Whether you love Google or hate Google, Google Analytics is an amazing free tool with which you can gain great insights into how people find your website, how they engage with your website, whether they are new or returning users, what devices and browsers they use and much more! In the past, there was a complaint that Google Analytics was not the most intuitive to use but now Google Analytics 4 (what was App + Web in beta version) has arrived, this is no longer true. At the heart of GA4 is machine learning and there are Insights into your website which Google will bring to your attention. You can also ask questions from within your dashboard. There are some prepared FAQs which will be answered for your website – just ask the question! eg:
- How many users did I have last week?
- On what days do I get the most Users?
- What devices are used the most to access my website?
Of course, there are reports which will give you these answers too but if you want a quick answer to a specific question, it’s worth trying the new Insights section of Google Analytics.
Google Search Console
Let’s face it, you want your website to appear in a relevant Google Search. Search Console will confirm that Google can find and crawl your site. It will highlight any indexing problems it finds.
The Search Analytics reports shows you:
- how often your website appears in a Google Search,
- how many clicks and impressions came from this search and
- how far up or down your website appeared in the Search results.
This helps you better understand what keywords users are using to find businesses providing similar services or products to you. Once you know what keywords are being used you can adjust your content to ensure you appear further up the rankings.
Another useful feature of Google Search Console is that it alerts you to any errors or issues it encounters while indexing your site. For instance, if your host is down for any period of time, Google Search Console will send you an alert.
Hotjar is a great tool we have recently discovered. It allows you to gain insights into how users interact with a specific page on your website.
There are heatmaps which allow you to analyse how users interact with your site when on a Desktop, Tablet or mobile device. You can see where they click/tap, how far they scroll down the page. There is another handy tool that allows you to set up a snapshot which will record how a user moves around your website. This can be particularly useful to gain insight into any problem areas on your website.
While HotJar has various paid plans, their free plan is a very good starting point for any new website.
Written by Kehorne Developer/Infrastructure Administrator Kathy Turner.