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September 30, 2014

Using Google Analytics To Be A Better Listener

September 30, 2014

Last week, Dan Fahrner presented a Box Lunch about using Google Analytics to “listen” to your customers and prospects as they engage with your brand online. He also discussed how to use the insights from their browsing data to inform and guide your sales process.

Here’s a speedy summary of what Dan talked about.

What Google Can Do for You?

Google Analytics is great for helping you understand how visitors to your website are engaging with your content. Even without diving too deeply into customized reports, analytics can tell you what pages or products are popular and also provide insights about who your visitors are and where they are coming from. And most importantly, if you’re actively prospecting (you know, as opposed to inactively prospecting), these behavioral insights can give you an edge in the sales process.

Are You There, Prospects? It’s Me, Google Analytics.

So now that you’re paying attention to your analytics, how do you use the data to better understand prospects and sales leads?

  1. Pay attention to your visitor's networks

    You can see which networks / IP addresses visitors are coming through the audience segmentation tools. And for organizations who have named their networks, it’s easy to see which companies (or competitors) are interested in your content and services.

  2. Pay attention to your traffic sources

    Where are your visitors coming from? Social media, external blogs or search traffic? Are they on mobile devices? By getting a better idea of which sources are driving traffic to your site, you can better understand how off-site marketing tactics are generating leads and prospects.

  3. Pay attention to what’s capturing your visitors attention

    Google Analytics gives you a lot of data about what content and pages your visitors find most engaging. You can use this data to make decisions about what to prioritize during sales conversations or use it to inform new content and/or product offerings.

For more about what analytics can tell you about your prospects, check out Lydia’s Quick and Dirty UX for other tips and tricks.

Making Sense of Your Data with Dashboards

After deciding what information is important to you, a good way to make the data more usable is to create a “custom dashboard” to help track your prospects on an ongoing basis.

There are also third-party tools and dashboards to help you get more out of that data. 

A Final Word On Listening to Your Customers

J. Willard Marriot Sr., founder of the Marriot Hotel Chain, had an interesting habit. He personally read every complaint card that his hotel received, throughout his 50+ year career, even as the chain grew into a multinational company.

Marriot was clearly driven by a desire to better understand his customers, and realized the importance of listening to his guests, in order to better serve them.

If Google Analytics had existed when he started his hotel chain in 1957, you know he’d have been the dashboard king.

Cover photo via Flickr.

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