“There are a number of things I can see on my website. Traffic from different channels (like paid search, social etc.). Devices my visitors are using. The pages that have the greatest engagement. But what more can I do with Google Analytics?”. This is a question we get asked a lot by marketers.
The short answer: the list is endless; from using dashboards and custom segmentation to goal set up and event tracking.
The long answer: there are many techniques that can help us gather insights. This in turn, can be used to improve your website strategy. The only pre-requisite is to have Google Analytics installed for your business.
You can start with these 4 easy tactics that can help you understand your website data better.
DOWNLOAD CHROME’S GOOGLE ANALYTICS EXTENSION
Have you ever wondered which links are getting the most clicks on a page or which content your visitors are most interested in? Then the GA extension is for you. It works like a heat map but better, by giving the exact percentage of clicks. Once your website loads, switch on the extension and you’ll see the top metrics like page views, unique page views, average time on page, bounce rate and exit rate on the top bar. The orange bubbles highlight the click-through-rate (CTR) for each destination page. Unfortunately, this means if you have 6 different links to one page, all links will show the same CTR, not the clicks to each link.
Similar to when you’re using Google Analytics, the extension allows you to apply various segments to see data from users visiting from various media, device types or based on any custom segments. The metrics on the top bar can be changed as well, to highlight revenue, conversions (clicks) or custom dimensions.
USE ATTRIBUTION MODELLING AND MULTI-CHANNEL FUNNELS (MCF)
This is the way to go if you heavily rely on goals or e-commerce data. Imagine a user visits a website through a paid search ad and then returns to the website through organic search, followed by a display ad (which is tagged using a UTM code). Google Analytics pulls all this information together from the user’s cookie data and calculates the contribution of each medium. It’s then up to you to decide the right method of attribution – first, last or assisted conversions.
Secondly, using multi-channel funnels or MCFs are helpful in determining how to alter your budgets to make the most of your paid investments. The top conversions path report further shows you which combination of channels work best for your website audience.
An important thing to note is that the MCF does not use cookie data for direct traffic reporting. Therefore, if a user enters the site directly during their conversion process all subsequent visits, regardless of the channel, will be counted as direct visits.
APPLY CUSTOM SEGMENTS
If Google Analytics is the gold mine, segments are your mining tools. They help to break down the chunk of data to drill down deeper and easily compare different data sets. By default, GA segments give you the option to filter by top traffic sources, device types, sessions with conversions, new or returning users etc. What makes it better is that it allows you to customize your settings to suit your needs. Let’s imagine you have a clothing website that caters to five different countries but focuses primarily on two. However, sales and traffic have reduced in the last month. Using a custom segment, we can separate out traffic coming from each of the primary markets. In this scenario, segmentation may reveal a significant drop in traffic in only one market (perhaps because a local competitor is offering a lower price on a similar product).
You can go a step further with segments, by looking more closely at audience demographics and interests.
You can save segments and apply them on standard reports to help compare between audiences. Check out some additional info on how segments work from Google Support.
RECORD SITE SEARCH QUERIES
This is probably the most under-rated feature of GA. There’s a wealth of information to be gathered from understanding what your audience is looking for on your website. For example, say your users are looking for information that’s readily available on the site. Then perhaps your navigation isn’t set up very well. If they’re looking for terms that you don’t have much information on, you need to consider adding more content to provide information that’s useful to your audience. Or if users are asking about terms that are not relevant to your business, it’s likely your website is ranking for irrelevant terms or your ads aren’t giving the right information.
There are many ways GA makes your life as a marketer easier, allowing you to make better decisions. Watch this space, for more tips on making the best of Google Analytics. If you have any questions, get in touch with us.