As technology has gotten better and better, modern businesses have a wealth of data at their disposal. From website analytics to financial analysis tools, from time tracking to employee productivity, there are now more metrics than ever before. Unfortunately, the average small and mid-sized business tends to be overwhelmed by all this available data.

If you have ever opened up a Google Analytics interface, it’s easy to tell why. Dozens of available reports in a variety of categories make it difficult to zero in on tangible things that actually impact your business.

How do you actually connect the dots into a meaningful picture of your marketing system? And how do you know that’s working and what you need to improve?

A fundamental understanding of marketing and behavior science can give you a starting point for creating a system and identify what metrics matter for your business.

Data Collection

To be able to look at analytics, first you need to make sure you’re collecting the right stuff. First, you’ll need to integrate a tool like Google Analytics into your website, which is usually a simple process of installing some code into the global header of your site. Alternatively, if you’re looking for full attribution data, you may want to consider a more robust tool such as Click360 [link: https://click360.io/].

If you run an e-commerce website, you’ll want to capture additional data points from your online store and cart.

Finally, you can capture valuable onsite behavior of your visitors such as events surrounding popups, banners, calls to actions, and forms by adding extra components to elements on your site.

Getting Back to Basics: The Sales Funnel

The classic sales funnel has three stages — the potential customer enters the funnel from the top, and exits the funnel as a conversion at the bottom. You lose some people along the way, naturally, and so the funnel starts out wide and narrows in through the end.

Because the sales funnel is such a fundamental part of business, Google Analytics itself is set up to mirror the sales funnel.

Top of the Funnel

The top of the funnel is about purely attracting new leads for your business. It’s about creating general awareness of your brand among potential customers.

The relevant tabs for this part of the funnel are Audiences and Acquisition. Under Acquisition, you can see reports for:

  • Channels
  • All Traffic
  • All Referrals
  • Campaigns
  • Keywords
  • AdWords
  • Social
  • SEO

All of these can help you learn more about where your traffic is coming from, and which of your marketing efforts are ultimately leading people to your site.

Middle of the Funnel

The middle of the funnel is all about how your visitors behave as they consider whether or not to buy what you’re offering. Before a potential customer gets to a conversion at the bottom of the funnel they typically interact with your business online multiple times over multiple days, and the middle of the funnel is where this happens.

The Behavior tab is the one that has most to do with the Middle of the Funnel. Here you can see things like:

  • Behavior Flow
  • Site Content
  • Site Speed
  • Site Search
  • Events

Using these, you’ll want to key in on how the visitor is using your site, and on the performance of your various assets like landing pages, banners, popups, and contact forms.

Bottom of the Funnel

The bottom of the funnel is where the real impact to your bottom line happens. It’s where the customer’s awareness of and trust in your brand combine to lead them to purchase your product or service.

The Conversion tab in Google Analytics relates most closely with the Bottom of the Funnel. There, you’ll find reports on:

  • Goal URLs
  • Reverse Goal Path
  • Funnel Visualisation
  • Goal Flow
  • Smart Goals
  • Ecommerce tracking, if enabled

Running Cross-Funnel Reports

It’s important to mention that just because we’ve mapped certain parts of the analytics interface against parts of the funnel, these reports don’t exist independently of each other. They can be combined, and data from one report can be used to segment another.

For example, one question you may ask is, when all is said and done, which audience segments and referral channels (TOFU) have the highest conversion rates (BOFU). This is easily done, either by adding goal segmentation to Audience/Acquisition reports, or by adding audience segmentation to Conversion reports.

Let’s Make Sense of Your Analytics Together

One great way to look at your website analytics is as a testing ground: your marketing strategy is not a concrete plan, but a hypothesis that needs to be tested to see if it will work. The marketing actions you take, and their impacts on visitors as recorded by analytics are the way to figure out if your marketing strategy is working.

We identify and focus on the important few key metrics that tie directly to the health of your marketing to identify issues, opportunities, and actions. Schedule a call today to get started!

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