Learn how to understand your Google Analytics to develop your marketing strategy.
If leveraged correctly, Google Analytics provides the insight into your website and marketing strategy for the best conversion rates and to know your target market. Not only will you know who visits your website, how they got there, what pages they spent the most time on, and where they made the final decision to convert, but you will also be able to set up Goals, E-commerce related tracking and A/B Testing.
Top Google Analytics metrics to help you develop your marketing strategy.
The Audience section of Google Analytics will tell you who they are, where they are, what they are interested in, what technology they use and the website flow of the user. Understanding who is visiting your website in terms of age, location and gender is the best way to determine how to fit your strategy around your target groups of people interests and preferences.
Navigate: Audience > Demographics > Age. Let’s say your highest group of website visitors are age 25-34. This will tell you that it is mainly young professionals, first time home owners or young families, etc.
Navigate: Audience > Demographics > Gender. Now this reads at 60% Female. In this strategy you would not want to focus solely on females age 25-34, because you would miss out on a high number of male customers.
How to read it: Now you need a color scheme that is likable by both men and women and relatively ‘cool.’ Coming up with a strategy based on age and gender really makes sense when you are trying to be creative and entice your customers to well, be a customer! This could mean for e-commerce websites skewed to an older demographic, you may not want to title a blog post, ‘Treat Yo Self!’ However, if your demographic is millennial, they will probably chuckle AND get the joke.
Navigate: Audience > Demographics > Geo > Location. Most likely you are only targeting the United States, so click United States.
How to read it: Notice the states at the top of the list, these are the states that it would makes sense to target in any ads that you run or if you are putting money into SEO have them target these areas first and go down the list as they continue. Most likely the state that you are located in is at the top of the list. Click on it. The city that you are in is most likely at the top here. If either of these things are not true, you need to refocus your marketing strategy on your local geographical community.
This section will provide detailed information about how people are arriving at your website, the page visitors landed on your site (with impressions on search engines, clicks, CTR and average position), what queries are being used to bring people in, in depth information about people coming to your website from social media, organic keywords and campaigns.
Navigate: Acquisitions > All Traffic > Channels. Determine where your traffic is coming from. The channels are listed in order of traffic driven to the website.
How to read it: How are individual leads coming to your website? Organic, Social, Direct or Referral? Email or read your blog? Twitter or Facebook? How did that email send work? Did it generate more leads via the blog published or the Twitter share?
Navigate: Click on each channel to see what is leading in that area and what can be done to drive in more traffic through this channel.
- Direct: Website visitors have come directly to your website by typing your URL in the browser, bookmarking a page or clicking a link from an email. This is a strong indicator of a strong brand strategy.
Increase direct traffic by: Having you and your employees talk about your company to friends, family, colleagues that would be interested in your companies products and offerings. Ask them to type your website’s URL directly.
- Organic Search: You can thank search engines like Google for this traffic… (OR your SEO experts :)) Organic traffic comes through a click in a search engine results listing. You can thank your content and SEO strategy for these clicks.
Increase organic traffic by: Making sure all of your landing pages are built to convert and the user experience is easy to understand. Read my blog on ways to increase your search engine traffic here.
- Paid Search: Paid campaigns such as AdWords bring in this traffic. A high number in this section means your paid ads are working.
Increase paid traffic by: Setting up multiple campaigns with slightly different targeted users/areas or switching up the wording to try to drive more enticement to click on the ads.
- Referral: This indicates website visitors that have clicked on a link on another website and ended up on yours. A lot of referral traffic means that you are talked about and linked to from multiple other websites.
Increase referral traffic by: Begin reaching out to other companies similar to yours to write guest blog posts or talk with people in forums.
- Social: This channel shows you exactly which social media sites are driving traffic to your website. This data can be used to determine your social media strategy.
Increase social traffic by: Increase the frequency of your social media posting and post more links to your own website. Don’t only post about your homepage as their are many other pages on your website to show off as well to switch up what you are posting about.
- Email: These visitors are coming from emails that you have sent. Use this data to determine how effective your internet marketing campaigns are being used.
Increase email traffic by: Include more call to actions and links in your email campaigns. Make sure your call to actions stand out to drive the most amount of people you can back to your website.
Once you have begun a few of these strategies, check back often to see what is working and what is not, so you can constantly switch up your game plan for the best outcome for your specific industry.
Now, we need to determine where on your website people are spending time and what is being largely ignored. The behavior section allows you to develop an awareness of what content your site visitors find the most valuable. You can use this as a guide for what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to blog topics and post types.
Navigate: Behavior > Site Content > Content Drilldown. This is the overview of which pages on your website are visited the most.
How to read it: Seeing which pages and blog posts are the most viewed, can help guide your marketing strategy by knowing what your core customers are interested in.
Navigate: Behavior > Site Content > Landing pages to see which pages your website is being entered from.
How to read it: This will give you a good idea of your search and social marketing strategies. If you do not see your most important pages and / or promoted pages in the top ten of this list, now is a good time to reevaluate their value and to realign your promotional posts on social media and email marketing campaigns to reflect the top ten pages you are driving traffic to.
Conclusion: Google Analytics to develop your marketing strategy
Google Analytics can be very powerful when you know how to read the information provided.
By paying attention to your demographics you can begin to create the content and images that target your core audience. This will begin to build a customized and personalized experience that keeps your audience wanting to come back for more information.
By diving into your top referral traffic, you begin to see what is the most shareable and create more content that is similar in nature and create more website return visitors. Knowing what is being clicked on in social allows you to create a more cohesive strategy that entices your social friends to share more often and broaden your reach.
By analyzing your Google Analytics you will find a full understanding of who your audience is, what they want and how they find you.