Tips from a Google Analytics Expert
Last week I sat down with Amanda Gant, Marketing Manager at Orbit Media and Google Analytics expert extraordinaire! Not only does Amanda handle marketing for Orbit, working alongside guru Andy Crestodina, but she also provides strategic support for Orbit’s client base, helping to enhance and optimize website performance.
Oh, and she uses Quill Engage!
Below Amanda offers great insight and recommendations on utilizing Google Analytics. From tips and tricks, to features you may not know exist, we promise you’ll walk away a smarter GA user. Enjoy!
What features of Google Analytics do you think are the most underutilized?
1. The mobile user report.
In some cases, more people are viewing your website on their mobile device rather than from their desktop. You want to make sure they’re happy when they arrive on your site.
Go to Audience > Mobile > Overview.
If you have a high percentage of mobile visitors and your site is not mobile-friendly, that’s a problem. Your user is likely not having the best experience. You’ll want to make your site is mobile-friendly. Depending on your content management system, this could be fairly easy but I’d contact your web developers to find out. It’ll make your visitors happy and Google will reward you for it.
2. The queries report
I love this report and most people never use it. This is the report that tells you what keywords people are using to find your site, the click through rate, and what your average rank is for each keyphrase.
We wrote a post about “What to blog about.” From looking at this report, you can see that we’re ranking #4 on average for this post, with an 11% click through rate. That tells me that people like this type of content and we should probably write more posts similar to it.
You can also use this report to identify low hanging fruit. Say you’re ranking #11 (which means you’re ranking at the top of page two in Google) for a keyword phrase. This is a great opportunity for you to build internal links to that page, tweak the content, or add more engaging content like videos or infographics to that page.
Making small tweaks like this can bump you to page one on Google. If you’re interested in trying this, here’s a great resource with step-by-step instructions.
Which GA metrics do you find are the most powerful in helping to gauge the success of content/campaigns?
Conversions. Did the user do what you wanted them to do with your marketing campaign or with your piece of content?
You can gauge this by having goals set up in your Analytics. If you want visitors to fill out your contact form, make sure you send them to a thank you page after they’ve completed your call to action. Then you can set up a goal based on that.
If you’re not sure how to set up goals, here are some steps to walk you through it. It only takes a minute.
Once you’ve set up your goal, you can see which of your marketing efforts are converting the most visitors into leads.
In this example, we’re looking at how many people filled out the contact form. Go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium.
Google organic search converts at a much higher rate. This tells me that we better make sure we work hard to keep our main keyword phrases ranking high in Google.
What question(s) do you frequently receive from Orbit clients on Google Analytics?
1. What’s bounce rate? Isn’t XX% high for my site?
First, let’s define bounce rate. The bounce rate is when someone comes to your website, sees only one page, and then leaves. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily.
You should look at your bounce rate on the page level, not the overall website. Here’s why…
Your blog posts likely have higher bounce rates because you’ve answered someone’s question. They were seeking out an answer to something, found your blog in Google, came to your site, read it, got an answer to their question, maybe left a comment, and then left. That’s considered a bounce.
That’s not a bad thing. You’re building trust. You’ve answered a question that someone was asking.
That person is likely going to remember your website and come back for more answers. They probably shared it on their social networks or referenced it in their own blog posts. If they linked back to your website, that has a huge SEO benefit especially if the Domain Authority of their website is higher than yours.
Remember, people have to know, like, and trust you before they buy from you. In this case, being helpful and having a high bounce rate is a good thing.
To find your bounce rate by page, go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.
On the Orbit site, you can see that all of our blog posts have higher bounce rates than our service pages. We’re okay with that!
This is where you want to pay special attention to your bounce rate. Say you’re running a marketing campaign (product offerings, pay per click, FB ads, etc…) and you're sending them to a certain page on your website and that page has a high bounce rate, that’s not good.
Either your messaging wasn't clear, the landing page you sent them to was confusing, or you don’t have a clear call to action. You need to go back and reevaluate your messaging, your landing page, and your call to action.
Have one of your friends go through the process. Someone that’s not familiar with your website. If they can’t figure out what the goal of that page was, then you know you have a problem and you need to tighten up your messaging.
If you’re looking for great landing page examples, follow the folks at Unbounce. They are the leaders in landing page design. There’s no doubt what the message is and what you’re suppose to do next once you land on their website.
2. What metrics should I be paying attention to?
We get this one all the time and you’re not going to like my answer…it depends.
You should focus on the metrics that are important to your business. The numbers that affect your bottom line.
If you’re a B2B website, you want to look at how many of your visitors turn into leads. Where are they are coming from? Are they flowing through your site the way you hoped they would? You can look at this by using the Behavior Flow reports.
If you’re an ecommerce site, you want to know….
Which products are driving the most sales
The marketing initiatives that are driving those sales
What your cart abandonment rate is - if people are dropping out of the checkout process, your analytics will tell you
Which channels convert the highest (social, email, organic search, paid?)
Look at your channel reports. Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
For this website, email is generating the most revenue and social is barely generating any sales. Although social has other benefits, where would spend most of your marketing dollars?
Can you share a Google Analytics tip or trick that users new to the tool may not know?
The shortcut reports.
Google Analytics has this handy little shortcut button. For any report that you look at regularly, click “shortcut” and then in the left column all of your “shortcut” reports are one-click away. This is so much easier than having to dig through analytics every time to get to your favorite data.
How do Quill Engage reports help you better understand your Google Analytics data?
I hear this from clients all the time...“I just don’t have time to go dig through my analytics.” This is where the Quill Engage reports are so useful and I recommend them often.
The data is handed to you on a silver (email) platter weekly and/or monthly. In plain English!
It’s a narrative report so if you’re reporting to the “higher ups” all you have to do is forward this report on. No need to spend hours typing up reports and organizing all the data. It’s been done for you.
At a glance, you can see if you’re on par with your monthly goals. If sessions are down or newsletter subscribers have skyrocketed, the Quill Engage reports make this data easy to assess. Then you know you need to go figure out why these changes have occurred and adjust your marketing accordingly.