10 Jul Actionable Website Insights From Google Analytics
Google Analytics has been a long-standing preferred website analytics tool for the majority of website owners. With its user-friendly presentation and wide-ranging functionality, Google Analytics has empowered many website owners to make important decisions. This might range from the level of engagement visitors have with your website to the products that are most popular amongst your target audience.
With plenty of different data available amongst its many boards, Google Analytics can be intimidating for first time users. If you feel likewise, then this article is for you. In this article, we will review several basic and intermediate metrics or graphs that are available on Google Analytics.
Know your audience
Demographics – age & gender
The demographics board gives you a quick overview of your visitors’ age and gender. With this information on hand, you can assess if your website’s design, content and interface cater to the biggest segments. For instance, if your visitors are mostly female from the age of 35 to 44, then using language and terms localised to them would certainly help improve engagement.
On the other hand, if your primary target audience is males, then it is possible that your search listings are not reflective of the page’s content. As such, it is attracting the wrong set of audience to your website. In which case, you should consider a website revamp with the target demographics in mind.
Tip: demographics data is not made available automatically when you first create your Google Analytics account. Instead, you will need to enable demographics data directly from the board or in your admin property settings.
Geographics – location
The location board informs you where your visitors are logging into your website from. More specifically, based on their IP addresses, it collects and aggregates the country-based locations of everyone. Ideally, the countries with the most visitors should correspond with your own marketing targets. This would be reflective of your digital presence gaining traction in those markets.
If you are not attracting audiences from the correct country, then consider the localisation of your content. Having localised content gives users of that locale a better experience while helping search bots to understand the purpose and value of your content.
Tip: Should you run a multi-country and multi-language website, be sure to make use of Hreflang tags. These tags indicate to search bots the country and language that the corresponding page’s content is intended for. Doing so helps to direct users from a country to the most localised version of your webpage content. At the same time, this helps improve search results.
Tip: If you have a .com domain instead of a country specific domain, you can suggest to Google the primary market for search results. This is performed through Google Search Console’s International Targeting Report.
Mobile – device & model
The mobile report informs you of the devices that your users are accessing your website on. Findings from these results can have 2 primary implications.
Firstly, based on the percentage of users from mobile, desktop or tablet devices, you can infer its website organic search engine rankings for that particular device. Additionally, it may also provide insight as to the preferred device of use amongst your audience or perhaps when they are likely to visit your website. Based on these observations, you can improve the website’s functionality for the dominant device.
Drilling further down into device usage, Google Analytics also offers you data on the exact mobile devices used. Each of these devices have varying screen sizes, which thus tests the responsiveness of your website. While your web designer likely made the website sufficiently responsive for common sizes, you should further test at the most used screen sizes. In particular, you will want to check if elements creep too close to the edges or have misarranged items.
Tip: Using Google Chrome’s inspect tool, you can preview your website’s appearance and functionality in various screen sizes.
Studying the sources of your traffic
The all-traffic channels board provides data on the performance of various channels leading to your website.
Metrics provided here include:
- Number of users
- Number of new users
- Number of sessions
- Bounce rate (percentage)
- Average pages per session
- Average session duration
Common channels here include:
- Organic search (traffic arriving via search engine’s non-paid listings)
- Direct (traffic that arrived straight on your website without using any listing, ad or link)
- Paid search (traffic arriving via search engine’s paid listings)
- Display (traffic arriving via paid display ads on third party websites)
- Referral (traffic arriving via a link on a third-party website)
- Social (traffic arriving from a social media platform)
Based on the provided data, you will be able to assess the proportion of traffic delivered from each channel. In addition, you can also compare their performance once on your website. For instance, you may be initially happy that you are getting plenty of traffic from a particular channel. Yet upon discovering that it has a high bounce rate and low average session duration, you would have found a problem site in your funnel. You can then proceed to adjust the content to meet the needs of these users.
Tip: You can add additional metrics to compare your website’s channel performance using the secondary dimension function. This allows you to add dimensions such as the hour of the day which traffic arrived on your website.
Within the all-traffic board, you can also see the performance of your channel in terms of conversions. This allows you to measure the number of desirable actions or transactions your users undertake.
A critical function of Google Analytics is the ability to create your measurable goals. This is done by the goals setting under admin. By setting the conditions required to trigger transactions, lead form submissions or other desirable actions, you can measure the effectiveness of your website.
Tip: Using Google Tag Manager, you can easily create custom event goals. This affords you the flexibility to measure any desirable user actions on your website.
