Google Analytics is a highly popular tool from Google that’s designed first and foremost to help website owners analyze the traffic that comes to their website. It is a free, robust, and powerful tool that’s used by everything from small businesses to large Fortune 500 companies. While web analytics might seem like a very insignificant aspect of a company’s online presence, the measured analytics of your website can have substantial implications.

Google Analytics is used by website owners for a wide range of purposes, which include everything from eCommerce tracking to measuring the performance of marketing campaigns. When you implement the Google Analytics tool into your website, you can measure every aspect of your site’s performance. This should help you improve your website and strengthen your marketing campaigns.

If your main goal is to increase customer retention and loyalty, you should track the customer conversion metrics by using Google Analytics data. The reports that you will be provided with are relatively simple to read and can put you on the right track towards making sure your website is successful.

While Google Analytics is easy to use if you know what you’re doing, you can quickly waste money if you’re not sure how to use the information that’s provided to you in the Google Analytics reports. Before you integrate Google Analytics into your website, it’s recommended that you learn more about how to effectively use Google Analytics. The following article provides a comprehensive and in-depth guide to what it takes to become a Google Analytics expert.

What Can You Do With Google Analytics?

When you use Google Analytics with your WordPress website, you will be able to focus on:

  • Acquisition
  • Behavior
  • Conversions
Google Analytics Acquisition Chart

Acquisition

Acquisition refers entirely to how you are able to bring users to your website. The acquisition reports that you receive from the Google Analytics tool can be used to determine how traffic gets to your website. For instance, if the majority of visitors to your site arrive through search engines, it’s likely that your search engine optimization efforts are effective. Users can also get to your website from other websites, from social media platforms like Facebook, and from typing your URL into a search bar.

If you find that most site traffic is coming from other websites or from search engines, you may need to retool your marketing efforts with a larger focus on social media. Having a strong social media presence is integral to the success of practically any modern website, which is why the acquisition data available in Google Analytics can be very important.

Keep in mind that you can also narrow down the data that you receive into a variety of smaller subcategories. For instance, the user acquisition reports that you receive can provide you with information about each specific search engine that brings traffic to your website, which means that you can determine if your Google Marketing efforts are more successful than your Bing marketing efforts. All of this data is available through the “Source/Medium” section of the acquisition report. By using this data correctly, you should be able to improve and strengthen your marketing efforts.

Google Analytics Behavior Chart

Behavior

Another type of data that’s available with Google Analytics is user behavior data, which is relayed to you through a separate report. While the user acquisition reports are very useful for understanding how users get to your website, the user behavior reports give you detailed information about what users do once they actually reach your website. The most important data included in these reports extends to the length of time a user remains on your website, the most common route that users take through your website, and the first and final pages that are visited on your website.

When you obtain user behavior data with Google Analytics, you can use this data to determine if your website is well designed. If you have an eCommerce website, your main goal will likely be for site visitors to purchase a product or service on your website. Looking at the behavior data will allow you to determine if you’re currently reaching your primary goal. If site visitors are searching for products but leave your website right before checking out and purchasing the product, this data tells you that your website isn’t doing enough to get users to go through with purchasing the product in question.

This issue can occur for any number of reasons. It’s possible that you haven’t provided users with easy navigation from the product page to the shopping cart area. It’s also possible that you aren’t adequately displaying the benefits of the product that you’re attempting to sell. The user behavior data that you’re provided with is designed to help you improve your website and hopefully convert more visitors into return customers. The most important metrics that are provided with these reports include page views, unique page views, average time on the page, bounce rates, and percent exit. Bounce rates are a particularly important metric that should help you identify pages on your website that are performing poorly.

Google Analytics Conversions Chart

Conversions

The final thing that you can do with the Google Analytics tool is focus on conversions. This data provides you with a better understanding of how people convert on your website. If you want to increase the customer conversion rates for your website, it’s recommended that you attempt to improve these metrics. Higher conversions equate to more revenue for your company and brand.

Conversion reports are divided into four separate sections, which include multi-funnel channel, goals, eCommerce, and attribution. The goals section provides you with the ability to set your own conversion goals for your business. If you want to obtain more sales for a product, the main goal you would likely set would be based on purchases. You can then set a goal for how many purchases you would like to obtain in a certain period of time.

The conversion reports will give you data on how close you are to reaching these goals, which is useful information. If conversions aren’t happening at the rate that you would like, you could retool your strategy or focus on improving your website. If site visitors rarely go from a product page to a shopping cart, it’s possible that your website is performing poorly or isn’t loading as fast as it should be. When you make improvements to your website, you can check back with your conversion reports to determine if these improvements are providing tangible results.

