Google Analytics is the eyes and ears of your website, this popular tool automatically collects helpful data, enabling you to better understand, interact and build your online audience and subsequently your customers.

Having a website but not knowing how people interact with it, makes it a wasted resource. It doesn’t matter if your website is designed to sell products, send customers to an offline business or to build your brand. Google Analytics takes the guesswork out of measuring how well you are doing in achieving your website goals.

So here are 5 questions to ask when using Google Analytics to track and improve your company’s website:

1. Why its important to measure website data in the first place?

Knowing precisely what your website visitors, who are often current or potential customers, like and dislike about your site can help you perfect what you deliver to keep them engaged and subsequently achieve your business goals.

“Once you understand your customers’ preferences and tastes, you are in a much better position to create a better experience for them,” says Daniel Waisberg, who is author of Google Analytics Integrations: Centralizing Digital Marketing. “And a better website experience will inevitably lead to a happier customer.”

2. How do I get Google Analytics on my website?

Getting started with Google Analytics is fairly simple and straightforward. First, visit the Google Analytics website. Next, click on “Create an Account” and follow the basic account configuration steps. Make sure that you check the country before agreeing to the T&C’s.

You’ll then be given a snippet of HTML to insert into the source code for your website. This code is essentially how Google Analytics taps into and captures your website’s data. If you don’t have immediate access to the back end of your website to insert the tracking code, or are not confident in doing it, then you should ask your web master to do it for you.

3. What are Google Analytics ‘Goals’ and why bother using them?

After installing Google Analytics tracking code, the next step is to identify what you want to monitor about your website visitors actions. Google refers to these as Goals, you should use these to measure which types of content works well with visitors and equally as importantly which don’t. There are four basic types of Goals:

Destination. A specific location within your website.
Duration. How long individual website visits last.
Page/Screens Per Visit. Which pages and screens visitors view during a single visit.
Events. Actions visitors take during a visit, including ad clicks, social media shares and video plays.

4. How can I see what technology people view the website on?

In Google Analytics, you can view a complete list of all of the web browsers, operating systems and devices your visitors use to access your website. Even down to which model of smart phone your visitors are using.

If a significant number of people are viewing your website on smartphones and tablets, it may well be worth the time and expense of developing a mobile website or optimising your site for mobile to give them a better experience.

5. How do I know what path my website visitors are following?

Google Analytics’ Visitor Flow feature shows you the path, within your website, that users are taking as they move around.

You can then use this information to improve the pages where they are leaving to increase their interaction and keep them moving towards your website Goal. Or, if the page users exit on the most is buried deep within your site and isn’t particularly useful, consider deleting the page altogether.