Google Analytics is the undisputed king of website analytics, and for good reason. For a free tool, Google Analytics has an enormous amount of analytical power, built on an intuitive and easy-to-use platform that does a great job balancing depth and complexity, perfect for novice and expert marketers alike. In today’s web development market, nearly every website is built from the ground up with Google Analytics in mind. Considering this fact, every marketer should know how to use Google Analytics as a part of their marketing campaign. Here are five ways to get you thinking about the possibilities:
Understanding User Experience Through Traffic and Behavior Flow
If there’s any one thing you should know how to do through Google Analytics, it’s tracking your website audience from page to page to understand what audience behavior looks like on your website. Much like traffic at an amusement park, understanding where people start (landing pages) and where they’re headed (behavior flow) gives you an idea of what an average user experience of your site looks like– and consequently let’s you think about where decisions might occur along the way. For example, if users typically land on your blog pages and navigate to one to two other blogs before leaving, you might want to guide those visitors towards related services on your website and the top of your sales funnel. If they just visit your home page and leave shortly after, you’ll want to take a look at site load times and links to internal pages to make sure that visitors are quickly able to find what they’re looking for.
Using Conversion Paths Effectively
For many businesses, guiding visitors towards conversion of some kind is a major purpose of the website, whether that’s direct product sales, sales leads through contact forms, or even newsletter signups. It would make sense, then, that optimizing the user experience mentioned above to push visitors towards conversions would be a high priority– and luckily, conversion path analysis can do exactly this. Conversion path analysis is essentially an advanced form of behavior flow analytics, containing an aggregate of the pathways that site visitors take on their way to conversion. The trick here is that conversion paths can sometimes be significantly different than typical behavior flow in a demonstrable way. Your data may show that users who converted overwhelmingly did so on a few specific pages, or only on their first time visiting the site. By using this data, you can get a sense for what a successful conversion looks like and optimize your user experience to make this process as likely as possible.
Understand Your Audience Demographic with Affinities and In-market Segments
If you’ve developed your marketing plan, you probably have an idea of your target audience and may have even developed your audience personas. However, there’s a big difference between having an idea of your audience and truly knowing them– and this is where Google Analytics comes in. With Google Analytics, it’s possible to see exactly what kinds of people are actually visiting your website and track the way that groups with specific characteristics behave through use of the audience affinity and in-market segments. More powerful than the basic demographic settings, these options connect to Google’s search data and offer information on what kinds of interests and purchase habits your website visitors have outside of their interactions on your website. One idea you can try is to isolate different segments of your audience and compare the ways they interact on your site. This way, you can find out what’s working and not working for your website and gear pages towards the audience segments that are most likely to find them.
Creating Goals in Google Analytics
For any business with a website, it’s important to think about what you want the website to accomplish. Do you want your website to drive product sales? Create leads? Distribute information? Whatever your objective, you should track it through GA’s Goals functionality. In order to set up this tool, decide what specific actions you’d like website visitors to take, like downloading your newsletter or purchasing an item. These are your conversions. From there, head into your Google Analytics admin panel and set up goals under the view panel. (Here’s a guide if you need more detailed information) If possible, make sure you assign monetary values to the goals so that you can measure return on investment! Once this is complete, you’ll be able to measure how effective your website is at creating conversions, as well as what kinds of visitors are more likely to convert. You can also see which kind of traffic is bringing you the most conversions. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to track goals from week to week and evaluate the success of your digital marketing strategy.
Use Google Search Console to Track Search Terms and Optimize Content
So far, all the analytics we’ve mentioned above have focused on information about visitors once they’ve already found their way onto your website, but there’s one crucial component before this as well– how did they get there? With Google Search Console integration, you can finally answer this question by viewing the exact terms which visitors used to get to find your website. To give context, not all users find their way to your website in the same way, or are even necessarily looking for the same information. Because of this, page search engine optimization (SEO) matters a lot and plays a large role in determining how frequently visitors will land on a given web page. Using the search console, you can determine what terms people are using to find your website, and inversely what terms have not been as effective. For example, if your website is focused on selling baked goods out of the city of Seattle and your most popular search terms are all related to pies and pastries, you know that your page SEO has been effective for those terms but not necessarily on terms like “baked goods Seattle” or “baked goods near me,” giving you an idea of where you need to spend your efforts to improve your website. SEO is complicated, so we recommend looking up a list of best practices to learn how to improve your site.
Thinking about getting started with Google Analytics? We’d be happy to help you develop a strategy to take your digital marketing to the next level. Contact us today at (207) 947-9333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.