10 Disciplined Approaches to Google Analytics

We live in a world of digital data. We create it. We consume it. It's everywhere. And it accumulates at an unprecedented rate. In fact, experts predict that we will add 50,000 gigabytes every second by 2018.

This is a lot of tweets, photos and messages.

But the data goes beyond social media, email and YouTube videos. The successful businesses of tomorrow – and nowadays – do not just create and consume data. They use it to improve. For an overview To guide their decisions and goals.

Take Google Analytics, for example. It's a fantastic product that provides a buffet of data on your website, your visitors and your marketing. It is the most widely used analytical solution on the Internet (tens of millions and numbers).

It's so easy to collect data these days that everyone is doing it … multinational corporations at the pop-on store in the area. But here's the problem: having these data and using them effectively are two very different things.

The analyzes are only as good as your reaction to them. That's what you do with this deluge of data that separates rock stars from people playing bass in a garage band Tuesday afternoon.

The implementation of Google Analytics (with or without the e-commerce plugin improved ), then the passive verification of the various summary reports by nodding and saying "Hmm, yes, I see "is worthless. Know that your bounce rate is 43%? Big whoop. What are you going to do about it?

You must use it to become better, stronger, faster and more capable of providing the experience that your customers want. When you see X in the data, you must respond with Y. You must react to the data.

Or better yet, use the platform to answer your questions (that is, to be proactive rather than reactive). Orbit Media co-founder Andy Crestodina claims that Google Analytics is the best decision-support tool. He suggests a simple process in five stages :

Develop an idea or belief about your content and website
Define an issue that could define this belief
Create a Google Analytics report to answer this question
Act according to the data
Measure and manage the result

To help you in these two areas, here are ten suggested Google Analytics approaches to get you started.

The Proactive Approach

Asking questions to support or refute your ideas and beliefs is a sure-fire way for the success of the site. Ask a question, then look for the answer in the mountains of data available.

Approach n ° 1 – What contents / pages resonate the most with my audience?

Not all pages are created the same way, and despite your best efforts, your business may fall flat with your target. It is in your interest to know exactly which pages and contents exceed expectations, and which are far behind.

Quickly find out under Behavior> Site Content> All Pages. Focus on the pages that visitors choose to display rather than the ones they should view (like your home page or the search results page). Results are organized by most page views by default. Click on the comparison view to see the individual pages compared to the site average for the time on the page, the exit and bounce rate, the entries and the unique page views.

Click "advanced" to filter your results and limit them to only blog posts, for example. When it comes to your data, the specificity rules the day. Integrate the metrics and pages that matter most to your questions, ideas, and concerns.

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<p> Once you have identified the best performers, you have a glimpse of what your visitors want, like and like. Create more of that. </p>
<p> Once you identify the poor performers, you can try to improve or remove them. Excise the junk. Get rid of the filler. Beef the stuff you know can be useful. A high bounce rate – something over 50% – usually indicates a lack of commitment. </p>
<p> So commit yourself. </p>
<h3> Approach n ° 2 – Is a platform underperforming the others? </h3>
<p> We live in a mobile world, but that does not mean that nobody else uses office (<a href= 51.3% and 48.7% respectively in November 2016). And while Chrome is perhaps the browser of the day ( 56.43% of market share ), the segment using Internet Explorer (20.84%) or Firefox (12.22%) is still important.

Use Google Analytics to determine if you are meeting the needs of everyone.

Visit Audience> Technology> Browser and OS to see the browsers and operating systems used by your visitors. Check the bounce rate and the conversion rate (CVR) for each of them compared to the average of the site (it is indicated at the top of the column). If there is one with a significantly lower CVR or a higher bounce rate, this may indicate an incompatibility or CSS rendering problems that need to be resolved.

If half of your visitors use IE but your site does not load properly in this browser, you will see a lot of bouncing traffic and missed conversions.

 bounced-traffic-low-conversions-analytics "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-32679 "/> </a> </p>
<p> Ditto for appliances. Watch Audience> Mobile> Overview. Check both the rebound and CVR for desktop vs. mobile vs tablet. Anomalies? In 2017, if your site is not compatible with mobile devices <a href= then you are not friendly. People do not have patience for a bad mobile experience. Problems? Repair them.

Use the comparison feature of one or the other of these reports to get a nifty side-by-side comparison of several key metrics, such as sessions, referrals, and conversions from the average of the site. Better? Worst?

