Google Analytics made simple

Introduction

A first impression can become a last impression if your website isn’t user friendly, up-to-date or packed with content that people will be interested in.

So how do you figure out which areas of your site aren’t cutting the mustard and need attention?

Google Analytics has the answer…

Set up correctly, the free web analytics service can be a fantastic asset for gaining insight into website performance.

However, finding the data which matters can be tricky, and it’s all too easy to get lost in the vast metropolis known as the Google Analytics dashboard.

If you have infinite time and patience, all of the data it provides will have worth. But for the rest of us, let’s just explore the five key metrics that matter the most.

 

Landing Page

A landing page is the first web page that people visit when they reach your website.

Where can I find this?

Click on Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages

 

Why does it matter?

Looking at different landing pages in terms of revenue generation and the e-commerce conversion rate, can provide an indication of which pages are performing the best.

Ask yourself, what are the better performing landing pages doing? Is it because they provide a clearer explanation of your services and/or products? Or is easier to navigate from these pages to the payment details section?

Whatever you decide, you can then start to apply learnings and redesign underperforming pages.

 

 

Demographics

Demographics show the age and gender of your website’s users.

Where can I find this?

Click on Audience > Demographics > Overview

Why does it matter?

Knowing the types of people to communicate to and understanding the messages which will persuade them are the main concerns of a marketer.

When it comes to measuring demographics on Google Analytics, always the most interesting and useful metrics are the ages, gender and interests of the site visitors.

This goldmine is invaluable when developing your website, choosing who to advertise to and creating personas for your overall marketing strategy.

You can even delve deeper and segment these metrics, set up advanced filtering and create custom reports to gather more specific information. But we’ll save for another blog…

 

 

Location

Google Analytics uses the IP address to provide data on which city, country or continent your website traffic comes from.

Where can I find this?

Click on Audience > Geo > Location

Why does it matter?

Whether you’re looking to target donors from London or Timbuktu, having this insight can inform which areas website traffic is coming from and to focus further efforts on these places.

It can also show you the current target areas where you might be falling short and allow you to adapt your strategy accordingly.

 

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of user sessions that exit your website after visiting a single page.  Typically, a bounce rate between 20% – 40% is considered excellent.

Where can I find this?

Click on Audience > Overview

 

Why does it matter?

If a web page has an above average bounce rate (over 55%), then assess why users aren’t spending more time on that specific page.

Then compare it to your pages with lower bounce rates. Is there something which can be taken from better performing pages that can be applied to the page with a higher bounce rate?

Also ensure any external messaging directing people to badly performing pages is relevant. Often, misleading ads or URLs can be a reason for people to click off if their expectations aren’t met when they land on the page.

Source/Medium

Traffic sources are the different routes that visitors have come from before landing on your website. There are five basic traffic mediums – Direct, Organic, Social, Paid Search and Email.

Where can I find this?

Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium

Why does it matter?

Knowing traffic sources to specific pages shows how well campaigns are performing and which areas you should invest further time and money.

Pages that appear to have a high amount of organic leads suggest that you have good content which is gaining authority on the SERP (search engine results page).

Having such invaluable information at your fingertips can help identify where most of the online traffic is coming from and increase your understanding of which leads might require further thinking.

 

 

…and That’s (not) all Folks

We have only scratched the surface in terms of the amount of data there is to analyse in assessing your website’s performance. Hopefully we have helped to debunk the myth that Google Analytics is a complicated program to use.

Are there any metrics that matter more to you? Or do you think we have them covered? Let us know!

Also check out some of our sister company CampfireMO’s work to see how we have helped organisations improve their online performance …. and their mojo!

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