Google Analytics has you excited about data and nerdy stuff.
It’s ok! You’re in good company.
Today we are wrapping up our Geeking Out series on Google Analytics to walk through a few more ninja moves you can do and glean from with advanced reports, goals and conversions.
But first… Analytics vs Reporting. What’s the difference?
Our brains glaze over when we start thinking about data because we consider it from a reporting perspective. Reporting spits out facts.
Analytics tell us what happened and how much so we can use our brains to figure out what happens next.
Our brains must explain why it happened so we can decide what we’ve learned and make a plan for how to get more of that activity.
So let’s look at some advanced reports to help that analytical side of you.
These use to be the go-to reports on Google Analytics back in the day because you could find out the keywords you were being found by on Google. And then they took them away and crushed every SEO consultant’s job and made it way harder.
So, these reports are honestly a lot less useful, but you can still get some good insights if you set up Search Console on your website.
Without search console set up, if you click google/organic and drill down to keyword reports, you’ll see 90% of the keywords are hidden behind ‘not provided’.
So how do you get something useful?
One of the most useful reports for keywords right now is found by looking at the landing pages on your site to see where your traffic is going from organic search on your site. You can get there by going to > Acquisition > Channels > Google/Organic > Keyword > Landing Page
I can see people are finding my home page, podcast and specific podcast episodes through organic search — which tells me what to make sure my SEO is set up well on.
The other report that will help are Search Console Reports can give you some insights by looking at the Queries Report (which is a fancy term for the keywords people are finding you through).
Step one is to make sure you have Search Console turned on for your site. If you haven’t set it up before, it will prompt you to set it up on your site in the Admin section.
One thing you’ll want to be aware of is that Google only keeps the data for 90 days in the Search Console so you’ll want to download it every quarter for historical purposes if that kind of information is important to you.
This report answers the questions: Is our social media strategy working?
How does social impact people coming to my website and how does it impact my marketing goals?
This is the second caveat on this topic but, these reports aren’t as useful as they used to be because they haven’t been updated by Google in a long time.
Looking at the overview for social reports will tell you how many conversions were happening on your page (if you set up goals) and how many were from social media.
The section for Social Network will show you all the social channels in one place, and you’ll also be able to see what landing pages are driving social media activity back to your site.
One way to measure content engagement on your site is to look at how your visitors are interacting with the content on your page, the flow of content throughout your site and what your content is asking them to do.
If you have a lot of content, make sure you set up the site search function so that visitors can search your content to find exactly what they are looking for.
If you have this turned on, this report will tell you the exact phrase your visitors were searching for, how long they searched, what pages they were searching on, etc. — which is helpful for you to know what’s working on your page, where people may be getting stuck or what they’re coming for.
The second report for content engagement to look at is found in Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.
We talked about this report in an earlier episode because it allows you to see what pages your visitors are going to most often.
The ninja move you can make to simplify the report and stop yourself from having to scroll 100x is to create content groups so you can see what topics are most helpful instead of scrolling through all your pages.
To set these up, go to Admin > View > Content Grouping to define rules for your content so that Google Analytics will group the visits by these rules.
For example, you could define a rule for each of your post topics or categories (popular topics in your blog/podcast) to see which group or topic idea people are consuming the most.
This will help you know what to focus more or less on, as well as what content is connecting with your audience, which one to create content upgrade or options for, and what to set goals for, so you can watch conversions.
Tracking Funnel Conversions
Last week we talked about how to set up goals, and how they are easy to set up if you have thank you pages.
But a ninja move you could do with goals is to create funnel reports and track how a visitor moves through a funnel on your site.
As a reminder, when you’re looking at Conversion Reports and the Goal overview, it’s showing you if a personal got to a specific destination you’ve set up as a goal on your website and if the goal was successful.
If you added the value for that particular action so you can track value of leads/activity, it will also show up here.
The next step is to set up more than just the action that marks it as a conversion in the goals by creating funnel steps in Goals.
If you know the Goal is for someone to purchase a cat pillow on your site, the other funnel steps that you could be tracking are:
Step 1 — cart view
Step 2 — checkout view
This will track how many people add it to their cart, how many go to checkout and how many actually purchase the cat pillow so you know where the gap is in your online funnel.
I’m already a huge fan of segmenting your audiences in marketing because it allows you to get super granular in how you work and help others.
The amazing thing is you can do this with data from Google Analytics to make insightful analysis about your audiences.
Let’s go to the Audience overview by clicking Audience > Overview first. In the “Click add segment” in the top right corner takes you into a whole new dimension of data so you can look a slices of your audience and compare it to other slices.
Google has a bunch it has created automatically that you can select from and see what they do or you can create your own.
For example, you could compare what bounced traffic do vs people who actually convert on your site. You could also look at mobile traffic vs desktop traffic. The possibilities are limitless.
By selecting a few of the segments, it will show them together so you can compare in one place.
The cool thing about creating your own advanced segments is that it will show you on the sidebar how many people your custom segment applies to as you’re building this segment, much like it does with the audience on Facebook when building ads.
Some of the things you can look at by segmenting your audience are: who converts better, what traffic source is better, how long they stay on the site, and if it’s worth spending a lot on mobile views/efforts if everyone is desktop, etc?
Ta da! Now you are a ninja at Google Analytics and know how to do the nerdy things that will make your business soar, all by looking at what’s already happening in your business online.
For me, some of the biggest takeaways I’ve discovered with Google Anayltics is who my audience is, what are they doing, are they behaving how I expect, what’s working, what needs tweaked and what’s worth it?
Remember that for the rest of April I am doing free mini website audits, so please go to askmallory.com to submit your site and get a live walkthrough with me and three tweaks to make right now that will make the biggest impact on your revenue and conversions.
Next week we have special guest Meg Casebolt, founder of Love at First Search to dive into SEO and what’s working right now.
And if you are not already a subscriber, make sure to scroll up on your phone or on the website and hit subscribe from wherever you’re listening so you get the latest episodes dropped straight to you each week.
About Marketing Magic:
The Marketing Magic podcast is where women entrepreneurs trying to do all the things come to get inspiration, business strategy, and on-air coaching on how to get their business noticed and growing. If you have a business that people need to know about in order for it to grow, you’re in the right place. This is the place to uncomplicate your marketing. Be sure to listen, subscribe, and leave a review! Join the conversation of other unapologetically successful women in her Facebook community, The #girlboss Club.