The valuable Google Analytics features you may be missing out on.
It’s essential for all website owners to track website activity but if you’re simply logging into Google Analytics to find the basics such as pageviews, you could be missing out on some valuable information.
Google Analytics can be used for so much more – you simply need to know where to look. While knowing where your traffic is coming from and how often users are visiting your site every month is important, it is possible to take things one step further.
Google Analytics is also capable of outlining visitor behavior, how your traffic aligns with your goals and how users navigate your conversion paths. It can also help you to identify unusual traffic patterns that could impact your goals.
Whether you use Google Analytics on a regular basis or you are new to the platform, here are the features that you should be aware of.
If you’re not already using goals, you’re missing out on valuable information on how users are interacting with your website. To ensure that you are really getting the most out of your goals, however, it’s important to assign a monetary value to them. By giving each of your goals a monetary value, you’re able to gauge how much money you are losing when a lead exits a funnel. Once you set up goals in this way, your traffic scorecard will show you the financial value of each of the pages in your conversion path.
Intelligence Events is a Google Analytics feature that not many website owners are using. Intelligence Events work with custom parameters that send out alerts when there is any unusual activity on your website. This feature is designed to pick up on major changes that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to see on a day to day basis. While Google Analytics will usually notify you about any unusual activity, it’s better to have Intelligence Events set up anyway.
To do this, click on the Intelligence Events report and on Custom Alerts. Once there, click on Manage Custom Alerts. Next, click on “+ New Alert”, which is where you can create a custom Intelligence Event. Once you’ve set the parameters and the general conditions, you’re good to go.
If you’re currently using custom visitor segments, you should definitely be incorporating the data from your Audience report if you really want to get the most out of this feature. If you click on your Audience report and Interests, you will see three categories: Affinity Categories, In-Market Segments and Other Categories. Pairing data on the interests of your users with demographic data is what you will need to create your new and improved custom segments.
To create your segment, click on the Audience Overview report and then the downward-facing chevron to the left of “All Sessions”. You can now complete all of the fields, including the Interest categories. This new segment will give you a much better idea of how certain visitors behave on your website.
Make your reports easy to understand with the help of annotations. Annotations are basically notes that can be added to your reporting graphs to explain spikes or dips in traffic. Annotations are particularly helpful if you’re not the only person using your Google Analytics account.
To add an annotation to a graph, simply click on the small downward-facing arrow at the bottom of the graph. You will now see a “+Create new annotation” option. Annotations will also highlight who created the note and they can be set to Public or Private too.
Your visitors are not always going to behave the way you envisioned, which is why it’s important to have a thorough understanding of which conversion paths are working. To do this, click on the Conversions section, Multi-Channel Funnels and Top Conversion Paths. This report will show you your top 10 conversion paths, which will give you an idea of the most likely processes your visitors following before they convert. You also have the option of filtering conversion paths by MCF Channel Grouping Path, which will incorporate Keywords and Source/Medium.
Today’s online users operate in a whole new way, which is why it’s so important to start using analytics platforms in new ways that will provide you with as much detailed information as possible.