Understanding the performance of individual pages
Google Analytics displays information related to the performance of your website’s individual pages. The information on this board gives you an idea of the best performing and most visited pages on your website. These include:
- The number of views the pages attained
- The average time users spent on the pages
- The number of entrances to the website via that page
- The bounce rate of users on that page
- The percentage of exits made from the website by users via that page
The entrance pages of your website plays a critical role in the user journey. Acting as the first impression for your website, they can easily make or break the experience. If a page has a high amount of entrances on your website, then you should pay attention to connected metrics such as:
- Bounce rate
- Clicks on internal links on the page
If users are not impressed or convinced by your landing page, then a refresh in terms of content and design may be in order.
Tip: If your page is not performing well, do check with data on your Google Search Console property too. In particular, see what search terms were used that resulted in entrances to those pages.
The % Exist metric tells you the percentage of users who visited a particular page and left your website thereafter. In other words, it looks at which pages were the last viewed page on your website for users. A few inferences can be made about a page with high % Exit:
- A conversion/lead completion page such as the thank you page often has a high exit % as your user has completed their journey and is ready to leave.
- The page provides all of the value that users are seeking with no further CTAs to move the user onto other pages.
- The page’s content is irrelevant or poor to such an extent that users are not keen to further search for value on your website.
If your website has an internal search function, then analysing the searches made in it can yield interesting results. These include:
- % of users who used your internal search function
- Search terms used by users
- Search pages users land on after making the search
- Amount of time users spent on your website after a search
- Number of pages viewed after users made a search
- % of users who leave your website after a search is made
Tip: Internal search data does not totally populate in Google Analytics. Instead, you need to go to admin > view settings and turn on “site search tracking”.
Tip: You will also need to input the query parameter, which can be found in search url parameters. For WordPress websites, you need to input the parameter “s”.
Looking at search terms
For starters, the search terms used by your visitors are indicative of the types of content they are looking for. This could give you ideas on the general or specific demands that your target audience has. Additionally, it can yield insights on the layman language used. In order to improve user experience, you could rename and reformat your website’s content to meet these needs.
Looking at search pages that users landed on post search
To some extent, looking at the pages that users land on the most post internal search is indicative of their popularity. However, more importantly, you could compare this with the most popular search terms. Naturally, you would have an idea of what search terms should lead to which pages. If the visualised user journey is not being achieved, you need to tweak your content.
A core part of Google Analytics is conversions, which can be described as desirable actions taken by your website’s visitors. It is up to you to define what your website’s conversions are, though common examples include lead form submissions and ecommerce transactions.
Tip: To set up goals, you need to access admin > goals. Easy goals to setup include destination, duration and pages per session.
Tip: If you have attached a Google Tag Manager container to your Google Analytics property, you can set up event goals with ease.
If you operate an ecommerce website, then you certainly would want to link ecommerce data to Google Analytics. Data that can be displayed in Google Analytics include:
- Conversion rate
- Shopping behaviour
- Products purchased
- Transaction value
Ecommerce data informs you of the most key performance aspects of your website. From the revenue that you receive per time period, to the average transaction value of your users. Additionally, it visually displays the frequency of purchases which can be a factor of your marketing promotions or market demand trends.
Tip: Ecommerce data does not automatically populate in Google Analytics. You need to go to Admin > Ecommerce settings to enable it. Additionally, your website needs to be setup to push the ecommerce data to Google Analytics.
A key part of Google Analytics’ enhanced ecommerce function is the shopping behaviour analysis. This board summarises the shopping behaviour of users, including that of product views, adds to cart, check-outs and actual transactions. Ecommerce operators can observe which part of the shopping funnel results in detrimental drop-offs and thus take actions to improve that part of the user journey.
Are you intending to run a promotion on your ecommerce store using a promo code? If so, you certainly would wish to track the uptake of the marketing promotion. This can be seen in the “order coupon” section, which can be found under the marketing portion of Google Analytics. Whether you only have 1 active promo code or several promo codes that have been used, you will be able to find the associated revenues and transactions.
Many visitors to your website may not perform a conversion action during their first visit. Instead, this may come about somewhere further down your marketing funnel. Understanding the number of required interactions and how they came about before a conversion is key to improving your funnel.
Interested to Learn More?
Want to have a highly effective website paired with strong marketing insights? Speak to our digital consultants at MediaPlus Digital. We are a leading web design agency and digital marketing agency in Singapore, who has run 100s of SEM campaigns for our clients.
At all times, we help brands to achieve their marketing goals while also delivering transparent data metrics for them. This allows us and our clients to make informed decisions with positive marketing impact.
Reach out to us today for a free consultation!