Google Analytics and your photography marketing

We raised the question the other day “What are you measuring?” to get us all thinking about what we are tracking for our photography businesses. Its so important to really monitor your business and even though I know numbers are fun for most of us, knowing key elements about your marketing are key to remaining busy as a photographer. I always think of marketing from the point of view that if I don’t learn how to be good at marketing I won’t have any business coming in. Without business coming in I can’t do what I love to do, photograph. So focusing on your marketing and what is and isn’t working is an important part of your photography experience. When it comes to marketing there are a million ways to get your work out there. You can throw your time and money at many different ways of getting people to your website but since time and money are usually scarce it’s important to track what is working best and continue to refine your marketing efforts.

This is where google analytics come in. If you don’t know what google analytics is it’s basically a tracking service that google provides to see all of the details about traffic to your website. It will let you view simple things like how many people come to your website but also can dig deep and provide you with information like what pages get the most traffic, what pages people leave on, where your traffic really comes from, etc… Today we will chat a little about how to setup Google Analytics and what some of the key things are to track.

Before getting into how to setup Google Analytics here are some key things you can track with Analytics all for free:

  • How many daily visitors do you receive?
  • Which pages get the most traffic?
  • Where are people coming from to arrive at your site?
  • How well is your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) working?
  • How long are people staying on your website?
  • These are all key things to monitor and can be watched very easily with Google Analytics. To get setup first go to http://google.com/analytics and click the signup button to setup your free account. Once you proceed through the sign up process you will Create a new Website Profile. Here input the website address of the domain you want to track and proceed. This will give you a piece of code that will need to be pasted into the HTML of each page you want to track. Once this is setup your Google Analytics will start tracking all of the traffic to your website and many key pieces of information. They do really give you a lot of information to go through and I know the first time it can be a little overwhelming. I’ll cover some of the basic things to look out for to get you started.

    Dashboard

    The Dashboard is the first page that you will come to when logging in and gives you a overview of traffic. In the main panel you will be able to choose a date range on the top right and then see a graph of your visits during that timeframe as well as some other stats. It gives you a great glance on what your traffic has been like. You can also choose to compare two date ranges by clicking on the “Compare to past link” when selecting a date. This is a great way to see the effect of any new marketing you have done and just your overall growth.

    google analytics for photographers

    What do some of these other terms mean? They can be a little confusing at first but here is a quick breakdown:

  • Visits – Visits are the number of individual sessions by all the visitors to your site.
  • Pageviews – A pageview is a view of a page on your site that is being tracked by the Analytics code. If a visitor reloads the page, this will be counted as an 2nd pageview pageview.
  • Bounce Rate – An important thing to watch. Your bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page. This gives you a good insight into how well you are getting your visitors to engage with other pages on your site vs. who is arriving and leaving on the same page. If you have a flash website or a site with only a few pages this might not be as important, it really depends on how you are trying to funnel your traffic through your site.
  • Average Time on Site – Another good thing to watch and track to see how much you are engaging people on your site. If the average time on site is only 5 seconds, look hard at your site and what you can do to capture peoples attention more. Maybe the images need to be changed or some of your links moved to be more visible. We always need to be aware of how useful our website is for our visitors.
  • % New Visits – This gives you the percentage of people coming to your website that are new visitors so gives you a good indication on how much of your traffic is from new eyes vs your current clients.

  • google analytics dashboard photographers
  • Keeping your eye on some of these main figures should be a good task to setup at least monthly. It will let you see trends that might need your attention. Also remember to use your family, friends, and past clients to get feedback on your website. You might see a very large bounce rate from your splash page and it could be something simple. Maybe people don’t know how to click the link to enter the site, you think its simple but your users might not so gathering feedback from others can always give you a good insight.

    That’s a basic overview of what Google Analytics is and some things to watch for in your photography business. It’s just the surface but I don’t want this post to be pages long. Watch out for some more post coming with an in-depth look at the additional features Analytics has. If you have any specific questions always feel free to drop a comment below or head over to our Facebook wall and leave us a note there.

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    Author: Mark

    Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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    1 Comment

    1. Good primer, looking forward to your more in depth look. I use Google Analytics and while I understand the basics, I have no idea how to do meaningful analysis of the data.

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