The truth is, most middle market companies either don’t use or don’t know how to utilize Google Analytics as an effective part of their digital marketing strategy. Designed to give companies free insight and data on their website and a way to measure the effectiveness of AdWords, Google Analytics can be a helpful tool to any marketing team who understands how to use it. However, as Google Analytics has evolved, it has become more convoluted for the average marketing director or business owner to find information that is relevant to their business. This means that important and powerful tools in your day to day marketing are going unused. We are simplifying the 4 main pages you need to know for Google Analytics and how to make sure relevant information to your business isn’t being buried.
For larger companies, the opening page of Google Analytics has relevant information on weekly trends and information that can be useful to their digital marketing team. However, for most middle market companies the front page of Google Analytics isn’t relevant simply because there isn’t enough data there. So, for the average or first time Google Analytics user the question becomes -where do you start?
1. Audience – Overview
To begin, the first thing you want to understand is your audience. Clicking from Audience and then Overview allows you to see more relevant overall trends for your business. You can set time frames to see month to month, long term trends of traffic. You can then compare these trends to previous time frames or previous years, view how many users and sessions your site has had, how many page views, and finally the average bounce rate of your site. This information is much more tenable for the average marketing director. A few important notes to understand about this page are that Users shows the number of individuals that hit your website, while Sessions are number of times the website has appeared in the browser. Some people have multiple sessions on one website. Page Views will show you where you have engagement on the website, and you can also view your Bounce Rate. As you make changes to your site you want your bounce rate to decrease with time.
2. Acquisition – All Traffic – Channels
Next, Acquisition – > All Traffic –> Channels offers a succinct summary of the channels that are driving your traffic. This page compares them and shows the conversions for each channel as well. If you click through you can see the traffic for each of your channels. Social will generally show a lower number as most users don’t click from social sites through to the company site, however this page is a great way to see overall trends not only from each channel but most importantly your direct and organic search results.
3. Behavior – Site Content – All Pages
Behavior –> Site Content –> All Pages shows a great summary of what the most popular pages are for each website. You can view the bounce rate for each page, how your pages are changing over time as you make changes to the site, and which pages are engaging your users the most. This also has to do with how you set up your navigation menu and what you are promoting on your website, but this can give you valuable info on how each page is operating.
4. Conversions – Goals – Overview
Finally, Conversions –> Goals –> Overview (or Ecommerce –> Overview if you are an ecommerce site) allows you to set up a time frame and see the number of conversions that happened in that time frame. Some would argue that conversions are the most important information and this page will show you specifically where your conversions are coming from. You can look at how your goals like sign ups or forms are doing and if you click on Source Medium you will find a nice summary of the most popular traffic resulting in goal submissions.
These four pages of Google Analytics are the most critical and important to share if you are looking to include Google Analytics into your digital marketing meetings and strategy. Ask questions and really define what is causing your traffic to increase or decrease, as well as what sources are giving you conversions? Once you have mastered these four pages you can dive deeper into your Audience to discover their Geo, or where they are coming from. You can analyze whether they are on mobile devices, look at demographics and more. Acquisitions can give you deeper insight into your Google ads, campaigns, social etc. Finally, you can go deeper into Conversions to see where the most common pages are that people click on before they convert. With this information you can set up a digital marketing strategy that is much more relevant and specific to your business. Have questions or are you ready to begin your journey with IW? Contact us today for more information.