In the 3rd part of our Data and Analytics article let us look at how we can use Google Analytics (The best free analytics tool) to make informed decisions.
Being a free total it is a big boon for small-scale businesses and owners.
Investing some time to get the best out of is a promising deal that a marketer can strike to get the best ROI.
Let us jump,
Getting started: Using goals to quantify outcomes
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Lewis Carrol
If you don’t know your goals, anything you see in your reports can look like winning. If you don’t set your goals in Google Analytics, your report won’t show any value. And with no value, those reports are useless for analysis.
Setting Goals can be overwhelming. You have to choose the right value, and sometimes you don’t have all the information needed to calculate it. So, what’s the solution?
Goal types include:
Pages/screens per session
With the free version of Google Analytics, you can use up to 20 goals.
Note: You can’t delete a goal, you can only repurpose it!
Evaluating traffic quality
Filtering out bots and other junk traffic is essential for a precise data which in turn gives a good decision making point.
Most of the time we don’t want to see bot traffic in our Analytics reports, because, well, bots are not humans.
Heavy bot traffic is considered 5% of the session or more, and it can do real harm to metrics.
For further reading: How To Identify And Remove Bot Traffic In Google Analytics.
Metrics that matter (and some that don’t)
Fundamental page-level metrics are:
Page value, and
A bounce is a single-page session on your site. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session. Bounce rate — Analytics Help
Question of all questions:
Is a high bounce rate always a bad sign?
Well, yes AND no.
You can have a high conversion rate AND a high bounce rate simultaneously.
But, a high bounce rate often indicates something very important: you haven’t made clear the next step you want the user to take.
To find a solution for a (too) high bounce rate, you’ll have to dig deep into Google Analytics. Is the overall bounce rate too high, or it’s just some pages, or categories, or a channel?
Niel Patel has a useful article about bounce rate and an even more useful infographic:
Page Value is the average value for a page that a user visited before landing on the goal page or completing an Ecommerce transaction (or both). This value is intended to give you an idea of which page in your site contributed more to your site’s revenue. If the page wasn’t involved in an e-commerce transaction for your website in any way, then the Page Value for that page will be $0 since the page was never visited in a session where a transaction occurred.
Here are some things to keep in mind when looking at your Page Value:
Page Value is always higher for cart pages
If your Page Value is $0 across the board, you need goals. Without Goals, you won’t have useful page values. So set up your Goals!
If individual pages have low value, UPGRADE THEM. One way to improve a low-value page is to offer a content upgrade. Using lead magnets or email opt-ins can help you increase the value of your most popular content.
Read more about Page Value In Google Analytics
Secondary dimensions and advanced segments
Secondary Dimension is an extra dimension you can add to a report for a more specific analysis.
Advanced segments are a more thorough way to look at your website data.
A segment is a subset of your Analytics data. Visitors from the specific city are a segment. Visitors of a specific page are also a segment. You can draw segments in countless ways.
Note: A single segment should aim to cover between five and fifty percent of your website’s viewers.
Spotting conversion opportunities
Conversion opportunities lay in identifying every pattern in your website:
How a user arrives at your website
Where user lands
Structure of landing page
Each step along the sales funnel
Identifying shopping cart problems
By researching those problems or problem areas you’ll be able to get more conversions.
Building advanced segments
How do we know which segments to use?
Recommendations for few particular segments:
Compare and contrast system reports — these are the ones we all have in our Google Analytics account. For example, we can compare Bounce Session vs. Converters.
Compare mobile vs. desktop.
You can create segments based on:
date of the first session,
traffic sources, or
Advanced settings are a condition. For example, filter sessions by source/medium that contains google / organic. You can include filter condition in sampling, or exclude it.
The goal of this lesson is to explain what GA tracks “out of the box”, and what needs to be managed on a more manual level.
Auditing your analytics
Basic must-do would be:
See if Google Products are linked
Check for self-referral exclusion
This strategy and recommendations are for Universal Analytics only.
Google Analytics 4 working a different way. Since it is the future investing a good amount of time into GA4 is also very important.
Thanks a lot, CXL and CXL Team for this great opportunity.