Basic Analytics for those who hate Analytics – Part 3: Analyzing Your Data

2018/10/05 08:00

goals in analytics

In part three of the KOBIT guide to Google Analytics, we’re going to show you which metrics matter the most and how to create goals.

Now that you’re all set up, have created your different views and have applied the relevant filters, how do you use your data to grow your business?

Google Analytics certainly gives you access to a wealth of information but it helps to know where you can find your most valuable information so that you can use it to make informed business decisions.

Key Google Analytics metrics for every business owner

Below are the metrics that you should be paying attention to if you want to start putting your website data to good use.

  • Demographics & User Interests

One of the main aims of using Google Analytics is to gain a deeper understanding of the users who are browsing your website. This data is also perfect if you want to start developing detailed customer personas that you can use in the development of your sales and marketing strategies and campaigns.

To access your user demographics and interests data, click on Audience and Demographics or Interests.

Under demographics, you will have access to data on the age and gender of the users who have been visiting your website. Under Interests, you will be able to see which Affinity Category most of your users fall into, their in-market segment and any other categories that may be relevant.

Understanding more about your users and what they’re interested in will ensure that you can create campaigns and strategies that are highly relevant to users who are showing the most interest in your brand, products or services.

  • Top Pages

Knowing how users are responding to the content on your website will allow you to develop more of the content that’s resulting in conversions and optimize the pages that aren’t performing as well.

To access a report on the top pages on your website, click on Behaviour, Site Content, and All Pages. You will now see which of your pages are receiving the most visits and where users are spending the most time. Review these pages to ascertain what it is that’s working really well so that you can implement your learnings on less popular pages.

Another important metric that you can pay attention to under site content is Exit Pages. This report will tell you where the majority of your website visitors are leaving your site. The primary goal is to keep users on your site for as long as possible so that they convert so analyzing the pages that have the highest number of exits will help you to optimize your site and your sales journey.

  • Traffic Sources

Knowing where your traffic is coming from will allow you to optimize your online campaigns and content promotion strategies.

Click on Acquisition and Overview to access this report. Now you will be able to see the sources that are driving most of your traffic. By clicking on each of the sources, you can access further details. Here is an explanation of the different traffic sources:

  • Direct: These are users who typed your website’s URL directly into their browser or when the referring source is unknown. If you click on Direct, you will be presented with the landing pages that users reached and spent the most time on.
  • Referral: This is traffic that came in from a third party website. By clicking on Referral, you will see which websites sent traffic to your website.
  • Organic Search: These are users who clicked on your website via search engine results. If you click on Organic Search, you will be presented with the keywords that lead users to your site.
  • Paid Search: This is any traffic related to the paid search campaigns that you might be running. If you click on Paid Search, you will be able to see which of your campaigns have been driving the most traffic to your website.
  • Social: Some users may reach your site via social media. By clicking on Social, you’ll be able to see which social media platforms are sending the most traffic to your website.
  • Display: If you are running any display advertising campaigns, this report will tell you how much of your website traffic is related to your campaigns. Again, clicking on Display will show you which campaigns are driving the most traffic.

These three reports will give you access to some basic but very important information that will play an integral role in the optimization of your sales journey as well as the development of your content and online campaigns.

Google Analytics Goals

Goals are another useful way to find out more about how users are interacting with your website.

These user interactions can be anything from ebook downloads and form submissions to call to action clicks, basically anything that will tell you what needs to be improved on your site in an effort to increase conversions.

Before you begin creating your goals, it’s important to know what you want to achieve by tracking a specific action. In other words, every goal also needs a goal.

Once you’re ready to create your goals, you can follow these steps.

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account and click on Admin in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Under the View column, click on Goals
  3. Next, click on the red +New Goal button
  4. You will now need to give your goal a name and select a Goal slot ID
  5. Now you will be required to choose a Goal type. Options include:
    1. Destination: Goals that link a page or screen view to a conversion
    2. Duration: Goals can be linked to how much time someone spends on a page
    3. Pages/Screens per Session: Goals can also be linked to how many pages or screens a user views during one session
    4. Event: This is any user interaction that is seen as a conversion such as a button click, download or video view
  6. You will also be given the option to assign a monetary value to the goal or link it to a sales funnel if users need to interact with multiple pages to convert
  7. Save you Goal and it will begin tracking user activity. You will also be given the option to Verify a Goal if you would like to gauge how this goal would have converted over the last week

There’s no need to have an in-depth background in Google Analytics in order for the data to benefit your business. Start by getting the basics right so that you can really turn your website into one of your most valuable sales and marketing tools.