Google Analytics is a seemingly intuitive tool and you’ll find a plethora of websites explaining how to use it. Despite this, few companies understand what the right key indicators are and few exploit related tools to their full potential to improve their search engine optimization and understand the behaviour of users. Alexandre Gonzalez, General Manager at Clever Age North America, is an expert on this topic. He discusses the basics and explains the platform and the actions you need to take to successfully measure your results.
Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM) – How can Google Analytics help a company grow?
Alexandre Gonzalez (A.G.) – Google Analytics can say a lot about a company’s clients, how it operates, its geographical origin, the way the brand is perceived, the differences between francophones and anglophones, between desktop and mobile users, etc.
By combining this platform with other tools such as Google Search Console, Google Tag Manager, Google AdWords, Google Trends…, the user will be able to find nuggets of data on the competition and exploit it in order to find out more about how they are doing. This is especially important when a company wants to set foot in a new market. It needs to know who its competitors are, what they represent, and how much they invest in advertising. The latter is the key to expanding into a market.
CCMM – Are companies harnessing the full potential of these tools?
A.G. – Not really. It’s a shame because it is these tools, combined with Google Analytics, that will deliver results. The three tools companies should exploit are: Google Tag Manager, Google Search Console, and Google AdWords, which I’ve already mentioned, in addition to Google Analytics.
Google Tag Manager is one of the most popular and essential tools available. It’s a tag management system that will provide you with all the code necessary to track your website with Google Analytics. You’ll be able to implement tagging plans, modify them, and redeploy them very quickly and autonomously without having to rely on a web or mobile developer, a significant advantage of this feature. It’s one of the most intuitive platforms in its category. Finally, the flexibility of Google Tag Manager combined with Google Analytics will allow you to carry out an omni-channel analysis more easily, mixing offline and online. This opportunity to monitor the behaviour of a useris indispensable, especially when you know that the content in 75% of online shopping baskets is never purchased but that these could become sales if consumers were contacted again.
Google Search Console (also known as Google Web Master Tools) is a basic tool that is often used incorrectly. It’s an important SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tool that can also manage your AdWords investments. It provides information on the way a website is examined by Google’s web crawlers and how the search engine will index your page. It also highlights any errors such as duplicate content, and provides access to destination requests which made the website appear in the search engine’s results (through keywords) and which keywords generate traffic. It also allows you to assess how efficient the SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) combination is in order to decide how you should invest in certain keywords.
Google AdWords is a paid tool (contrary to the two others) related to Google Analytics. It is useful for direct marketing on Google, remarketing, that is to say retargeting: web users who have already visited your site will see ads for your brand. The beauty of Google AdWords is that it can be largely automated, both for optimizing campaigns and producing reports.
CCMM – Is Google Analytics the only indispensable tool to analyze the performance of a website and improve its search engine indexing or are there other ways?
A.G. – Google Analytics is the most indispensable tool to analyze a web or mobile site because the platform is by default free. Its lesser known paid version is increasing in popularity but there are other tools such as Adobe Omniture or IBM for general assessments. There are also more specific tools that are not a competitor to Google Analytics, such as Kissmetrics or Flurry. These two have some elements in common with Google Analytics but are different enough that you might need both, depending on your situation. We could also mention CrazyEgg for heatmaps, InspectLet for session tracking, etc. It’s by combining all these tools that you’ll obtain an in-depth analysis.
CCMM –Beyond Google Analytics, should companies develop a “Google my business” interface?
A.G. – Yes, because that will allow clients to quickly see where your business is located, its opening hours, its services and products… In brief, it’s the new Yellow Pages with a location feature linked to Google Maps. This interface allows you to have an additional presence on the web and can also increase your natural referencing. It’s even more important when you know that Google is the most widely used search engine in the world, with more than 92% of the global market and 90% in Canada . Moreover, 100% of Android and iPhone smartphones sold use Google as their default search engine . In fact, most websites visited and searches undertaken are done via a smartphone. Companies should rely on this interface, which is again completely free.
 This is the definition of omni-channel.
 On the iPhone, Safari is a browser that uses Google as a search engine.