Out of all the tools that business owners can use to promote their business, improve their design, engage with their copy and otherwise make themselves stand out from their competitors, there’s one tool that stands head and shoulders above the rest: Google Analytics.
But if you’re only using it “because my developer told me to”, you’re missing out on an absolute treasure trove of information about your website users. In addition to the tool being free and automatically collecting information once you set it up and lay your pixel on site, there are plenty of things worth knowing about Google Analytics — and once you know them, you can leverage that information to be even more successful in your business.
You Can Create Custom Reports
To the uninitiated, Google Analytics can seem overwhelming. There are so many report types and dropdowns that cut up your data… but you can filter it to create custom reports that only show you the information you need in order to make actionable decisions. Of course, different parts of the overall reports are going to be useful to different members of your team. For example, your SEO person is going to want to see which source is driving people to the site or which ads are bringing in the highest conversions, while your web developer is going to want to know how long people are staying on the site and the speed of the page loading time.
You can create custom reports under the “Customization” section of the left menu column in Google Analytics. Simply click “Custom Report”, then “+New Custom Report”. From there, you’ll choose the “Metric Groups” you’d like to display (users, new users, sessions, bounce rate, pages per session, average session duration) and, for “Dimension Drilldown”, you can use something like day of the week, hour, or device category to begin looking for trends. Click “Save” and you’re all set!
Google Analytics Plays Well with Others
Google Analytics is built to work great with other tools, but it particularly excels (unsurprisingly) when it comes to Google’s own plethora of tools. That means if you use Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords), Google Search Console or others, you’ll find that Google Analytics gives you even more details about your traffic and users through those channels.
For example, Google Analytics and Google Ads can tell you who’s clicking on your ads, and how long they’re staying on your site (as well as what pages they’re visiting). Are your ads really performing? Which one is bringing in the highest number of people who dwell on the site versus bouncing right away? This powerful combination of Analytics + Ads can tell you.
You Get the Details You Need About Your Audience (And How Well They’re Converting!)
Who is your target customer? Chances are you can rattle off all kinds of demographic details about them. Now answer this: what’s the demographic profile of someone visiting your website? Are the two aligned? If not, it’s time to consider why. If they are, then having that information may divulge some sub-segments of your audience that you may not have considered.
In addition, one of the most important numbers you’ll see as part of your Google Analytics information is your bounce rate. Bounce rate is the number of users who come to the site and do not explore to another page ÷ the total number of users that come to the site. Why did they bounce? There are a variety of reasons, but it’s up to you to ask yourself what those reasons could be.
- Were they able to find what they were looking for on your site? If so, did they find it in an appropriate size/color (any other distinguishing details?)
- Did they get through the funnel until it was time to calculate shipping and then leave their cart behind? Know every page your customer must go on in order to complete their purchase (from “cart” to “thank you/confirmation” and figure out where they are dropping the most, and why?).
- Did they start filling out a form only to give up halfway through the process because it was asking for too much information, or did they encounter a technical error? Always test your website after you implement something new so you can catch it before your customers do!
- Do you have just one long page on your website with information, “About Us” section and the option to convert all on the same page? This would entail 100% bounce rate.
As you can tell, there are plenty of reasons why someone would leave, but having a solid conversion path and understanding your customer journey will help make finding this out easier and more straightforward. Ask yourself, what does my customer want?
You can even use Google Analytics to figure out what country, state and even city your users are coming from, what their age range is, and what devices they’re using. If you discover that Apple iPhone users are leaving your site quickly, it’s worth testing it out on that device to see what could be gumming up the works.
Success Isn’t Just Having the Information: It’s What You Do With It That Counts!
Some companies will install Google Analytics and then never look at it again! Make it a point to look at the data that’s being collected and figure out how to capitalize on it to create a site with information that’s tailored to your audience and gets them to convert. Google Analytics provides you with the tools and information — it’s up to you to take advantage of it.
If you need help making Google Analytics actionable, send a message to Workdom. We have a team of marketing specialists who use Google Analytics frequently to make data-driven decisions in business. Workdom can simplify your workload and boost your productivity while helping you to reach more active, engaged users.