Understanding the data that Google Analytics provides is essential in making the right advertising decisions and increasing the return on your internet marketing investment.
How Do I Use Google Analytics?
This is a question I frequently hear when consulting with new clients. Usually, a web developer has added the code to their website, and they have access, but they don’t know what they are looking at. Even worse, they don’t understand what to do with the data that Google Analytics is providing.
There are hundreds of reports you can view in Google Analytics to determine all sorts of information about your website traffic. The type of service you provide will determine which reports you want to view. This article should briefly give a description, analysis and strategy of some of my favorite GA reports. It is using 30 days of data from hard money lending company based in Houston that serves Texas.
Before getting started with Google Analytics reporting, its important to verify the account is configured correctly. Confirm your Google Analytics account is synced with Google Search Console (so you can access search queries and other data) and Google AdWords (if running PPC ads, you’ll want that data in GA). You’ll need to identify what your website objectives are and create goals. In this case, goals completed are website contact forms.
7 Google Analytics Reports You Need To Use
These are the 7 Google Analytic reports that I frequent month to month. Each client get these and a couple others selected because on their business type. Understanding these 7 GA reports can help you make marketing decisions that positively impact your return on investment and overall bottom line.
Google Analytics All Traffic Report
The All Traffic report is one that I frequently visit. It allows me to quickly understand which sources are sending the most traffic and how that traffic is performing. The “behavior” column reports the actual website engagement from the different traffic sources.
When observing this report, there are some interesting takeaways. The obvious is that organic traffic from Google is the top source of visits and goal completions. The Google paid ads engage well but convert at the lowest percentage. Organic traffic from Bing and Yahoo completed goals at a decent rate and had nice engagement. Lifestyle hub brings great traffic while the visitors from Facebook visitors don’t spend much time but convert at high rate.
Continue with your search engine optimization strategy. The organic traffic is engaging and converting well. Consider revising the ads from the ppc campaign and changing the call to action on the landing page to increase the goal conversion rate. Share blog articles and promotions frequently on Facebook to increase the session duration and continue converting at high rate.
Google Analytics Device Overview Report
The device overview report is the fastest way to determine how users are accessing your site. When doing internet marketing, its important to know which device types people are using and how they engage with your website. Understanding this allows you to make better decisions when creating marketing campaigns and content.
Desktop traffic is not only the top source of visitors, it has the highest amount of goal completions and the lowest bounce rate. It’s obvious that bulk of the website visitors are likely in an office environment. Mobile traffic makes up about 1/3 of all visits and almost 30% of all goals completed. Tablet traffic views the most pages and spends the most time.
Alternate the types of content being created. Use some long form content and shorter content pages to appease all three of the device types. Review the website responsiveness to ensure the best user experience across devices.
Google Analytics New Versus Returning Report
The New Vs. Returning report is a great way to analyze how new website visitors engage compared to return website visitors. If your sales process requires multiple steps and multiple contact points, understanding how your return visitors respond is important.
New visitors complete goals at a higher rate than return visitors. They actually spend less time, look at more pages and convert more. Note that the return visitors amount of engagement isn’t much different from the new visitors. It’s safe to assume that the goals completed from the return visitors are likely more qualified.
This is when you need to have a conversation with the client and discuss leads. I’d be interested in knowing which visitors, new or returning, had the best close rate and became actual clients. Don’t hesitate to share conversion and financial information with your marketing agency. It helps to make the correct marketing decisions. If your agency isn’t asking for this information, their focus may not be on your results. Ours is.
Implement remarketing campaigns, social media marketing and email marketing to drive more return visitors.
Google Analytics Channel Report
The Channel report is a great overview of which marketing channels are performing the best, and which ones aren’t. If you have several different marketing channels, you need to know where to invest more time and resources, and where to cease your investment.
Organic traffic is by far the best marketing channel. Referral traffic completes goals at a rate higher than any of the others. Social traffic doesn’t spend much time but completes goals at a nice rate. The paid search leads need verifying with the client. They are extremely targeted so, understanding if they closed or not is crucial in determining the effectiveness of this channel.
Send the paid search leads to the client and request if the lead closed. Review social media stats and determine which post generated the completed goals. Reshare the post. Continue to build links and get website referrals because they engage and convert at the highest rate.
Google Analytics Pages Report
The pages report identifies the most visited pages on the website. You can view a secondary dimension to see the traffic source of the pages. Knowing which website pages get the most interaction and the engagement on those pages can help you make decisions about new pages to add, content to update and overall website interest.
The different loan type pages are visited the most with the hard money loan page having the most views. The pre-qualification application, hard money calculator, contact us and hard money guide download are in the top 10 most visited pages. This is key because those pages encourage engagement from the website user.
Stay the course. The most visited pages are a mix of conversion focused pages and loan types. This is exactly what you want.
Google Analytics Location Report
The location report can be include the entire world, a selected country or state. If you provide a service in multiple areas, this report will help you identify which area is visiting your website the most. More importantly, you can determine what locations have the best engagement and where you may want to increase your marketing.
Houston is the core for business growth. San Antonio, Pearland and Missouri City complete goals at very good rate. Visitors from The Woodlands have the lowest bounce rate and view the most pages. Visitors from Dallas could have slightly better engagement.
Add imagery and content to support the cities that are engaging. Consider having local representation in those cities to increase the level of trust from the website visitors.
Google Analytics Demographic Report
The demographic report outlines the type of visitors the website gets. Understanding the gender and age of your website visitors will help you convey your message with the right tone to the right audience.
Most visitors are between the ages of 25-44 and are predominately male. Females make up almost 1/3 of website visitors
Use slightly more masculine imagery. Generate content that speaks to the pride of a man while promoting the services. Use examples of other men in testimonials and reviews.
Is your website the primary source of your business? When was the last time you viewed your website traffic data? Do you understand who is visiting your website and how they are engaging? How many marketing channels are you using and how effective are they? What page content is getting the best engagement?
Our internet marketing agency and campaigns include a Monthly Results Hangout where you and I will review your website performance for the previous 30 days and strategize for the next 30 days. We’ll have this meeting every month so you can be aware of your website performance. This also presents the opportunity for you to share information, company news, images and more with us so we can effectively manage your digital presence.
Without proper understanding of the internet marketing performance, you will never be able to maximize your return on the investment. Furthermore, working with a company that not only has the understanding of your website performance but also has the control to make adjustments to the website, removes the need for you to have multiple companies affecting your marketing.