A Final Dive Into Google Analytics
They say good things come in threes: the three original Star Wars, the Andrews sisters, the three Stooges, these three adorable dogs, etc. So in order to not break with tradition, we’ll wrap up our deep dive into Google Analytics with this post, our lucky number three.
If you just skimmed the last two posts, here’s the basic idea of Google Analytics: it’s a free service that tells you who’s on your site, what they did, and where they came from. What you do with that information is up to you. You can go simple and settle for watching the number of visitors entering and leaving your online store. You can also dig deeper and pick apart your site’s content to see what’s sticking and what’s not. If you’re leaning towards that second option, then this last collection of tips is for you.
Location, Location, Location
It’s helpful to know from where your visitors are coming. Not just what site they were on when they clicked through to yours. Where they are physically sitting as they click. Google Analytics can break down what parts of Planet Earth are sending the most users your direction. This can be very helpful for some sites.
You can also see which location has the most users who actually do something on your site. If you notice that a large number of users from one specific region tend to achieve the goal of your site (buying something, signing up for something), that may be a sign that increasing advertising in that region could bring you a lot more business.
Or on the flip side, if your site for local lawn care is booming with traffic, and Google Analytics shows you that the majority of those users are based in India, you can safely assume that your users aren’t there for lawn care, that something is confusing them, and that you may need to rework some strategies.
Who Left This Shopping Cart Here?
If you sell something via your website, and you use the Shopping Cart feature, then this tip is for you (the rest of you can go grab a snack real quick).
If a store owner noticed that his aisles were full of abandoned half-full shopping carts, he’d be very curious as to why his customers abandoned them. Website owners didn’t always have the luxury of seeing those abandoned carts, until Google Analytics introduced the Goal Funnel.
By creating a Goal Funnel for your shopping cart process, you can see exactly where your users gave up on their way to making a purchase. Naturally, there will be quite a few who just have second thoughts. There’s nothing you can do about that. But say that Google Analytics shows that you have a high number of customers leaving halfway through the payment process. That would tell you that something in the process is either confusing, creating distrust, or simply not working. Grab the nearest code monkey and get that problem fixed!
SHOW ME THE MONEY!
This is another tip that involves the Goal Funnel. As we saw with the Shopping Cart, the Goal Funnel lets you track users as they follow a specific path towards the final goal… giving you money, signing up for something, etc. And the Goal Funnel also shows at which points people leave the process.
But where this data gets really compelling is when you assign a monetary value to your goals within the Goal Funnel setup. Plug in what every lead is worth to your business, and Google Analytics will calculate how much money you’re losing by users abandoning the sale process.
And let me tell you… nothing kicks your productivity into high gear like seeing exact sums of money flying out the door. What do you need to do to keep users on the site? What can you offer them to compel them not to quit the process? Can something be explained better? Can you make them feel more secure?
These are the questions that lead to successful sites.
With Google Analytics, you have an ocean of data just waiting for you to jump in and swim around. Hopefully these posts have helped point you in the most useful directions, or at least piqued your curiosity enough to give the tool a try. Good luck out there, stay focused, and just keep swimming!
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