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<p> You want to create a powerful and engaging experience for all visitors, regardless of the browser, operating system or device. But let the data guide you. Prioritize your efforts based on your audience. </p>
<h3> Approach # 3 – What are the terms that generate traffic, and what do they look for once on the site? </h3>
<p> Everything revolves around keywords, is not it? Even in 2017, you must be aware of the words and phrases that bring the crowd. </p>
<p> Search rules the perch. Search engine. Search for fields on your website Search, search, search. This is how people find you and find everything they seek once they enter your virtual den. </p>
<p> To find terms that people use to find your site, you must enable <a href= data sharing between your Google Analytics accounts and Search Console . Go to Admin> Property> Property Settings and scroll to Search Console Settings. If the URL of your website is listed, you are already operational. Otherwise, add your website to Search Console.

After the connection is established, you can use Acquisition> Search Console> Queries to see which search queries have resulted in your site appearing in the SERPs. What words and phrases bring you impressions and clicks? These are the ones you should use in your targeting, paid ads and SEO efforts.

But these are not the only words that matter, of course. Consider what people are looking for after they arrive at your little corner of cyberspace. To do this, you must enable enable search tracking under Admin> View> View Settings> Track Site Searches. Turn it on.

 Site-tracking search on "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-32681 "/> </a> </p>
<p> To find and enter the query parameter, do a quick search on your site and look at the resulting URL. Your query parameter is usually (but not always) the word or letter immediately after the "?" Enter it in the field, and click on "Save". </p>
<p> Once you've uploaded the data, you'll see the words, articles, products, and more that visitors are looking for on your site under Behavior> Site Search. The Preview report gives a wonderful snapshot: terms, categories, number of sessions with a search, number of exits after a search (people do not find what they're looking for!), And time spent on the site after a research. </p>
<p> Use the Pages report to identify areas with unusually high searches. This may indicate insufficient information, poor navigation, or lack of information. Shore it up. </p>
<p> Use terms and categories to see what is most popular, which products / services people are looking for but do not offer yet, and which words and phrases you should target in your copy and your descriptions. </p>
<h3> Approach # 4 – Which landing page delivers the goods? </h3>
<p> Your different landing pages have a difficult job. They are the first impression. The point of entry They must seal the case and convert the visitors into prospects and / or customers. Do you know how they do that? </p>
<p> If you identify your first landing pages, you can optimize and improve them over time. Hypothesis. A / B Test Prioritize </p>
<p> To find them, look no further than Behavior> Site Content> Landing Pages. Easy. Organized from the highest to the lowest sessions, you can instantly compare conversions, bounce rate, time spent on the page, and so on. Find your best and worst pages. Let's look at the alphas, and modify the runts with better titles (try some <a href= models or analyzers for ideas), design, copy, visuals, and calls- to-action . Find all the common mistakes made, and work on improving them until they reach a respectable conversion rate (which is about 5-10%).

A poorly performing page does not fit on your site. Remove it or modify it.

Approach # 5 – How do visitors interact with individual pages?

Would not it be nice if you could see exactly how visitors interacted with your individual pages?

You can.

A heat card paid as Crazy Egg can do it. But you can also get a lot of data from Google Analytics.

You just need the extension Page Analytics .

 page-analytic-chrome-extension "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-32682 "/> </a> </p>
<p> With him, you can get <a href= insights galore on every page of your site, including bounce rate and output, page views, time spent on the page, number of visitors in real time and above all page click analysis (a basic heat map showing what links users did and did not click).

Data like this one is invaluable to improve UX and increase conversions. And that's what it's about.

The reactive approach

Asking questions and looking for answers is fine, but do not ignore what the data suggests about things you have not even begun to consider or consider. Once configured, Google Analytics provides a continuous stream of data to your digital gateway. It's your job to react to what he tells you.

Approach # 6 – The flow of behavior

Everyone loves a good organization chart. And the Behavior Flow report in Google Analytics provides an excellent overview of the path visitors take on your website.

Why is it important? Because it provides answers to questions you may not have asked yet. Because it highlights leaks, bottlenecks and areas that require immediate attention. Because it identifies problem areas, popular areas and pages to further invest in design and improvement efforts, helping you to eliminate weaknesses and evaluate the effectiveness of modifications. pages and content.

That's why.

Located in Behavior> Behavior Flow, the report shows how visitors move from one page to another (including their point of origin or reference), the different paths taken up to In the ultimate end, where they leave you, etc.

Follow the paths:

Unexpected pages? Misleading copy, confusion, visitors do not know what to do, how to do it or what they want. Simplify your navigation Improve your copy. Strengthen points of sale and benefits.
Frequent turns? Confusion in navigation or uncertain of their own intentions. Make it clear and easy for them. Sell ​​the benefits.
Exodus of mass? Something on the page turns them off. They do not get what they need. Have fun.

Look at their behavior from the finish to the exit. Follow his example. What does that tell you? How can you make their trip (that is, the conversion) easier, faster and safer? Do this.

