Our quick fix guide will provide you with some pointers on the value of Google Analytics and direct you on the path of becoming more familiar with a powerful asset to your business. Similar to beginner guides however, it is not claiming to be a one stop sort-it-all-out shop whereby you can claim to be a master of Analytics. It will instead tell you why you need it, where to look for what and finally, seal the deal with a few ideas on specific uses.
But first - let’s talk about why some people have been avoiding Analytics.
"Buy it, use it, pay it, watch it, read it, plug it, twitch, update it." - Tech-no-logic.
Our deliberately lazy separation of syllables for the term technologic emphasises the point that, for many companies, there’s no logic to their use of technology. The value of your website, social media or any online footprint hinges on your understanding of user engagement - in other words - how potential clients understand and use your online channels.
With Analytics boasting a 2.6x in sales growth over three years, simply by utilising the platform, it would be irresponsible to ignore its benefits.
“Companies spend a lot of money on marketing, it’s difficult to understand which dollars are working” - Harry Tannenbaum (Head of marketing analytics, Nest).
We’ll be touching on Real Time, Audience, Acquisition, Behaviour and Conversion reports to show you how these easily accessible tabs can provide you with an informative overview of your website’s performance.
If you have users actively engaging with content on your website, then real time data is for you. Your use of trends and content promotions rely on your understanding of the market’s response in real time as this immediate form of data is becoming all the more critical going forward towards 2019.
Where to find useful data:
Go to Real-Time > Traffic Sources in the left navigation.
In the Source column of the table, click the promotion site. This limits your view so that you’re only looking at users who has clicked through from the promotion. Go to Real-Time > Conversions to see which conversions your active users hit, along with total conversions.
"Real time and beyond!"
We believe that Real Time data shouldn’t just be used to rewrite headlines when users don’t respond. Some companies utilise it to identify potential security threats, but is this really the only beneficial gain? Each promotion is unique according to a set of parameters by which it operates - market information such as consumer behaviour at various hours of the day or as a result of specific socio-geographic circumstances can provide insights regarding the effectivity of your promotions. Considerations such as restrictions on the quantity of promoted content or external factors such as weather patterns can thereby be used to your advantage.
Who doesn’t want to be at the top of every Google search? AdWords can easily be used for quick promotions and subliminal marketing, but the real power of the tool relies on your target audience. Age group, geographical position and gender targeting - despite your personal opinion - are of critical importance.
Where to find useful data:
Go to Audience > Overview in the left navigation.
Underneath the first metric chart you will find the various stats of users, the amount of page views and average time spent per page.
Go to Audience > Audiences and enable the function for a more specific breakdown of your user profiles.
"How now ad-plough?"
If your brand won’t cater to specific target groups, because you believe it’s about the brand and not the audience, then you are mistaken in your convictions. What’s lush to one, might be offensive to another and your brand should be flexible when speaking to various target groups. Use these analytics to reconsider your external presence and user perception through your promotions and posts.
Do you ever wonder “where’s my money’s worth?” Acquisitions clearly spell out whether your ad spend is competing with your organic searches or whether you need to reconsider your approach. Remember: All advertisements work, but only if your content is on point and if it’s accurately directed.
Where to find useful data:
Go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels in the left navigation.
The Default Channel Grouping column in the primary dimensions table below the main graphic distinguishes between paid and non-paid searches in addition to the platforms through which your site was accessed.
Go to Acquisition > Adwords > Campaigns to review your Adword campaigns with regards to useful data such as cost-per-click and the amount of users engaged by the amount of ad spend.
"A is for aptitude."
It’s important to understand where most of your traffic is coming from so that you can appropriately boost your performing content. If the majority of your acquisitions stem from Facebook, boost Facebook. Alternatively, should your acquisitions from Instagram show signs of its imminent demise, then you should raise the alarm and reconsider either content or platform.
Whenever you’re in an argument as to whether you really need that blog or updates page on your website - make sure to first consider your Behaviour stats on Analytics. This report focuses on what people do when they land on your site, how much time they spend on specific pages and which pages they visit before they leave.
Where to find useful data:
Go to Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages in the left navigation.
Here you’ll see your sites top pages and how they are performing in terms of page views, avg time spent on page, bounce rate etc.
Go to Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages/Exit Pages in the left navigation.
Here is where you’ll see the top pages people land on (this ties in with acquisition) and which pages they exit from.
Go to Behaviour > Site Content > Search in the left navigation.
Here you’ll be able to see what people search for most on your site - if you have a search option.
Go to Behaviour > Site Content > Site Speed in the left navigation.
You can learn how fast/slow your site is loading as well as find specific suggestions from Google on how to make your website faster (Site Speed> Speed Suggestions)
It would be unwise to neglect in-depth knowledge (provided to you at no cost by Google) after having spent what could feel like a significant fee on your website. Consider your website navigation and interface design when viewing your audience’s behavioural data. Review the time it takes to load your images and adjust file sizes of the content that could lead a user to close your tab sooner rather than later.
Ready for more? Set goals within Analytics to see how many conversions your website gain and through which channels these conversions prove to be most successful. Conversion Reports indicate whether users are making purchases or completing the goals you’ve set up (such as subscribing to your newsletter or buying a specific product or service).
Where to find useful data:Go to Conversions > Goals > Overview in the left navigation.
Here you’ll see how many conversions your website has received.
Go to Conversions > Goals > Reverse Goal Path in the left navigation.
The path that visitors took to complete the conversion is laid out in steps to indicate how the conversion was achieved.
"Preach - even to the converted."
Speaking of goals and conversions, most of the tables within standard Google Analytics reports will tie specific data to your conversions. You can see the number of conversions made by visitors from Johannesburg in the Audience > Geo > Location report.
Alternatively have a look at Acquisitions > All Traffic > Source/Medium to see the number of conversions made by visitors from Facebook or Twitter.
"I can see the value, but I really don’t have the time!"
Alright, we get it, even a freebie that provides endless data to your benefit won’t give you the time of day to read a useful report - nevermind compile it from yet another online power tool. Not to worry - that’s why we’re here. If you’d like to know more about how Google Analytics can be of use, then be sure to contact us at email@example.com. We’ll sort you out in no time!
Kind Regards Alecia van Aarde Co-Founder and Director at JA