3 Must-Know Google Analytics Features

There are several essential Google Analytics features that you must know about if you want to use this tool effectively. These features include:

  • E-commerce tracking
  • Goals
  • Behavior Flow Report
Google Analytics Ecommerce Tracking

1. E-commerce Tracking

If your website is equipped with an online storefront, an easy way to determine how well your storefront is performing is with eCommerce tracking, which is available through the Google Analytics tool. This tracking tool gives you information on where the best and most profitable customers are coming from. With this information, you can change your marketing campaign to target these users. Understanding how your site is generating revenue is a key element of increasing it.

If you don’t have this information, you might accidentally change an aspect of your website that’s popular with customers, which would decrease revenue without you understanding how it happened. Tracking your eCommerce results is a way for you to stay on top of how your business is performing. Along with tracking profitable customers, you can also use this information to gain insight into who these customers are.

In order to use this feature, head over to the Standard Reports section of Google Analytics. Once you select the Admin button on the upper-right portion of the page, you should select profile settings before going to eCommerce settings and changing it to “Yes”. After you’ve clicked the “Yes” button for an eCommerce website, all you need to do is click the “Apply” button. Once this is done, you will still need to connect the eCommerce portion of your website to Google Analytics, which can be difficult. If you use Shopify, they will make this connection automatically. There are also some WordPress plugins that help with this, the primary of which is Cart66. Otherwise, you might want to consider obtaining assistance from a web design firm like Bryt Designs.

Google Analytics Goal Tracking

2. Goals

When this Google tool has been installed, it can be used to set goals for your website. By setting various goals, you can target specific areas of your site that you would like to improve. If you set conversion goals for the “Purchase” area of your website, these goals can be tracked. In the event that you don’t reach the set goal, it’s likely that you will want to make some changes to improve your website.

Goals can be categorized as:

  • Destination, which is a path that you want website visitors to take
  • Duration, which refers to how long sessions on your website last
  • Pages/screens per sessions, which is the number of pages that a user has viewed in a set amount of time
  • Event, which refers to any action on your website

When you go to the Admin area of Google Analytics, the Goals page is the one you should select. From here, all you need to do is add goals. For instance, you can set a goal of 1,000 clicks on a product over a one-month period. If you don’t reach this goal, you might want to make site navigation easier. A great aspect of the goals feature is that practically anything can be a goal.

Google Analytics Behavior Flow

3. Behavior Flow Report

Among the most beneficial aspects of Google Analytics is that it allows you to identify the behaviors of your customers by using a behavior flow report. This report gives you the ability to analyze how visitors are behaving once they land on your website. You can isolate specific pages, sources, or even keywords to determine how well your website is designed.

For instance, you could isolate your home page before taking a look at bounce rates. If site visitors are entering your website at high rates but are leaving before clicking to another page, this information is likely telling you that the home page isn’t well designed. It’s possible that the page is cluttered with too much information or that the overall design is unappealing. There is also a chance that the home page loads slowly, which would turn most visitors away. If you want users to navigate from your home page to a shopping cart, this report will tell you how successful you are and if there is room for improvement.

Honing your Expert Google Analytics Skills

If you’ve decided to implement Google Analytics onto your website, you should consider honing your skills and learning more about this tool with the Google Analytics Academy. They offer lengthy courses for beginners, advanced users, and power users. The beginners course will help you learn about the basics of Google Analytics, which include creating an account, analyzing reports, setting goals, and tracking your marketing campaign. On the other hand, the advanced course helps you learn about the extensive Google Analytics feature-set, which includes data processing, collection, and configuration.

There are also many great blogs that focus on Google Analytics and can be used to learn more about the tool, which includes such sites as Analytics Mania and Google Analytics Solutions. If you want to use Google Analytics on your site, you should play around with the endless features, which will help you get comfortable with the incredibly powerful tools that are offered. If you’re interested in boosting the conversion rates and usability of your website, contact Bryt Designs today for a free website audit and consultation, which should help you start growing your website traffic immediately!

Bryan Miller of Bryt Designs Long Beach Web Design, Development, & SEO
Author
Bryan Miller

Bryan Miller is an entrepreneur and web enthusiast specializing in web design, development and digital marketing. He is a recent graduate of the MBA program at the University of California, Irvine. Feel free to send Bryan a message here.

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