One of the best things about online advertising is the data that is available. When it comes to measuring results, tools like Google Analytics make performance extremely to analyze. Google Analytics allows you to segment traffic in hundreds of different ways and view important metrics to decide which acquisition sources are providing the most effective traffic.
Collecting effective data allows you to make better marketing decisions. When we work with a new client on marketing campaigns, the first thing we do is make sure proper tracking is in place with Google Analytics so we can make decisions based on good data.
For more complex websites, Google Analytics goes beyond just checking a few KPI’s. By using custom dimensions and metrics, looking at cross-device conversions and microconversions, and customizing website content, Analytics can help create a user experience that maximizes performance and delivers improving results to users. We consult with Google Analytics specialists that exclusively do this work to make sure you’ve got the best working on your campaigns.
Here are a few interesting things we take a look at in Google Analytics.
Dimensions are categorical aspects of users. We can form segments based on these dimensions to see if users act in different ways depending on the makeup of their visit dimensions. A few popular dimensions include:
- Acquisition sources, mediums, and content – Where are users coming from? Which websites? Are specific campaigns or content from your ads driving these users? A number of different segments can be created here to compare metrics.
- Devices – Desktop vs. Mobile vs. Tablet. You can even break down and look at specific devices.
- Geographic location – Where are your users? You can break this down by continent, country, region (state), and city
- Demographics – Google Analytics can provide some information on user gender and age groups
- New or Returning visitors – Is this the users first time visiting, or have they been here before?
- Interests – The Google Display Network can collect a lot of data on Google users. User profiles include topics and interests, and this data is available in Google Analytics reports.
Custom dimensions can be created and passed into Google Analytics as well. This creates a lot of flexibility when it comes to creating custom user segments and optimizing performance based on them.
Metrics are quantitative pieces of data that provide information on users (which can be segmented by dimension). Metrics measure user engagement and performance, helping determine the value of each user and the quality of that visit. Then, segmented users with better metrics can be focused on from a marketing perspective. Here are a few popular metrics we look at:
- Conversions – Set up goals and track how many users research them. Goals are typically items included below, but it’s simply limited to anything tracked by Google Analytics metrics.
- Leads – How many users submitted contact information?
- Sales – How many sales were processed through the website?
- Revenue – How much revenue was generated from sales?
- Conversion Rate – What percentage of visitors on the website converted?
- Subscriptions – How many users signed up to receive e-mail updates, or some other kind of online subscription?
- Session Duration – How much time did users spend visiting the website?
- Pages/Visit – How many pages on the website did users visit?
- Bounce Rate – What percentage of users only viewed one page and left without engaging?
- Video engagement – How many users interacted with a video? How much of it did they watch?
Google has recently invented a “Smart Goal” that is supposed to pick out effective visits based on some of these metrics. That magical formula aside (if you choose to use it), goals can be set up based on these metrics to determine effectiveness. Depending on how effective user segments are based on the metrics, different decisions can be made to improve overall performance.
Actionable Data Insights
The whole idea behind using Google Analytics to gather data is to give you information to make better decisions with. Using customer segments created by looking at user dimensions, we look at performance metrics to determine which types of users perform the best on the website. Using this information, we can change budget allocations and targeting on advertising campaigns to improve results.
Analytics insights can also help us find problems with the website. Analyzing a conversion funnel, if a certain page has a high bounce rate, we may decide to prioritize testing that page to increase performance and reduce user exits in that stage of the visit.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things we can use Google Analtyics for. As a powerful, free tool, using Google Analytics effectively can allow you to make better marketing decisions and drive more profitable traffic to your website. Let us show you not only how to collect all the data you need to learn about your users, but also use the data to make intelligent decisions and improve results.