We all know how important it is to track and analyse the traffic to our websites, but do you find yourself opening Google Analytics and only checking the basic stats on your dashboard? The sheer amount of information available can seem overwhelming so we’re here to show you six important things to take a look at that go beyond the basic traffic stats.
Google Analytics was launched in 2005 and since then it has become an essential tool in any online marketing strategy. Here’s a quick reminder of just some of the benefits of Google Analytics:
- It’s a totally free system
- Easy to install the tracking code on any website
- The user interface is easy to navigate
- Track your traffic sources to see where users come from
- See how many new and returning visitors visit your website
- Learn how people use your website
- Analyse which pages are most popular
- Plenty of free training and guides online
- Use the results to optimise your website
So, now we’ve refreshed our memories on why we started using Analytics in the first place, let’s learn the ways in which we can delve a bit deeper into the data.
- Set Goals – all of the information in Analytics is useful, but the best way to track and make the most of it is by setting custom goals. These goals not only allow you to keep an eye on the data but improve it to hit your targets. There are a number of different options when It comes to choosing your goals including destinations, duration and events such as conversions or filling out a form. You can also set a monetary value to your goals to see how much you are missing out on for each lost lead.
To set a goal, navigate to the settings page in GA and find Goals in the View column.
- Segment Your Data – It’s easy to see the different types of users that visit your website and you can further track this data by creating custom segments. This will help you see how certain groups compare to others and help inform your future marketing strategies.
To set up a custom segment in GA head to the Interests section of the Audience tab and click ‘Add Segment’.
- Follow the Path – When you design your website it’s easy to create a ‘dream path’ that you want customers to follow. Unfortunately, customers rarely follow your dreams and so it’s important to learn how they do behave. Purchases are not often made immediately after clicking and ad and visiting your site, particularly in today’s multi-channel & device world.
Visit the Multi-Channel Funnels section of Conversions and click Top Conversion Paths. Here you’ll see the top ten paths your customers follow prior to converting, some of them might surprise you.
- Improve Underperforming Pages – Around 75% of people do not click through to the second page of Google search results page, so optimising your website content is important for both your organic and paid rankings. Using Analytics to see which pages need improving is a great way to do this.
Go to the Acquisition second and select Search Console, then Queries. Since there are 10 results on the SERP look for any with an average position of 11 or higher an work on these pages.
- Bounce Rates – You’ve probably heard of bounce rate but surprisingly many people do not know how to interpret it. The bounce rate is basically the number of people who visited a single page on your website and then left, so a lower figure is what you are aiming for here as it means that more people found your website interesting and navigated to other pages.
Head to Behaviour then Site Content and Landing Pages to see the bounce rate for each page. Take a look at which pages have the highest bounce rate and start improving these ones first, regularly checking the results to see if the percentage has reduced.
- Add Annotations – As we mentioned earlier, there’s an overwhelming amount of information available in Analytics, and we’re sure you probably have plenty of other things to work on alongside GA. Whether it’s a reminder to yourself or a way to share important information with your team, adding annotations in your Analytics account will become something you thank yourself for later.
To add an annotation simply click the +Add New Annotation button under any graph, you can also choose whether the note is shared or private. To view the annotations, look for little speech bubbles at the bottom of the graph and click them to read the note.
Now you’ve learnt a few extra ways to use your Google Analytics account we’d love to know if there were any surprises. Perhaps a page that you thought was doing well that needed improvements? Or maybe a surprising conversion path? Whatever you have discovered, we hope that it’s boosted your confidence in using Google Analytics and it will help you grow your business in the future.
Need a little extra help? Get in touch today for advice from our experts.