11 Oct Google Analytics for Insights
Is Google Analytics the most underutilized tool in the digital marketer’s toolkit? Marketing software, tools and analytics have exploded over the last decade. Scott Brinker has been keeping track of this trend at www.cheifmartech.com for many years and his 2020 Marketing Technology Landscape is so crowded it’s unreadable. https://cdn.chiefmartec.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/martech-landscape-2020-martech5000-slide.jpg Since 2014, the number of companies he tracks has grown from 947 to over 8000.
It’s overwhelming for marketing leaders. So, where do you start? Go back to basics – and gather some facts. Ask some questions and answer them with data from Google Analytics. Instead of hypothesizing about how you’d like your customers to interact with you via the web, what are they actually doing? Google Analytics has clues and answers to so many questions.
- Is your home page your most important page for entry into your site? What page or pages are customer actually entering on according to GA?
- Where are customers getting stuck? Which pages have the highest abandon rate?
- Who are key partners? Which ones are actually sending you traffic?
- Where do customers go after they visit your site? You can answer these questions with GA.
Google Analytics (GA) is a free tool and it’s already loaded on most websites.
I’m reminded of a study that concluded you can learn much more about a person by seeing the books on their bookshelf than by meeting them in person. Actual data on what customers do on your website is much more valuable. We all have good questions and hypotheses about our customer behavior. Google Analytics has an incredible amount of information. It’s rare you get a perfect answer and one question leads to the next, but answering questions from data is so much better than the alternative.
Here is an example of the string of questions you can explore –
- What are the sources of traffic to your website? Paid search, organic, display ads, direct navigation, etc. So organic is x%, that’s great, now
- For organic, which are the most valuable referring sites? And why? – OK – that referrer has linked to several of your articles – now
- Which articles get the most organic traffic? What do we learn from this?
- Is it the titles, the topics or something else that’s made these articles winner for organic results?
Before we go too far on the valuable insights you can get from Google Analytics, one important note of caution. Many customers have GA loaded on their site or sites, but we often see problems or errors with the tags and dashboards that customers are using to make decisions. Setting up Google Tag Manager correctly is not easy and we recommend an audit of your set up every year. Reporting and tagging can break over time as you make changes on your site. For example, we had a customer with a wonderfully low abandon rate on their homepage. When we dug into the data, we found that a slider image on the homepage was counting as a click-thru in their GA. It can be helpful to have a knowledgeable set of eyes to review your GA data to know where there may be problems. Getting the data and dashboards set up right can make a big impact to get you moving toward actionable and impactful next steps.
We have developed a methodology for an audit of your GA implementation. Then we can start answering some key questions right away. Our team of Google Analytics experts at Nimble Gravity would love to be helpful.