Data Diving: Google Analytics Part Two
We took a look into Google Analytics for your website in my last post, and the fact that you’re still with me is a great sign! The tool can be a little overwhelming at first glance, but trust me, you’re going to love what you can do with it.
Why put in the extra effort? Because you want to know that the effort you’ve already put into your site is paying off. Sure, it’s fun to “shoot from the hip” and just go with your gut, but unless you’re the Wyatt Earp of content creation and web design, you may have some trouble hitting your target without a little help with your aim.
Luckily for you, I’ve got a continuation of that help right here.
#5 – Keep Your Eye On The Prize
We’re all human (I think), and as humans we’re easily distracted by shiny objects or info that makes us feel good about ourselves. Google Analytics is full of shiny objects—you could data dive for months, and it’s fascinating—and it’s tempting to focus on the “vanity stats” that make us feel good, like total number of visitors. So discipline yourself to focus on the information vital to your objectives (hint: you can create custom dashboards with only the information you need/want).
#6 – Dare to Compare
Google Analytics is designed to help you compare your current performance to your past performance, and this is invaluable. You always want to know the direction you’re headed… hopefully it’s up and you can just keep on keepin’ on. Or maybe a downward trend will alert you to something you need to fix—like optimizing your site for mobile traffic.
#7 – Succeed With Segments
Segments allow you to focus in on one specific class of site visitor—say, visitors who actually purchased something, or only visitors who signed up for your e-newsletter. You can also use segments to focus on new visitors only, allowing you to hone in on what brought them to your site.
#8 – Find The 3%
A recent study found that the conversion rate of the top performing websites hovers around 3% (while the average is down around 1%). Google Analytics can help you pinpoint exactly what that 3% should look like for your site, allowing you to get to work roping them in. Now, 3% is an impressive goal, and not everyone can realistically reach it… but it’s a great target to keep in mind. (Hint: Keep an eye on your bounce rate to help with this).
#9 – Find the Searchers
The Searchers is fantastic western starring John Wayne and Natalie Wood, but the searchers you need to find in this particular scenario are the ones using your website’s internal search tool (if you offer one). Google Analytics (In the Behavior > Site Search function) can let you know how many people are searching on your site, and more importantly, what they’re searching for. Whatever it is, give it to them, and make it easy to find.
Take Off The Blindfold
I realize I’m in a western state of mind today, as already I’ve mentioned shooting from the hip and John Wayne in this post, so I’ll continue down that dusty trail and leave you with an old cowboy proverb: “It’s easier to rope that calf when you aren’t wearing a blindfold”.
Okay, that’s not actually an old proverb, and yes, I just made it up to continue the cowboy analogies, but that doesn’t mean it’s not applicable for us. Learning who your site visitors are (or aren’t) is your way of removing the blindfold. And once you can see your customers, it’s much easier to rope them in for the sale.
We’ll dig into some final Google Analytics tips in our next post. For now, happy trails, and as always…
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