Everyone working in digital marketing is probably aware of Google Analytics. The problem is that all too often, the free tool offered by Google gets deployed and never fully utilised. In reality, Google Analytics is a vital tool for digital marketers, SEO analysts and website owners. It can show exactly how successful digital marketing campaigns have been, review performance and find out about how your customers behave. The key to Google Analytics is knowing what it tells you. When you don’t know what the metrics are or what they mean, it is tough to do anything meaningful with it. This article looks at some of the most important metrics and how they can drive your digital marketing.
Why analyse your website?
As well as being able to analyse your digital marketing strategy, Google Analytics can uncover other things about your website. With millions of websites being active any at one time, it is important to keep up with the competition. Some studies have shown that on mobile, if a site takes over 4 seconds to load, users will go elsewhere. If your site is 20% slower than your competitors, even with the best products in the market it will be very hard to keep customers. Google Analytics can uncover truths like this and help you develop a more efficient strategy.
Who are your customers?
If mobile performance is slow, the next metric to look at might be where your customers come from and what device they use. It is unlikely it a very connected world but if only 5% of customers purchase via mobile, it may suggest speed is something you need to fix. Google Analytics can split users by core devices (desktop, tablet, mobile) and even by individual device. For example, it could come to light that Android customers have a 40% conversion rate but only 1% on iPhone giving a clear indication of what the problem is.
Furthermore, Google Analytics will split your consumers into digital channels. This will be one of the greatest aides in guiding the digital marketing strategy.
Direct customers are those that have navigated straight to your website. This could be typing the URL into their browser, clicking on a bookmark or untagged message they’ve been sent. If you are getting a lot of direct customers, it would suggest that some sort of offline marketing is working well, or online channel are underperforming. Some of that will depend on your business goals e.g. are you trying to drive direct traffic?
Organic customers having found you via a non-paid search engine ad (Google, Yahoo!, Bing). A high volume of organic customers tells you that the SEO team is doing a great job getting digital content relevant to the consumer. It is the dream of digital marketing teams to achieve high organic volumes as it is the most cost-effective ways of getting new customers. A low volume of organic customers would usually mean that the website content should be reviewed or too much is being spent on pay-per-click advertising.
Pay-per-click (PPC) customs have come to the site via a paid ad. These are the ones that the digital marketing team have on to appear at the top of search engine rankings. High volumes of PPC customers can be both positive or negative. If volume is high and spend is within budget then this would be a success but if high volume has only been achieved through over-achieving, this can be considered “cheating” in a sense. For example, it could show that 1,000 leads have been achieved against the term “mens shoes” but the digital marketing team upped their spend by 100% on the term, meaning spend was over budget. PPC should be measured against cost as well as volumes. Google Analytics will also display the volume of customers from social, email and retargeting campaigns to give full measures of digital performance.
In terms of site content, Google Analytics can provide granular detail of every page on the site. This includes the page customers start on (Landing Page), where they exit and everything in between. Included in page analytics are time spent on the page, page load times, what customers searched for and bounce rates.
Combining this information with customer analytics, digital marketers can see what device a customer used and their channel of choice. They can then get a view of the page the customer landed on, how they interacted with the page and for how long before exiting the site.
Common users for this would be to analyse where customers are leaving the site and seeing if there is a common trend. For example, if they are leave a specific page without interacting with it, that would say that the page isn’t relevant enough to them and content should be revised.
It is possible to go even deeper than this and see what customers click on during their visit to allow businesses to test moving elements and testing calls to action.
What else can I see?
Channels and traffic analysis only touch the surface of what Google Analytics can tend digital marketing teams about their website. You can set up specific goals to track aligned to campaigns, integrate with Google Ads or Firebase Apps, analyse keywords, campaign, customer demographics and so much more.