4 Ways to Get More Out of Your Google Analytics
1) Define “goals” to know how much of your site traffic is resulting in a conversion.
It is possible that you are driving high amounts of traffic to your site, but are not achieving a desired end result. For online stores, this may be a purchase sale, for bloggers this may be a “share” or a subscription. In Google Analytics, you can designate up to 20 goals that you have for each page view to your site.
To set up a goal to measure conversion, typically you will provide a target page that you would like the user to ultimately end up at.
For example you a blogger and you want readers to subscribe to your site that they will get email alerts from your mailing list and become regular readers of your content. However, it is hard to tell which content results in a newsletter sign up, where these users are coming to the site from, etc.
By setting up a goal, you are creating a way for Google Analytics to track the flow of page views that result in submission of an email address and which content leads to the highest conversion rates.
To set this goal simply go to the “conversion” tab on the left menu of Google Analytics, under the sub-tab “goals” you can find the option to add a new goal. You can specify the type of goal using a pre-organized Google template or a custom way to measure your goal.
For your blogger goal to track your newsletter submissions, one way to do this is to you select Inquiry >Submission then move to the next step. Then, simply add the thank you page that appears after your reader fills out the newsletter form.
2) Track user flow and bounce rate to find out what layout and acquisition will help you achieve a conversion out of a page view.
Your bounce rate indicates the percentage of viewers that enter your site and exit before viewing another page. A 40% means that 40% of people left your website at that page and the other 60% went to another page on your site. So obviously, you should aim to decrease this percentage over time.
User flow lets you know where people are entering the site and pages on your site they view after that, or when they leave this site.
Using this along with the bounce rate statistic, you can find where people are jumping off of your site, and help create a desired flow to push them to stay and continue toward your intended goal. For example, if your bounce rate is high for viewers that enter the site at a blog post, consider changing the sidebar to include other articles or attractive links, or work links into your blog text that send the users to other pages.
3) Create a filter to exclude members of your work team from the website data.
When you are looking at page view count and you have 5 people that run the website, or post to the blog, you do not want those 5 peoples views, clicks and behavior on the site to impact your Google Analytics data. You can do this by creating a filter that excludes these users’ IP addresses from all of the data. This way you will have polluted or misleading information about user demographics, behavior and frequency.
The Google help forum actually gives a great step-by-step guide on how to do this:
To exclude internal traffic from appearing in a report view, create a custom filter to exclude a specific IP address or a range of IP addresses.
Filter Type: Custom > Exclude
Filter Field: User IP Address
Remember to use regular expressions to enter an IP address.
• For example, if the single IP address is 22.214.171.124, then enter 176\.168\.1\.1.
• For example, if the range of IP addresses is 126.96.36.199-25 and 10.0.0.1-14, then enter
Indiana University’s Knowledge Base page gives great directions for finding your IP address:
1. Press Win-r.
2. Type cmd and press Enter.
3. At the command prompt, enter:
The IPv4 address will be a series of numbers following the pattern xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (e.g., 188.8.131.52).
Windows 7 and earlier
1. Click Start, and then select All Programs.
2. Click Accessories, and then Command Prompt.
3. At the command prompt, enter:
The IP address (or IPv4 address) will be a series of numbers following the pattern xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (e.g., 184.108.40.206).
Mac OS X
1. From the Apple menu, select System Preferences…. In System Preferences, from the View menu, select Network.
2. In the Network preference window, click a network port (e.g., Ethernet, AirPort, Wi-Fi). If you are connected, you’ll see your IP address under “Status:”.
4) Use Information About Your Visitors To Inform Your Marketing Decisions
When a visitor comes to your site, there are several types of information that you will be able to find out about them from Google Analytics data.
• Probably the most important, is where they came from. Did they come to the site from a search engine, an ad campaign, a social referral , or directly? This, coupled with the conversion data, will tell you what social media and other online marketing efforts have the greatest ROI.
• Demographic information can be invaluable when reviewing analytics to evaluate your strategy and impact. This data can answer plenty of questions for you. You can find out what city, state or country each user is from, what languages they speak, and what days of the week they are most active on your site. Sometimes you can even find out what age and gender your user is, depending on their privacy settings. This will help you keep a handle on who your target marketing audience is, who is interested in your product or content, who you are reaching, or who you are not reaching, and even what advertisers to work with.
• What browser, screen size, internet provider do they use? What screen resolution? Are they using a mobile or desktop device? This is very important for the design of your site, of course. Though now it is always best to build a responsive site, considering that there are more mobile users than ever before, this information can impact how you display your content, how you should layout your content, and what plugins and content are going to be compatible for your users. For example if your site uses Flash or another element and most of your viewers do not use a device or browser that is Flash friendly, this can contribute to a much higher bounce rate and make it hard to make a conversion from a page view.
Google Analytics is a valuable tool, but it takes time, training and practice to know how to use it. Contact Tran & Partners if you would like help unlocking all of the power and growth that online and social media marketing can bring to your business.