When I start working with people one of the first things I ask is whether they are looking at and using their web statistics. The answer is almost 100% ‘no, not really’.
The benefit of using your web stats is that you can learn so much about your customers and your business. You can deepen your understanding of why and where you get your sales from.
If you ask your analytics, you can answer burning questions like:
- Why aren’t people registering for my seminar ?
- Which social channel drives the most sales?
- Should I be even bothering to do social?
- Which is the better use of my time - my weekly email or Facebook?
- Which pages and content contribute to sales?
- What kind of posts on Facebook get the most sales?
- Do I really need to spend money on getting my website mobile ready?
- Is the paid search that I’m paying my agency to do really generating sales?
- Why don’t people stick around on my site and buy/register etc?
The list goes on. Using Google Analytics, which is free and easy to set up for most things, including your e-commerce, will allow you to answer these questions and so much more.
My top 4 best practice tips to get the most out of your Google Analytics
1. You must have goals set up otherwise the data is pretty much just data with no context. Once you have goals set up, you will you be able to see all the statistics in terms of visitor behavior as they interact on your website and how, when they perform a goal you set. The setting of a goal also ‘magically’ turns on all sorts of good things within Google Analytics like Reverse Goal Tracking so that you can see what they did before they finally filled out your subscription page.
2. If you’re a shopping cart, then you must have ecommerce turned on and if possible, the enhanced ecommerce tracking as well. This will give you really handy information about your customers like how many times did they visit your website before buying and how long from their first visit did it take before they bought.
3. Use annotations to note anything that you’ve done that might impact on traffic significantly eg. advertisement in x magazine was released, or monthly newsletter was broadcast. This way you can see and align activities against traffic peaks and troughs without having to trawl through your work program to see what you did on that date.
4. Use UTM tracking in order to correlate directly any conversions (subscriptions, sales or leads etc) to individual email links in a newsletter or post on Facebook versus the same post sent out on Twitter. You can then see which social channel and individual posts your audience responds well to and what they don’t.
UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) is essentially an extra bit that’s added to your URL that you are using from your Facebook post or email link etc. It’s generally used by marketers for their specific campaign activity but better use is on all inbound links regardless if it’s for a specific campaign or not. The key is to use the ‘source’; ‘campaign’; ‘medium’ consistently as labels that fit your activity and then the detailed information for each post/email link etc will display in Google Analytics along with if there was a sale or goal against that post/email or if visitors were new or returning etc etc.
What statistics should you care about?
Well how long do you have Harry? Not long enough as the insights you can learn from your analytics is a lot and really it’s different for each business. But I’ll give you some starter tips that generally apply for each business:
What’s the division of people using your site on a mobile versus tablet versus desktop? Knowing this you can make important decisions on technology and design that are ALL important to the experience and your ability to convert your visitors to customers.
If you have a shopping cart or registration form, look at your conversion funnel to see where people are dropping out and focus on trying to improve the page/point where they drop out to improve your conversion rate.
What channels drive the most traffic to your site? And what is the conversion rate for this channel? Are you missing opportunities because you’re not providing the right information on the landing page for this particular audience in this channel?
Are there dominate locations that drive more traffic to your website? Look at whether you need to tailor content or your offering to this particular area?
How visible are you on search engines by looking at what traffic you received via search. This is an indication of whether your site is well indexed by Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.
If you don’t have Google Analytics set up speak with your web developer. If you’d like some guidance with identifying and setting goals or interpreting insights from your analytics, feel free to give me a call to see how I might assist.