured snippet for the seed keyword and had great copy written, we found out that customers would only get into the page, stay for a few seconds and move away.

Now, this is bad for e-commerce.Because, well, they could go buy the same product from our competitors. We tasked the Head Of Sales to do a competitor analysis and he found out that the client’s price for that product was insanely exorbitant. There is no way an informed customer would buy the product at such a price. They would come to the site, see the insanely high price, bolt away and go buy the product from Konga or Jumia.

Our SEO efforts were therefore to no avail.

Yes, organic traffic to the product page was good but conversions were zilch. 


When we reduced the price to match the industry standards, the product started getting ordered and the engagement time on the page increased.

What triggered all these actions? Google analytics informed us that though we were getting a high number of visits to the page, there was low engagement and a high bounce rate. This told us that there was something that irked them at the very instance they saw it. It was the high prices. Our key takeaway from this experience was how important website analytics is.

As a digital marketer, you need website analytics.

Jim Macleod says that digital marketing teams that do not use data to demonstrate their value are seen as the arts and crafts department.

Laughable, right? But hey, think about it. Data is compelling because it tells even the biggest critic of your marketing strategies that this is how things need to be done because the numbers back it all up.

The other day Turn Left Media organized a digital marketing discourse dubbed ‘The Agency, the Publisher & Client Value’ and one thing came out clearly: gone are the days when you would convince people that you are doing digital marketing just by showing them the number of impressions you received for a campaign. 

They want more.  They want to see the click-through rates and the number of conversions that came from the campaign.

Instances when company websites would need insights from Google Analytics

Let’s explore instances when your company website or app would need Google analytics.

1. Mobile-friendliness

Have you ever thought about why companies decide to come up with mobile apps or websites suited for smartphones?  Is it that the CTO feels that well, a mobile app would look hip and cool and would show people that we have great app development skills?


Could it be that they feel that having a mobile app is the new way to go?

Partly yes and partly no.

The guiding factor should be a look at their website analytics data and see that their readers are mostly coming in through mobile devices. They will therefore be compelled by data to come up with a mobile app or a website that is mobile-friendly.

2. Know where to place CTAs on e-commerce sites

In our line of work, we have installed heatmaps on an e-commerce store to find the best section for a ‘buy now’ call to action button. After a few days of collecting data on where customers were highly likely to click on the webpage, we were able to advise the website developer to go ahead and do their magic.

Were it not for the insights from the heatmap, the developer might have thought us crazy to suggest the awkward section of the webpage where we told them to place the call to action button.

But hey, there we were, armed with numbers from the heatmap experiment.

3. Know what digital marketing channel is working for you

What is your best traffic acquisition source and how can you scale it? What is the worst and what do you need to increase this traffic?

In this age when marketing is omnichannel, digital marketers need to have tracking for all traffic streams we are using.

Good thing is that in Google Analytics, there are some UTM tracking codes you can use to measure how effective your digital marketing channels are.

With the UTM tracking codes, for example, you can measure how effective an email marketing strategy is and decide whether to go on with it or kill it.

Without tracking, how will we know what is working so as to scale it and what is not working so as to ditch the strategy?

4. Insights about ads placement

How about targeting your ads based on demographics, time of visit or location where your readers are coming from? 

Once you do this, you will be in a position to know how a certain demographic is reacting to your ads so that you can continue targeting them or avoiding them at all costs.

5. Know what content to improve

How engaging are your pages? What is the average dwell time? Are people scrolling to the end of your pages or are they just viewing content above the fold and clicking then closing the browser tab?

Such insights can inform you on whether you need to improve the copy on your website or  include more visuals into the page so as to keep your audience engaged.

How to set up Google Analytics on your website

Now that the importance of having google analytics on your website is out of the way, here is a step-by-step guide on how to add it to your site.

  • Go to
  • Set up an account while adding the URL of the website whose data you wish to track.
  • Get the tagging javascript code and add it to the HTML section of the pages you want to track.
  • On a CMS like WordPress, you can add the javascript code to your header.php file so that it can start tracking all pages on the website. You could also use a plugin to do this.
Wrap up On Google Analytics for your Company Website

In conclusion, Google Analytics will help you with conversion rate optimization. It will give you informed insights about your web traffic that you would not have stumbled on.

The great thing is that it is a free tool.


James Ng'ang'a

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