Making The Most Out Of Google Analytics

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KPI, ROI, CRO? Chances are that if you’re currently working within the digital marketing industry, or you’ve had anything to do with the industry in the last five years these buzzwords have always been at the forefront of your mind when delivering clients’ campaigns.

Not all clients are the same and whether it’s an e-commerce store, a hairdresser, a financial institution or even your own company website, each individual business has their own key deliverables and results that they are looking to gain from any digital marketing campaign.

So here lies the question… how do we measure this return, to ensure that our clients are really getting value in the campaigns that we are providing?

Since the introduction of the “not provided” keyword data in Google Analytics, SEO’s have been forced to be more creative, inventive and in-depth with the information at their disposal. Gone are the days of using Analytics simply to identify what key terms are driving traffic to your website – it’s now about utilising the information at your disposal for a more holistic approach:

  • WHO is coming to your website and where are they coming from?
  • WHY are they coming to your website?
  • WHAT appeals about your website – what are they looking for?
  • HOW are they getting to your website?

…and most importantly WHAT results are they seeing from your digital marketing campaign.

Using the information at your disposal to draw conclusions about keyword traffic to your website

 Image: Google Webmaster Tools “Search Queries”

Although Google’s “not provided” keywords can make it more difficult to identify the keywords that pull traffic through to your website, there’s a range of tools that you can use to identify how your visitors might be reaching their destination:

Google Webmaster Tools

The “Search Queries” functionality, while not always exact can give a good insight into terms that are drawing visitors to your website and more importantly which pages they are landing on.

If your website is set up with targeted pages (generally one keyword per page) then it’s a given that if they are landing on a certain landing page, the chances are that they have used that keyword to get there. Search Queries can provide you with further information pertaining to this.

It’s important to note with GWT that the default search in Search Queries is Web only – you can fix this by clicking the cross in the top left hand corner to include mobile and web.

Google Analytics “Landing Pages”

Although GA won’t give us direct keyword information it will help us out by giving us an indication as to which landing pages users are coming to the site on. Using the same analysis as above we can use this to deduce popular keywords that are utilised to bring users to the website.

Utilising Custom Reports & Dashboards

Image: Google Analytics Custom Technical Dashboard

Custom reporting in GA is invaluable – especially if you have a client who knows exactly what they are looking for. Whether it’s identifying brand search traffic, setting up specific dashboards (such as a technical dashboard to evaluate your site performance cross-browser/device) or utilising custom dashboards to evaluate the performance of your website cross-location, this form of reporting and analysis allows you to tailor GA to really work for your business.

There are two main types of custom analysis you can ask GA to perform:

Custom Dashboards

The GA dashboard refers to the dashboard that you see when you open up Google Analytics. A custom dashboard can allow you to quickly and easily overview the information that is most relevant to you – and you can create more than one!

Custom Reports

Custom reports allow you to run reports in GA that are tailored to specific information or KPIs of a campaign. This can include looking at where people are entering your website, the number of people, their location and what device they are using (to help ensure that your website is optimised for your audience)

Although GA allows you complete control over custom reports, there are many companies and websites out there that have created free templates which you can use and adapt within your GA account. Some of the best free dashboards/custom reports include:

Working with User Flow to make the most out of your website

Image: Google Analytics “User Flow”

Within GA you have access to a “User Flow” – this essentially allows you to watch the flow of a user from their point of entry to a website right through to the point where they leave. This tool allows you to identify where users are dropping off and evaluate bounce rates across your website – helping to improve your CRO.

User Flow can also give you an in-depth insight into how users are utilising your website:

  • ARE you filtering clients to the right pages through your internal linking structure?
  • ARE your key pages prioritised within your internal linking structure to preserve link equity and boost page authority where needed?
  • WHERE are your users going from the homepage – can they find the most important pages on your website easily?

Bringing clients to your website is only half the battle, keeping them there is crucial to overall campaign success and a clear ROI for your clients. Utilising tools such as user flow, you can evaluate what users do when they reach your website, allowing you to better map and structure your website internally – leading to a better overall performance.

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