4 Ways to Use Google Analytics to Improve Your Website Experience
For business owners who have never used Google Analytics, the breadth of customer data available can seem overwhelming. However, Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. It allows marketers an in-depth perspective of how people are using a company’s website, which can lead to much broader implications for branding, SEO strategies, Google AdWords strategies and homepage insights.
I recently had a client who was interested in a homepage redesign. From the outset, it was clear to me that his business’s marketing team didn’t fully understand the relationship between marketing and website development. After looking at his webpage analytics, I realized a homepage redesign would be crucial to his business’s success. His site was not optimized for mobile, even though 50% of his website visitors came from mobile devices. The site experience was very targeted for the male viewer, even though nearly half of his page viewers were female. And, perhaps most shockingly, his page loading speed was 12 seconds, far higher than the 2-3 seconds it should take to access a page for the first time. That offered a terrific insight as to why his page bounce rate was over 86 percent, in spite of the interesting, relevant content posted on a daily basis. Armed with this knowledge, we knew what steps to take in creating a website that would result in a better user experience.
[quote]If you want to know whether your webpage is effective, Google Analytics is quite simply the best place to start.[/quote]While there are entire webinars dedicated to successfully using Google Analytics (I suggest checking out Google Analytics Academy), the team at our advertising agency in Orlando can suggest a few things to check immediately to help garner insights about your business’s performance.
1. Bounce Rate
The bounce rate indicates any time a site visitor looks at only one page before leaving the site. If your business’s homepage is experiencing a high bounce rate, it’s important to try to figure out why. It might be that your site isn’t optimized for the mobile or tablet experience, or that you aren’t offering clear calls to action that would encourage people to continue exploring the site. A web tool called Optimizely allows businesses to quickly and easily test homepage elements to try to improve these metrics.
2. Average Visit Duration
Again, if people are coming to your page but not staying on very long, there may be a problem with your landing page experience. However, it may also be that there is a mismatch between the content that is driving people to your site and audience’s actual interests. For example, a “clickbait”headline will succeed in getting more people to your site, but people will leave quickly if the headline isn’t supported by interesting content.
3. Conversion Rate
Conversion rate metrics offer insight into the number people who visit your website, against the number of people who actually “convert.”Conversions typically apply to e-commerce purchases, but can also measure the number of people who sign up for your email blasts or the number of people who book a reservation using the website. If these numbers are low, you may wish to test the effectiveness of various calls to action, play with the visual imagery or experiment with different types of content marketing.
4. Behavior Flow Report
The behavior flow report presents a visualization of how website users navigate from one page or event to the next. This report provides insights into the content on your site that’s driving engagement, and also helps identify potential content issues. Use the segment drop down to segment traffic and better understand how those segments flow through the site. You’ll see how search traffic (for example) flows differently through your site than mobile traffic. The dimensions drop down allows you to narrow results by referral source or medium, and even shows flow from specific keywords. This feature can help identify how visitors from a particular keyword engage with and convert on your site. Data geeks unite around the behavior flow report – it’s a gem.
In need of some expert Google Analytics expertise to ensure both an increase in website traffic – and an overwhelmingly positive user experience? Contact us today for a consultation!