Google Analytics is a powerful resource that can provide the insight you need to better understand your customers. The service translates complex business metrics into plain English, making it a great tool for both seasoned digital marketers and those who are just beginning to learn about marketing data insights.
Whether you want to leverage data from your website traffic sources report or track the quality of your website’s landing pages, Google Analytics has your site covered.
This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about Google Analytics, but we truly believe in using the information it gathers as a way to look at your website from a data standpoint.
While there are many different types of reports within the analytics tools for measuring your digital marketing efforts, there are three that we currently love using: Acquisitions, Conversions, and Behavior.
All Traffic Channels
Viewing the Channels for All Traffic under the Acquisitions tool tells you where people are coming from to get to your site. Viewing results for organic traffic can be an indicator of how healthy your site is in regards to SEO and your digital marketing strategy. Viewing results for social platforms can indicate the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts.
You have the ability to create your own goals within Google Analytics. We set one of our goals as contact form completions. Another goal can be set as sign-ups for a newsletter. Viewing the Source / Medium allows you to see where the traffic has come from prior to completing a set goal.
Reading a behavior report is most effective with a comparison view. This tool tracks the behavior of people visiting your site. It records data including the average time spent on pages, bounce rates, and page views.
For average time and page views, you want the numbers to be higher. However, for bounce rate, you want the numbers to be low. Having a high bounce rate on certain pages can indicate qualitative issues with the page such as having poor content.
Things To Remember
- Be sure to look at trends over time when viewing these data tools. Trending tells the story: is your website getting better, or worse?
- For any report, compare current data to that of the previous period or, if possible, to the previous year. Comparing month-to-month can be deceptive. For instance, imagine the traffic data for a toy store website in December compared to January. There will be an obvious difference due to seasonality.
- Comparing large blocks of time can be the most telling when analyzing site performance. This can give you a bigger picture of how the site is performing compared to the past without getting caught in seasonal spikes.
These three tools are our favorites for analyzing non-e-commerce websites that are on the smaller side.
Don’t be afraid to play around with the different tools in Google Analytics. Find what works best for you and use the data to improve your site and make it the best it can be.
Thanks for stopping by,
Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in October 2018 and has been edited and updated in March 2022.