Google Analytics is a powerful beast certainly not for the faint-hearted. With hundreds of reports and metrics available, GA is not something that should be ignored. The trouble is, many people install it on their website, and never really look at what’s happening in there. They may sign in occasionally and see traffic going up, or average time on site going up, but they aren’t really looking at 1) What areas of the site are performing well, and 2)What areas need some attention. I’ve decided to write about 5 features that anyone using GA should be using.
- Assisted Conversion Reports
Google recently (within the last 6 months) changed the way they report on traffic source. They moved to a model of Last Click Attribution. In basic terms the conversion is recorded against the last click that brought you to a site. For example you could visit a site via PPC, then Email, then Social. Social is the last click, so if the customer completed a goal, the conversion would be recorded against social. By introducing Last Click Attribution we are now able to track these paths, and see what has assisted with our conversions. Using the previous example; although the customer clicked through and converted from Social, this may not have been possible without the help of the PPC ad that originally brought the user to the site. Without PPC marketing, would the conversion have happened at all? This is the question that you need to be asking, and this is what you should be thinking about when analysing the effectiveness of any marketing activity. You may look at a PPC campaign and see that it is converting poorly. Take a look in the assisted conversions report and you may notice that users didn’t convert in the first instance, but came back directly and converted. This is hugely important in deciding whether a campaign should stay or go. Assisted conversion reporting can help determine the effectiveness of all forms of marketing. How well is email marketing working? Is social viable? It’s all there. Take a look. Here is a video provided by Google about what you can expect to see in the ‘Multi Channel Funnels’ tab of GA.
- Product Performance
The Product Performance report is nestled underneath the Ecommerce Tab. If you have eCommerce tracking set up (which you should) you will be able to see quantities of products sold, unique purchases, product revenue and a few other metrics. This report can help you determine what your current promotions should be, where you should expand your PPC campaigns, and potential product ranges you could break in to. If you go in here and 5 of the 10 top products are all from the same range, why not target this in upcoming marketing activity? You know people are buying these products, why not try and squeeze every last ounce of sales juice of out them? What about a brand that is selling very well, is it included in your PPC campaigns? The opportunities are endless, and it is something that you should be looking into on a regular basis.
- Organic Search Report
Looking at your Organic Search traffic can paint a clear picture of how people are coming to your site currently, and may help identify opportunities to expand your SEO keyword portfolio, your PPC campaigns, and your landing page optimisation. Let’s say you can see that you have a significantly high amount of traffic from a single search term. Find out what page these people are seeing (do a Google search. Where are you ranked? What is the page title, and meta description?). Once you have this information think about what can be optimised. If they are landing on a irrelevant page, why not create a custom landing page that is focused on that exact key phrase? You want to try and make that result the most appealing it could possibly be to click on.
If you see a keyword that is driving little traffic to your site, and you believe it is valuable, why not check and make sure it is in your PPC portfolio? When your site is visible using paid search for that keyword, you can work on creating optimized content, and performing SEO on that specific phrase. Keep an eye on these keywords? Are you noticing more organic traffic? If so, you are heading down the right track.
Want to know who is sending the most traffic to your site? Is is Facebook? Is it an affiliate? This information is all tucked under the Referrals tab. This information allows you see the quality of traffic from each referral source (how long they stayed, whether they purchased etc). By looking at this information you can see what referrals are worth focusing on. If you see for example that 100 people came from your Facebook page, and there was a 10% conversion rate, it would be worth working on strategies as to how you could increase this number. If you are paying another site for advertising, and the traffic is low quality, you need to know so you can decide whether they are worth keeping. All this information is in this tab. It is worth you knowing which external sources are helping or hindering your brand.
- Site Search
The Site Search report allows you to see what people are searching for when they are navigating your site. It also allows you to see how important site search is in terms of conversions. Typically visits with site search have a much higher conversion rate. Because of this you want to make site search accessible, and easy to use. You also want to make sure that you are optimising/promoting content users are searching for. Similar to Organic Search reports this information can be used to create new landing pages to land search results on, craft new PPC campaigns to make sure you are visible in paid search, and work on SEO to make sure you are increasing your organic rankings. Using site search you are able to understand more about what your customers are wanting, and how they are using your site. However, you need to be mindful of site search. If for example there are high numbers of search refinements, you need to tighten up search results, or create custom landing pages to make sure users are seeing the most relevant information to their search.
These 5 reports are just a small section of what Google Analytics has to offer. By using these, and many other reports you will be able to create a clear picture of how your site is currently performing, and more importantly how you can work to increase traffic, engagement, and conversions.