You can learn a great deal of valuable information about your website from Google Analytics. Many businesses fail to take advantage of this free resource. Others use it but are only familiar with a few features and overlook some important capabilities.
Let’s look at some of the crucial metrics that you can gain by using Google Analytics.
It’s important to know how many visitors you get and where they’re coming from. However, it’s also valuable to dig deeper and find out exactly what your visitors are doing on your site.
Which pages do they visit and which do they skip? How much time do they spend on each page? Google Analytics can tell you such things.
When you analyze this data you can use it to make better decisions. When people visit a business website, they’re usually searching for some specific type of information or solution. Google Analytics helps you identify what people are looking for.
One trick that will help you get even more out of Google Analytics is to combine it with heat mapping and screen recording software.
A heat map is a graphical representation of data that displays different values using colors. This lets you recognize at a glance exactly what people are doing on your site.
The advantage of a heatmap is that it reveals visitors’ scrolling behavior and which features receive the most clicks. This is extremely valuable for learning what kind of content your audience responds to best.
There are a variety of heat mapping software applications on the market. However, if you want to stick to the free solutions offered by Google Analytics, you can get similar information with in-page analytics, which you’ll find under Behavior. This shows you important information such as page views and how long visitors spend on a page.
You can also get a display similar to a heatmap by selecting Show Color, which then displays the most-clicked links in red and the least-clicked ones in blue.
Still another option, if you use Google Chrome, is to download the Google Analytics Heatmap extension. While you can use in-page analytics and/or the heatmap extension, many users find that a dedicated heatmap such as the one offered by Crazy Egg provides a more accurate and intuitive interface.
Screen recording software is another tool that nicely complements Google Analytics. Having access to screenshots is useful for many purposes such as monitoring employee interaction with customers, creating effective training, and giving you content to share on your blog or social media pages.
You can use Google Analytics to help you create a more effective content strategy. The amount of time someone spends on a particular page gives you helpful insight into how engaging that page is.
If you have high bounce rates, this indicates that people are leaving your page quickly. Lower bounce rates tell you that readers are interested and spending some time on a page.
You can also find data for top exit pages, which let you know where many visitors are exiting from.
One helpful feature in Google Analytics for content marketing is Content Grouping, which lets you group different types of content by category. This is a good way to find out what type of content your visitors find most engaging.
Does your website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.
More and more people are using smartphones and other mobile devices to access the internet. For this reason, it’s a good idea to use responsive design to ensure everyone can see your content and use all of the features on your site.
However, it’s also good to know what type of devices your visitors are using. This is another metric that Google Analytics can help you with.
If this number is very high, you can also observe the results you’re getting from mobile vs. desktop visitors. If, for example, you notice that you have a higher bounce rate for mobile visitors, this tells you that your site may not be as mobile-friendly as you thought.
In this case, you might consider further optimizing your website for mobile.
Nothing is more important than conversions when it comes to metrics regarding your website.
While it’s nice to have high traffic numbers, this alone isn’t going to help your business if your visitors aren’t buying anything. Conversions are the numbers that really count. With Google Analytics, you can set up Goals and measure your conversions. Under Goals, you can choose options such as signing up for your mailing list, downloading your e-book, or buying a product.
You first choose among four types of Goals:
You can also set a Value for your Goal, which you would do if your goal is to have the customer buy something right away.
There’s also an option for Funnel, which is for conversions that rely on the visitor clicking on multiple pages.
The real purpose of Google Analytics, of course, isn’t simply to observe data, but to use it to get better results.
This requires you to pay close attention to what is and isn’t working and to constantly test different variables.
If you have a high bounce rate on a certain page, you may want to try changing certain elements and see if people spend more time there. If your conversions are low for a campaign, try to identify the reason. Perhaps more people will download your e-book if you gave it a more compelling title. You might need to place your opt-in form higher up on your page.
There are many variables that you can test with Google Analytics. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by the process and try to figure out everything all at once.
Rather, make it a habit to go over your numbers and focus on one element at a time. Using Google Analytics to measure conversions takes some practice as you learn how the features work. However, it’s a worthwhile endeavor as it gives you insights into what is and isn’t working on your website.
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