Google Analytics Data is some of the best information you’ll have available to you as you create, and more importantly, improve your website.
Google describe their product like this:
Google Analytics not only lets you measure sales and conversions, but also gives you fresh insights into how visitors use your site, how they arrived on your site and how you can keep them coming back
By the end of this post you’ll have the ability to discover actionable improvements to your site which can help with SEO, user experience and above all, conversions.
Google Analytics Data
Let’s have a brief overview of Google Analytics Data and see what’s available.
Firstly, you have Audience data:
- What language do your visitors use and where are they located?
- How often do your visitors return to your site? How engaged are they with your site?
- What device / devices are they using to access your site?
Then we have Traffic Sources:
- How are visitors finding you in search engines?
- What other websites are referring traffic to yours?
- How is social media impacting traffic to your site?
The next option in the dashboard is Content:
- What content on your site is most appealing to your visitors?
- What are the page load times like on your site?
- Which pages are users leaving your site from?
The final section of Google Analytics data you’ll have access to is Conversions:
- How many visitors to your site are converting to customers / leads / users?
- Which part of your conversion process are visitors abandoning?
- How much revenue have you created from different advertising sources?
Evidently not all of this Analytics data is available with the standard tracking code.
You’ll have to set up goals yourself! That simply means defining when a visitors converts.
This might be they’ve signed up for an email newsletter, purchased a product or downloaded a file. Google Analytics lets you define these goals using funnels.
One of the best online guides to funnels is here – “A Guide To: Goals And Funnels In Google Analytics”
To get the most out of your Google Analytics data you’ll need to have these set up. So take some time to do it!
Insight 1 – Measure SEO Success.
Search Engine Optimisation is one of the most important aspects of getting your website found!
I hope you’ve seen from previous blog posts on SEO that there’s a lot of information out there to help people who build their own websites to improve their own search rankings.
But how do you measure the success of your SEO efforts?
Google Analytics data gives you all the information you need to find out how much traffic you’re driving to your site through search engines. This provides you with a clear indication of how your pages are ranking!
Firstly you have the organic search traffic overview.
- Select the ‘Traffic Sources’ option.
- Then click ‘Sources’.
- Now open the ‘Search’ option’.
- Finally, select the ‘Organic’ view.
You’ll see a screen like this:
This is an overview of the traffic that search engines are sending to your site organically.
Hopefully, if you’ve been doing well with your SEO campaign, you’ll see a nice upward curve here as more and more people come to your site after performing a search in a search engine.
If you scroll down, you’ll also be able to see what people were searching for when they found your site!
Hopefully, you will see that your keywords are included in this list.
If not, you might want to rethink what keywords you’re using for your site, or optimise your site more effectively for your chosen keywords.
The higher you rank in search engines for your primary keywords, the more traffic they will drive to your website.
This is essentially the simplest way to get an overview of how your site is performing in organic search. Clearly you’ll probably want to track your rankings directly somehow, but that often costs a substantial amount of money! This Google Analytics data will let you know in an instant whether or not your SEO efforts are improving your traffic!
Insight 2 – Discover The Pages Which Cause Visitors To Leave Your Website.
An exit page is simply the page which the user is currently on when they decide to leave your site.
This is a very important bit of information!
You’ll be able to prioritise pages based on their performance. If lots of people are leaving your website after visiting a certain page, that page clearly needs attention!
To view this Google Analytics Data:
- Open the ‘Content’ tab on the left hand side of the Google Analytics dashboard.
- Click the ‘Site Content’ option.
- Finally, click the ‘Exit Pages’ menu item.
This is what the report looks like:
As you scroll down, or flick between pages you’ll see a list of the pages from which people most frequently exit your site.
You’ll want to investigate each of these pages. Some ideas for reducing the exit rate of these pages are:
- Add a clear call to action. Have an end goal in mind for any page on your site and try to encourage users to complete this goal.
- Reduce the amount of distractions on the page. Focus on your CTA and the relevant content for that page.
- Reduce the number of external links on the page that will take the user away from your site, or force external links to open in a new window.
- Ensure that the page is loading in a reasonable amount of time.
This is only the start of the process though. There’s always lots of improvements you can make to your pages. Do your research and see what other pages on your site are working well. Try and apply the same principals to the pages which aren’t performing as well.
Insight 3 – See How Social Media Is Driving Traffic To Your Site.
Hopefully you’ll all know how powerful Social Media is now. We’ve covered it numerous times on this blog and tried to help you make social media more effective for your website.
Luckily for us, Google Analytics data makes it incredibly simple to analyse what is working and what isn’t!
The simplest way to view this data is:
- Click the ‘Traffic Sources’ tab on the left hand side of your Google Analytics dashboard.
- Select the ‘Social’ drop down item.
- Lastly, select the ‘Network Referrals’ option.
The report looks like this.
This Google Analytics report is incredibly important because you can identify where your social media strategy is working!
You can tie this in with data you’ve got from your own social media channels.
For example, if you had lots of retweets on a single day, which resulted in a huge spike in traffic, you should probably be trying to get those people to retweet your content more often!
You might also find out that you’re getting traffic from other networks where people have shared your content. Go and find them and thank them! Building more relationships with this people will lead to more traffic for your site. That’s always a good thing!
Google Analytics data, as I said at the start of this blog post, is incredibly important.
There are so many conclusions you can take from this information that you’ve got no excuse for claiming ignorance!
There’s a reason behind your low traffic to certain pages. There’s something stopping your conversions happening. Why not find out? Google Analytics helps you do all this and more.
If you’ve got any other questions about Google Analytics then please do let us know in the comments!