When used to its full potential, Google Analytics can be a useful tool that provides insights and answers to burning questions about the effectiveness of your website.
The data in Google Analytics reports can help you answer questions such as how well your online (and offline in some cases) campaigns are performing and how effective your website is in achieving the overarching objectives of your business. Analyzing and understanding every report in Google Analytics however, can be challenging and overwhelming even for the most experienced users.
Following is a short guide with some of the most common questions that Google Analytics reports can help you answer.
1. What exactly am I measuring here?
A fundamental component of our RPIE process at dgs is to define and set objectives for the campaigns that we run. Evaluating your efforts against your objectives (the “E” in the “RPIE”) is imperative in knowing if you have met your objectives and in understanding where you can improve your campaigns. Within Google Analytics you can create and set up Google Analytics Goals that help you measure certain actions that visitors on your website take. Conversions on these actions will provide you with the insight you need to evaluate your digital efforts.
2. Where do my users come from?
Understanding how visitors landed on your website will help you answer questions such as if your SEO efforts are paying off, how many people are clicking on your paid search ads and how effective are your social channels in driving people to your website. You can also get invaluable information from custom reports that will provide you the insight you need to understand which of the traffic sources produce the highest rate of conversions on your site.
3. Does the profile of my website visitors match my target audience?
You probably already have a good idea of what the profile of your target market looks like. The data in Google Analytics can help you confirm your expectations that the people visiting your website are within the same demographic profile as your target market. If your expectations are confirmed then you are in good shape; if your target market is people over 40 years old but your website visitors are mostly within the 20-30 age range, then it is probably time to rethink your strategy.
4. What do people do when they visit my site?
Google Analytics reports can help you understand the behavior of visitors after they land on your website. Behavior reports can be a good indicator for which type of information is the most attractive to your users, what your users are searching for on your site and what type of information is interesting for your visitors but they have trouble locating.
5. Is my website optimized for all devices?
With mobiles taking over desktop devices, making sure your site is responsive and mobile optimized is an essential component of your development process. The Mobile Overview report within Google Analytics can help you identify if there should be any concerns with your website’s optimization and mobile responsiveness. If there is a high discrepancy among different device users on the total time spent on the website and the number of pages they view, then this might be something that is worth checking into.
6. The bounce rate on my site is high.
Should I be worried? Bounce rate is defined as the percentage of people who visited one page on your website and left without visiting a second page. Whether a high bounce rate should be a concern depends on your site and your strategy.
A high bounce rate could be an indication that the wrong audience is visiting your website or that your site is not meeting their expectations. It could also mean that your digital efforts do not deliver what they promised. On the other hand, if your strategy is to drive users to a single landing page, or if your landing pages are contact forms, support pages or pages with articles, then a high bounce rate should not be a major concern.
7. How do new users behave differently on my website compared to returning visitors?
Google Analytics provides you with data that allows you to determine the behavior of new users vs. returning users on your site. Gathering this data can help you easily answer questions such as which segment of users interacts better on your site or which segment converts more. Using this report will help you realize the potential of each type of visitor and essentially plan your marketing efforts to effectively reach the best segment.
Make your data work for your business
Google Analytics is a powerful analytics tool that can provide valuable insights on the effectiveness of your website as part of your overall strategy. The simple questions above are only the beginning to what can prove to be one of your most effective measurement tools.
The use of most complicated and custom-created reports that can help you better understand the behavior of your visitors and ensure that your marketing spend is optimized can be time-consuming and cumbersome for most users but at the end of the day, it is well worth it.
Find out how our Google Analytics certified experts at dgs can help you answer your most common or most challenging questions on your data.