If you’re looking to better understand your website, digital marketing efforts, site visitors or regular customers, Google Analytics can help! With Google Analytics’ help you can run full diagnostics of your website which will help you identify website and/or campaign elements that are working in your favor, as well as those that are not. These key insights can then help to improve your website along with any supporting SEO, SEM, social or local campaigns.
Getting to know Google Analytics (GA) takes time. However, the benefits are truly rewarding as they can be used to support your business by improving your website and digital marketing campaign performance, in addition to enhancing your site users’ experience. Here are just a few of the benefits GA can help you realize:
- Identify keyword search volume and use insights to update page content and metadata in support of your SEO keyword targets
- Collect data on content that users spend time engaging with and conversely, what pages of your site they are quickly leaving
- Understand the behaviors of potential clients and existing customers
- Align your products and services with what your customers are looking for
- Analyze site traffic in relation to campaign expenditures to determine ROI and other performance metrics
- Review competitor performance to pinpoint opportunities for your own site or campaigns
Simply having Google Analytics set up on your website isn’t enough however, as valuable data will just sit there unless you take the time to analyze it and use it to draw conclusions in support of your bottom line. This post will identify a few key GA tools, reports and how-to resources to truly make the most of the robust tool.
Understanding the Google Analytics Dashboard
The Google Analytics dashboard provides numerous tools and reports that can help you review and analyze performance metrics for your website. The reporting that is available allows you to pull reports over specific time periods, view trends and easily compare data over time. Of course, the dashboard includes many ways that you can customize reporting and visuals to best suit your personal preferences. Our favorite Google Analytics resource to get you comfortable with the wealth of data is the Google Analytics Academy, which provides in-depth video tutorials and activities for Google Analytics help that supports both beginners and knowledgeable SEO experts.
Using Google Analytics Goal Setting
One of the most beneficial aspects of Google Analytics is the ability to set up and track goals which can align your business objectives with desired actions on your website. Ultimately, when you determine goals, you can create a purpose that helps steer your web and digital marketing decision making.
For example, if you really want site visitors to complete a certain activity such as submitting a particular form on your website, a goal can be setup that will help you measure how well or poorly site visitors are completing the goal. Typical types of Google Analytics goals may tie into:
- Acquisition, or
While revenue goals are easy to measure, as they often involve payment remittance, goals tied to acquisition or inquiries often involve site visitors sharing personal information when signing up for a newsletter, agreeing to a trial, submitting a form or creating a personal profile. On the other hand, goals relating to engagement usually entail measuring the length of time spent using an online tool, watching a video or even playing a game.
If you take the time to regularly audit goal performance and implement web/campaign changes to support your goals, the goal setting aspect of Google Analytics helps provide valuable insight into achievements – a true benefit for any company interested in data driven decision making.
How Reports in Google Analytics Help Identify Digital Marketing Strengths & Weaknesses
In addition to goal tracking, Google Analytics provides a number of reports that allow you to drill down and look at performance tied to keywords, page quality and more. Here are just a few of our favorite GA reports that can help you better understand your website and identify opportunities for enhancement.
This report identifies high performing web pages where site visitors complete a desired action such as submitting a form, clicking a button/link or entering their email address. In addition, this report can also help you identify under-performing pages. When you compare high-performing pages to lower-performing pages you can then take stock of the key differences such as page design, layout, links, content or CTAs that might be affecting conversion rates.
Landing Page Report
The landing page report in Google Analytics helps identify how site visitors are entering your website. Such a report can provide insight into web pages that are highly ranked and clicked within search results. You can then use this information to help bulk up the content on both popular and dead-end pages with more valuable information, including links to related page topics.
Lifetime Value Reporting Tool
This report in Google Analytics helps you assess the value of unique site visitors across multiple visits to your website. Instead of analyzing one-off site visitors, this report provides a more in-depth and long-term account of returning site visitors and your most valuable customers. Lifetime value reporting can be used to support future initiatives by identifying the healthiest drivers of traffic and effective means of customer acquisition, whether that includes email marketing, AdWords or even content marketing efforts.
Keyword reporting provides insight into the words that drive traffic to your website, including the time spent on those web pages among other details. Similar to the landing page report and lifetime value reporting tools, keywords reports give you a better understanding of how people are searching for products, services and information online. In turn, this data can be used to inform decisions such as the allocation of your AdWords budget or content updates to bolster use of high-performing keywords.
Page Quality Reports
The page quality reports in Google Analytics help you assess how certain pages of your website are guiding site visitors in navigating your website. Are certain pages abandoned more readily? If so, the page quality reports can help you answer “why?” In addition, these reports can identify the top performing pages leading to desired conversions. The data available through these reports should help you determine when updates to button design, links or related content might help increase user engagement.
Google Analytics Helps Support a Healthy Website
Google Analytics is a powerful and free tool that provides straightforward data on how site visitors engage with your website and can help you draw actionable conclusions to inform and support business decisions – no more guessing about changes you “feel” might be helpful.
With a bit of practice you can put Google Analytics to work on behalf of your website and digital marketing initiatives with relative ease. If you’re actively engaged in a search engine optimization program, SEM, local or social media campaign, or even thinking about investing in a digital marketing program, you need Google Analytics!
Let our team know if we can help integrate Google Analytics code on your website, analyze achievements or identify future opportunities tied to your digital marketing program.