Most business websites have Google’s free Analytics tracking software installed, and most business managers devote a little time and attention each month to basic web stats, such as visits and pageviews. But Analytics can do much more for your business, becoming a key driver for your organization’s marketing, sales, and communication goals. Analytics is a powerhouse tool, just waiting for you to tap its potential.

Here are five ways you can use website Analytics to boost your business:

Google-Analytics1. Set Up Goals

Setting up the goals utility in Analytics enables an entire set of reporting that provides insights into your most mission-critical business objectives. These include sales (down to the individual product level), free trial signups, email newsletter signups, whitepaper downloads, sales lead-form completions, views of key videos or product spec pages…. In short, any mission-critical action that takes place on your website may be added to goal tracking, and if you wish, assigned a dollar value.

2. Enable Goal-Based Metrics

The beauty of setting up goals in Analytics is that it activates an entire suite of reporting capability, and you can let the software do tons of data-crunching and analysis work for you. For example, with goals in place, you may easily call up reporting on the “funnel” of website pages that led your site visitors to a key action. You may also easily review the number and value of goal completions for any given time period, your site’s goal conversion rate (the percentage of total visitors who completed a goal action), and most importantly, the sources of goal conversions (organic traffic, social media, advertising, and more).

3. Setup Auto-Emailed ‘Dashboards’ for Your Teams

“But who has the time and expertise to log in and retrieve all of those great stats?” you may ask. You don’t need to take the time. With correct initial setup, beautiful monthly, automated .pdf reports, complete with graphs and charts for the most relevant data, can be sent directly to the emails of you and your team members. Sales can receive a Sales dashboard, including sources of leads. Marketing can receive the Marketing dashboard, with communications and lead-gen goals. Top management can receive an overview.

Google Analytics can become much more than just a website visit counter. It can drive your organization’s marketing, sales, and communication goals.

4. Get Insights Into Your Audience

Google has steadily improved Analytics’ audience insight features, which now include basic demographics, interests, locations and languages of your visitors, and devices used (it’s becoming increasingly important to understand what proportion of visitors are accessing your site with smartphones and tablets).

5. Track How You Acquire Customers and Site Visitors

It’s crucial to know exactly how visitors come to your website, especially for visits that result in lead-form completions, key downloads, or purchases. Your acquisition sources help you make fact- and data-based decisions about how to spend your advertising dollars, for example. Google Analytics incudes an entire category devoted to acquisition, breaking it out by organic, social media, referral from other sites, and more. You may further break out the social category, for example, into specific sources such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Consider going beyond the basics of simple visitor counts to really put Google Analytics to work for your business.