Skip to Main content

Using Data to Enhance Your Advertising

July 02, 2018

Dezaray Johnson, M.A. 
Certified Business Advisor
& Training Coordinator

Big data is great if you know what to do with it and how to apply it to your business. Let’s dive into the vast pool of online data and take a look at Google Analytics.

First things first, what is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a “freemium” web-based service that tracks and reports website traffic and various other reports. This data is info obtained from individual Internet users. It is the basic detail of that user’s Internet activity, and it is populated into various reports. Some of the common reports used in Google Analytics are described below: 

Real-time reports show the impact of advertising efforts in real time. This is helpful in determining whether new content is effective or if your active promotions are actually driving traffic to your site.  

Audience reports help you to understand your unique users by providing data like demographics, interests, geolocation, behavior, and the types of devices people are using.

Acquisition reports help you to understand the user’s behavior while on your site. It helps you to determine how you acquire those customers and to see if they are completing the actions you need them to take while on your site.

Behavior reports are helpful for you to distinguish between the behaviors of new and returning users to your site.

Conversion reports are used to show how often a user completes an activity you have deemed successful for your particular business. This could be completing a contact us form, or making a purchase. It also allows you to see how well your various channels work together to accomplish these goals.

So let’s break this down one step further too really understand how Google Analytics works now that we have the data. Having this data allows Google to develop analytics. Analytics are patterns and trends discovered in the data which help you make sense of meaningful trends. In order to put this information to use, you need to address the end game. What are you trying to accomplish? This could be more traffic on your website or even more conversions or sales. Once you know what you are trying to achieve you can set up measurable goals using the reports listed above to help you drive your efforts.

For example, if you are a restaurant and you notice most of your online traffic is coming from a mid-age range of 30-45 you might want to promote a family discount to help bring in repeat customers. Or if you see that social media already makes up 65% of your traffic, it may be worth investing more advertising dollars on a channel that is already proven to work well for your business.

The goal is to take this data and turn it into actionable insight that you can use to prove/disprove the validity of your advertising efforts. There are many other Google tools available to assist you in making your business the best it can be. Visit with an SBDC advisor today to learn more or attend one of the upcoming classes geared specifically towards using Google tools to better your business.

“Business Tips” was written by Dezaray Johnson, Certified Business Advisor, of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center.  For more information on the topic of this article or the services of the ASU · SBDC, contact her at