Google Analytics is considered by many people to be the best platform for the monitoring of online traffic. If nothing else, it is certainly one of the most widely used and popular platforms for this purpose. The primary reasons for its extreme popularity are the easy-to-use interface, in-depth data and comprehensive metrics that it features. As a result of these features, it has become a practical form of analytics for many different types of industries. In order for you to use this platform to its full potential as a way of helping you improve your online sales, you must first completely understand all of the subtle nuances of how Google Analytics really works. The following five tips will explain ways that you can make Google Analytics work for you.

1. SEO

Search Engine Optimisation, otherwise known as SEO, is one of the primary methods that companies use to drive traffic to their sites. If you have decided to start using SEO in any form, it is important for you to be aware of the most popular keywords that are allowing people to find your site. This information can be located by going to Traffic Sources > Sources > Search > Organic. You will then be able to see a list that shows how many clicks every keyword gets. The keywords are listed in order from most to least popular. As you scroll down the list, you are able to read an in-depth overview of the keywords. Based on this critical information, you will also be able to gain some insight into the various things that your potential customers are searching for. This information can be used to help you provide your customers with what they want. If there is one specific keyword that is responsible for driving a significant amount of traffic to your site, it would be wise for you to create content that is similar to this keyword. This will allow you to capitalise on this trend. There are many occasions where traffic will find your website as a result of keywords that you did not intend to rank for. These keywords can provide you with ways to go about your keyword targeting in the future. However there is one unfortunate thing to note; one of the major problems that businesses and SEO professionals have with Google Analytics is that up to 80% of keywords are shown as 'not provided'. Google initially stated that only a small percentage a overall analytics data for organic searches would be affected. However, this has not been the case.

2. Identification of Traffic Sources

First, you need to go to Traffic Sources > Sources > All Traffic. You can then take a look at a list of the exact places that all of your site's traffic is originating from. Using this information will allow you to find out the marketing methods that are generating business for your site and which are not. After you have looked at this information, it would be a good idea to think about adjusting some marketing methods that are not performing to the level you desire, or eliminating certain methods altogether.

3. eCommerce Tracking

There is a nice feature that is contained within Google Analytics that allows you to examine information such as time to purchase, sales performance, transactions and product performance. To find this feature, go to Conversions > eCommerce. In order for you to begin receiving this information, you will be required to set it up for your profile. After you have completed the set up process, you will be able to find out how your entire business is performing and the conversion rate for individual items.

4. Social Media

There is no longer any question that we are living in the age of social media. If you have a business and you do not have a presence on social media, you will get left behind by the competition. Sites such as Pinterest, Google+, Twitter and Facebook have become the primary strategies used to market a host of businesses around the world. Social media marketing is a huge business. Your success will be determined by your ability to track the results of the work you do. Google Analytics will let you see the networks that visitors to your site are using to get in touch with your business. This will allow you capitalise on the networks that are generating the most traffic for you. Go to Traffic Sources > Social > Overview and you will see your social value. The page will break down the percentage of visitors you are getting from each social media site. This will let you see the sites that have the best performance. This information can allow you to adjust your strategies to maximise the traffic you get from social media.

5. Mobile

An increasing number of people are purchasing items online by using tablets and smartphones. Therefore, companies want to find out the amount of traffic they are receiving from these mobile devices. This lets them know if their mobile campaigns have been attracting the attention of the public. Going to Audience > Mobile > Devices will let you see the specific devices that your content is being viewed with. The bounce rate, otherwise known as the average visit duration, can be used to figure out the amount of time that visitors to your site are staying there before they leave. You can also find out if they look at other pages or leave right away. It might take you some time to completely get the hang of using Google Analytics. However, practice makes perfect. The more you know about all of the features it contains, the better you will be able to use the data to improve the online sales of your business. It is easily one of the most important tools today for online businesses. Educated decisions can be made by you or your staff by studying concrete data regarding various aspects of your marketing campaign and website. Your efficiency will increase and your guesswork will disappear. The long-term benefits include a higher ROI, higher conversions, increased sales and more traffic to your site.