Google Analytics is a tool that can produce the reports you need to figure out where your site is succeeding, and where it’s not doing so hot.
So let’s see if we can’t make Google Analytics a little more exciting for you! [Pushes glasses up nose].
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is an app that collects and organizes data about the people that are visiting your site.
That includes stuff like where on web your visitors are coming from, what they’re clicking on, and what they searched for that led them to you.
Plus, the data can tell you which customers are most likely to actually buy something, and even which customers represent the biggest money-making opportunities.
But to get that bling, you need data. And Google’s got it all.
After all, Google is basically the king of search. So for the time being, we’ve all gotta play in their sandbox. And to do that, you need to understand how Google Analytics can make your site more successful.
First off, analysis of your site data can answer a lot of questions, like:
- What makes people come to your site?
- How many visits does your site get?
- What are your site’s most popular pages?
- How long do people spend on each page?
- When and where are people leaving your site?
Answering those questions can have a whole lot of benefits for your business. With this information, you can:
- Fine tune your site’s content and CTAs to target your customer’s needs.
- Fix your sales funnel to minimize the drop-off rate and increase your conversions.
- Create more unique content that matches the behavior of your visitors before they come to your site — so you can sneak your way into more potential customers’ search results.
- Make sure your ads, which you pay good money for, are actually helping bring people to your site.
- Further develop your customer personas for future marketing and content strategies.
So how can you find this invaluable information about your site?
Reports, reports, reports.
Google Analytics has all this data, but you’ve got to run the reports that’ll tell you what you want to know.
Here are 5 Essential Google Analytics reports that’ll help you see where your site is struggling.
1. Mobile Performance Report
And you may think your site is mobile-friendly, but how do you really know if that’s the case?
Try a Google Analytics mobile performance report. You can get there by clicking on Audience > Mobile > Overview.
It’ll tell you how well your site is working when people visit it on mobile devices.
The mobile performance report will show you things like:
- What % of visitors are on mobile and tablets vs. desktop
- Bounce rates on mobile devices
- What pages people are looking at on their mobiles
- How long people are viewing each page from mobile devices
Plus, you can customize the report to tell you even more. And then you can work on updating your site to improve those numbers.
2. Funnel Visualization Report
The sales funnel is the path your customers follow from initial interest, to becoming a lead, then becoming a customer.
But sometimes people drop out of the funnel before they reach the finish line. The reasons could be many — from getting hung up on the check-out process to being turned off by a pixelated image on a product page.
If you don’t know what each individual user journey looks like, then how are you supposed to tighten up that funnel?
Enter the funnel visualization report. You’ll find it in Conversions > Goals > Funnel Visualization.
From here, you can take a look at each page along the user journey, and look for where drop-offs are happening.
Start with the highest drop-off rates and look for issues like long load times, distracting content, extraneous links or security concerns.
Patching up exits out of the funnel will get more users where you want them, and you’ll see higher conversions as a result.
A related report is the behavior flow report: You’ll find it at Behavior > Behavior Flow. Here you can see where people are first entering your website (e.g., the homepage, product page, blog, etc.), and where they’re heading from there.
With this info, you may be able to identify some unexpected paths to conversion that you hadn’t predicted — and fine-tune that alternate path accordingly.
3. Landing Page Bounce Report
Something none of us want is for users to land on our site, then immediately high-tail it out of there without looking around.
You want your site to immediately grab and keep a user’s interest so they’ll be motivated to click on other pages and possibly become a customer.
That means you need to know which pages are successfully holding people’s attention, and which ones aren’t.
That’s we love the landing page bounce report. Find it under Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages.
Here, you’ll be able to identify your most popular landing pages. These are most likely pages you’ve designed as landing pages and/or have promoted links to via paid ads, SEO strategies, etc.
But some of these pages might also be a surprisingly popular blog or a hit product.
See which pages have the highest bounce rates, as well as which ones have the lowest “goal” conversion rate. You can set your own goals, but an obvious one might be “sell something!”
Put your energy into improving those pages — maybe they load slowly, or are just really damn ugly. Maybe they’ve got multiple CTAs that are confusing as all get-out.
Either way, the landing page bounce report is a surefire way to find out where your site is bleeding, so you know where to apply the Band-Aid (or extensive surgery).
4. Peak Times Report
The internet isn’t the real world, but the real world sure does love it. And there are certain times and days when people are more likely to visit your site.
Maybe it’s at 9am on Monday, or at 11pm on Friday. For those of you who fall into the latter category...not sure what you’re selling, but drunk people are really into it, apparently.
This is where a Peak Times Report comes in handy. Head to Traffic Sources > Overview > Hourly.
From here, you can create custom reports to get the precise data you need to figure out at which days and times individual pages are seeing the most traffic.
Why? To learn even more about your customers. Are they reading your blog on dog toe-nail trimming tips at 10am on a Monday? Then maybe most of your customers don’t have jobs, or just have really boring ones.
But in all seriousness, the important thing here is to learn about the best times to add new content.
If a large portion of your traffic is visiting in the afternoon, then that’s the time of day you should be posting new blogs, new products, new videos, you name it. When your users show up at their favorite time to browse, they’ll always see new stuff.
And you can use slow times to schedule site maintenance and updates. After all, it would be a huge headache if your site broke during peak visiting hours. Or worse, if you uploaded the wrong photo to the top of your homepage. You know the photo we’re talking about.
5. Email Campaign Assessment Report
Here at BKMedia Group, we take our emails seriously. An email list is a long-lasting connection to leads. Someone might delete their Facebook account, but they probably still have that same email address they gave you 8 years ago.
But having a huge email list is pointless if you can’t make something of it. That means you want to find out how well your emails are doing at pointing people to your site.
And that’s the point of the email campaign assessment report. Find it under Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns.
You’ll have to include Google Analytics tracking tags in your email campaigns for them to show up here.
But it’s worth the work to set it up, because this report will show you how each of your email campaigns performs, and includes data on click-through rates, transaction rates, and straight revenue numbers — aka which emails are making you the most money.
In fact, we used this exact approach for one of our clients and saw huge results. By analyzing how their email campaigns were performing, we were able to spot the weaknesses, streamline the emails’ content, and increase conversions by 254%.
If Google Analytics Reports Still Sound Boring, Let Us Do It
We get it — you didn’t start your totally awesome business because you’re passionate about spreadsheets and line graphs. (Unless you own a company that makes spreadsheets and line graphs...in which case, we’re sorry.)
Either way, we’d like to help your company make the most of Google Analytics — we do it every day.
We use it to develop customer personas, conceptualize and create unique content to target those personas (and improve SEO), fine-tune our ads and email campaigns and increase sales.
Let the experts take care of the boring stuff while you focus on the things that got you into your business in the first place. Plus, you’ll need all the energy you can muster after bringing on BKMedia Group, because we’ll be sending new customers your way faster than you can leave this blo—hey, where’d you go? Come back!
Hi again. Looks like we just improved our time on page. Nice.