Approach # 7 – Event Tracking

It can be a bit complicated to set up, but event tracking allows you to gather information about your site's behavior that would otherwise stay out of the radar because visitors are not redirected to a new page . Actions such as watching a video, giving a rating, clicking a button, leaving a comment or uploading a file – in short, almost everything people do while exploring your site – will not show up in your data without it .

Use an event tracking code generator to make it a lot easier, or you can get some more comfortable with the code to do it. for you. Whatever, do it.

Once you do, your options are increased tenfold. Track the most commented posts, the frequency with which visitors leave notes and on which pages, how often people submit your contact form, which videos are most carefully selected (including how many look at the whole thing). , watching video increases conversions, and more), and how often your new infographic (or something new) is uploaded each week.

This type of data can guide your marketing strategy, your business decisions, your content plan and essentially everything about your website and your goals.

React to what he reveals:

Popular video that almost everyone looks at the end? Promote. Share it.
The blog article on the subject X received 3 times more comments than any other subject? Write more about it.
Subscribe to the newsletter on the page To get twice as many subscriptions as page B? Send all your traffic there. Use it as a landing page for a PPC ad.

Approach # 8 – Channels

You already know this one, but it's worth repeating: you have to pay attention to the channels that generate traffic.

Online, everything revolves around numbers. Conversions ultimately matter more, but without enough traffic, there is no one to convert in the first place.

Navigate to Acquisition> All Traffic> Channels. You will see everything that is distributed by direct search, organic, email, affiliation, reference, display and paid search.

Check the conversion and rebound rates for each. Is a channel underperforming? Why do you think that's it? Any overtaking? Let's take a closer look at it, allocating more of your time and budget.

The missing channels should be there? Check the links and your other accounts.

Under references, click on each of them to discover the exact page used to access your site. Reach the sites that bind you. Build this relationship. Craft more of what they seem to like and share with their readers.

It's so easy to just "check" the channels and move on. But do not do it. Dig deep. To interpret.

And yes, react.

Approach # 9 – Exit Pages

Just as important as knowing where your visitors come from and entering them is to follow and react to the exit pages of your site. Where do they leave you?

Google Analytics has you covered there too. Behavior> Site Content> Exit Pages.

Surprises? Any unusually high? Consider improving CTAs and / or using a pop-up window with exit intent with a strong incentive to stay.

Examine the content of your pages with above-average exit rates. Is there anything that scares people? Up to your confidence indicators such as social accounts, testimonials, reviews, security seals, warranties, and more.

Identify where they are coming out, and politely close (and lock) the door.

Approach # 10 – The Funnel Visualization

The funnel visualization found in Conversions> Objectives> Funnel Visualization shows you quickly and easily how many visitors have completed each page of your funnel, which pages are bleeding (any 40% overflow must be improved with confidence indicators, simplified processes, reduced distractions, greater persuasion and so on), and how effective your funnel is.

This only works once you have correctly set the objectives under Admin> Display> Lenses and enabled the Funnel feature (and entered the corresponding funnel pages). So do that. Now.

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<p> Reacting – and reacting quickly – to the data collected here is crucial to the success of your business. If your funnel leaks, drips, or fails in any way, you must fix it yesterday. This is a report on which you should turn regularly. </p>
<p> Create a shortcut <a href= or add it to a custom dashboard . Make death-simple to remember and access information. Track, measure and manage.

It's the beauty of Google Analytics: it can be something completely different for everyone. Build yours. Mix and combine the four main categories of data analysis:

Audience – What is your audience and what are their interests?
Acquisition – What channels, sources and terms bring traffic?
Behavior – What exactly does your audience do on your site? How do they engage, interact, and use them?
Conversions – do you reach, surpass yourself or fail to achieve the goals you have set for your business?

These are the main ingredients. Start experimenting and creating your own recipe.

What matters most may not matter for someone else. But with the powerful customization options, the Google Analytics Solution Gallery for custom reports and more (check out these 12 awesome custom reports available for import), and the possibility To fine tune your workflow you go, it can be exactly what you need.

There is a lot of data to analyze. Some are more important than others, so it's up to you to determine the reports and statistics that matter for you and your business. And you could, of course, boost your capabilities with the Analyze (Enhanced Analysis Feature) and Engage (Simplified Conversions) products from Kissmetrics. That's a good thing.

Then, react to these data. Or search for it with proactive questions that need answers. It does not matter … as long as you do something. Aim for a generous mix of both and you are in gold.

How do you use Google Analytics? Are you more proactive or responsive in your approach? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

About the author: Aaron Agius, CEO of the World Digital Agency Louder Online is, according to Forbes, one of the world's leading digital marketers . Working with clients such as Salesforce, Coca-Cola, IBM, Intel and dozens of prestigious brands, Aaron is a growth marketer – a fusion of research, content, social and public relations. Find it on Twitter LinkedIn or Louder Online's blog .

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