Google Analytics is one of the best reporting tool by Google with huge number of features and reports that it provides, and best of all is that it is free. There is a premium version for extremely high volume sites that receive over 10 million sessions, page views, etc. per month.
Some things that you can achieve with Google Analytics includes:
- Measuring your ROI (Return on Investment) and improving it
- Greater insight into how your campaigns are performing
- Hundreds of Segmentation variables on traffic and actions on your website
- Setting goals and e-commerce tracking
- Setting up remarketing/retargeting campaigns
- Insight into which channels are contributing to most conversions
- Track and measure key metrics such as bounce rates, page views, time on site, etc.
- And hundreds of other examples
1. Add goal tracking
In Google Analytics, you can track just about any action that takes place on your website including events that don’t lead to a page view. You can track sales, downloads, contacts, signups, registrations, likes and much more. And you will then have important metrics like conversion rate, cost per conversion and the number of conversions to measure your online campaigns.
2. Analyse multi-channels reports in analytics
Multi-channels funnels report is an advanced feature that helps you understand the channels that are contributing to transactions and goal conversions on your website. It’s now the case that people are using multiple channels like cpc, organic, direct, email, social networks and others in combination, as they seek information and make purchases.
So, looking at this report and studying it will help you with effective budget allocation and putting into the channels that work best for you.
Before you discount any traffic source or medium, whether it’s PPC, Organic, Referrals, Direct Visitors or Social Network, you need to understand the path to purchase and how each source contributes to this.
Looking at the following ‘Top Conversion Paths’ report in ‘Multi-Channel Funnels’ in Analytics for a shopping site, you can see that ‘Organic’ traffic contributed to 18 transactions.
However, if you were using a ‘Last Interaction’ attribution model, you would assume that Organic traffic is not leading to any conversions, and the natural thing to do would be to abandon all Search Engine Optimisation work that is being done. Many marketers would divert funds to other activities like PPC which according to the above report shows that it has contributed to just only two more goal conversions than Organic.
In fact, if you use the last interaction model, referral traffic is performing better than Organic here, and that is not an accurate picture of what is happening. So, it’s important to look at the models such as ‘First Interaction’ which shows an entirely different picture – and reveals that Organic traffic is crucial to this website.
As the above reports reveal, a multi-channel strategy is critical to increasing conversions, and improving ROI.
And this hasn’t taken into consideration all those visitors who delete cookies between their visits and visitors who use multiple devices in their search for products or services and which is quite difficult to track across devices at the moment.
4. Bounce rate
This is a top engagement metric in your analytics reports, and it’s one that many online marketers and analytics users are familiar with. It is defined simply as the percentage of single page views in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page.
What constitutes a good bounce rate varies from industry to industry, and there are many opinions about what a good one is. I’ve found that on average, a bounce rate above 60% is not good for many websites especially considering that almost all websites have a feature they can track whether it’s a purchase, registration, signup, download, contact page and so on.
A session is shown for the date range you have selected in your analytics interface, and it is a period in which a visitor is engaged with your website or app, and that includes a screen view, event, e-commerce, etc. and all these are associated with sessions.
This is an acquisition metric and shows how effective your site is at acquiring visitors and how engaged they are.
6. Click Through Rate (CTR)
This is an important metric that you won’t see in analytics, and it is usually associated with Google Adwords. It shows how effective your ads are at getting viewers to click through to your website. You can calculate it yourself in analytics for your Adwords traffic by driving clicks by impressions
CTR = Clicks / Impressions
7. New vs. Returning Visitors
This metric is unique, and it measures customer and visitor loyalty and how effective you are at retention. The higher the percentage of return visitors to your site, then that’s usually a sign of high visitor retention.
However, that all depends on your goals and the age of your website. For example, if your launched site is recent with few visitors, there will naturally be a higher percentage of new visitors, and that’s also true if you have significantly increased advertising to new market segments.
8. Goal Conversion Rate
This is a top level analytics metrics that is a clear indicator of how your website and advertising are performing. It shows the percentage of visitors who complete a goal on your website like downloads, purchases, registrations, etc. and to start tracking this; you need to set up your goals in the admin section of your account. You can also import your PPC goals into Adwords to see how your ads, keywords, ad groups and campaigns are performing.
9. Goal Conversions
Goal conversions are related to goal conversion rate, and it shows how many goals have been completed on your site.
10. Average Time on Page
This is another top engagement metric, and it measures a number of time visitors spent viewing a specific page on your website. It’s available for all pages that are tracked on your site, and you can view it by clicking Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages. This metric is important because it shows how engaged people are on your landing pages and if they arrive and leave quickly, then it’s likely that some optimisation will help to improve engagement.
11. Percentage Exit (% Exit)
Percentage exit shows the percentage of people that exit a particular page or set of pages. It’s calculated as the number of exits divided by the number of page views for the page or set of pages. This is a behavioural and engagement metric, and it shows how useful various pages on your site are at retaining visitors.
For some pages like the homepage, ‘thank you’ page and payment success page, % exits will be high and this is expected because your visitors will have completed an action and then they will close the page. For other pages on your site that have high % Exits, you should investigate to see how you can improve the text, images, offers, call to action and other elements that help to improve the user experience.