Google Analytics is easily one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of modern businesses, from small to mid-size, and even to some larger corporations.
In fact, one of the main issues with Google Analytics is that it’s too powerful and flexible — many businesses that do not have someone concretely in charge of website analytics or that have not taken the time to set up a customized, narrow view with the 3 to 5 KPI’s they actually care about, are likely too overwhelmed with Google Analytics to use it.
Setting Up GA for Success
The more systems and structure you have in place to make sense of the data for a specific section, the more you can test and optimize. The simplest place to start is structuring your data to follow the customer’s journey through the sales funnel.
Top of the Funnel
Key metrics: The key at this stage is to evaluate which channels or referrers are leading traffic to your site, so you can capitalize on them to drive even more traffic. You can use simple, entry-level metrics like bounce rates and time spent on site to further qualify the promise of each inbound channel.
If you have ads leading to your site, here’s where you want to get very granular and use Campaigns to figure out exactly which version, on which platform, with which demographic, is working best, so you can reallocate your advertising budget toward the high-performance group.
Middle of the Funnel
Key metrics: In the middle of the sales funnel, you have returning visitors, who are still evaluating their options, but now have familiarity with your brand. The key here is to find exactly what works to bring customers back to your site. You can see if the channels for this customer type differ markedly from those bringing in first-time visitors.
Once you have these visitors back to your site, you can also evaluate which pages are performing best to keep their attention. Using the Navigation Summary view and using proper segmentation will show you the most common paths visitors are taking through your site.
Bottom of the Funnel
Key metrics: At the bottom of the funnel, one thing matters: conversions. There’s a slew of metrics linked to conversions that are useful. First, make sure you’ve set up Goals with your Shopping Cart — this makes further segmentation much easier. If your website sells more than a handful of items, it’s definitely worthwhile to turn on the additional E-commerce functionality available in Google Analytics. This will give you even richer detail, because conversions themselves will then be able to be segmented by product type, product category, product features, price range — and that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.
Need help setting up your Google Analytics account to actually tell you what you need to know? Lucky for you, this is one of our strongest areas of expertise. Contact us to discuss your needs!