Running a website is undoubtedly tough, and you need to work harder and smarter than your competition so you’re always ahead of the game.
Everyone loves traffic but in order to be successful in something, you must first understand your current status, position and condition. That’s why we strongly suggest that, before you intend to build some traffic for your blog/website, you should spare a few minutes (or maybe an hour or two) to understand your current crowd. This is when Google Analytics comes into play.
For some users, Google Analytics is nothing more than just a pretty interface with interesting graphs. But when used to its full potential, it gives all the necessary data to make your site even better. It’s a very useful free tool for tracking a website’s statistics.
In this article, we have come up with some tips and tricks that will help you boost your Google Analytics game. Make sure to remember them and soon enough, you’ll get the most out of this great tool.
- Set website goals. A website goal is a high-value action that you’d like your site visitors to perform. On a content or lead generation site, this may include subscribing to an e-mail newsletter or filling in a contact form. On an e-Commerce website, this could be the completion of a checkout process. You can access goal data across numerous reports within Google Analytics, and you’ll also have access to goal-specific reports under the ‘Goals’ tab.
- Geographic Location – Know your readers. Sift through data about your readers by checking the pathway Audience -> Demographics -> Location. You can also choose to filter information by Country, City and Continent. Keep yourself informed of top readers over a few key periods (1 month, 3 months, 1 year). It may not surprise you that your top readers come from your country and/or city, but there may be a growing trend in a different country or city far from home. Perhaps this data may inspire you to blog about products or events in these particular areas to cater to local readers.
- Get crafty with SEO/keyword strategy. You may have already checked organic search terms for your blog in Google Analytics, but what can you do with this information and how can you apply your knowledge into action? One interesting idea is to sort your organic search term list by ‘Pages Visit’ or ‘Avg. Visit Duration’ rather than the default number of Visits. This may give you a better understanding of visitors who are coming to your site via organic search terms, and ranking those terms based on the level of engagement rather than simply number of visits. Use pathway Traffic -> Sources -> Overview -> Search -> Organic, then sort results by clicking on the column ‘Pages Visit’ or ‘Avg. Visit Duration’ to collect more information.
- Track your marketing campaign. How effective is your New versus Returning Visitor Ratio? Make sure to monitor this on a monthly basis so that you’ll know how many of your site visitors are new readers and returning readers. You want to maintain a healthy balance of new readers finding your site (whether through organic search or referring traffic), while also maintaining a steady flow of loyal, returning readers. This will inform your marketing strategy on an ongoing basis – whether you need to focus more on new reader programs versus loyalty programs for your current subscriber base. Make use of pathway Audience -> Overview.
- Set alerts for vital information. If your traffic drops 50% or you notice a major spike in conversions, then you’ll want to know without having to check. Google Analytics allows you to set up custom alerts to keep you updated on major events via e-mail and/or text message. If you’re managing several websites, then this can be of great help and it minimizes the chances of important events being missed. To set up a custom alert, use pathway Admin -> Assets -> Custom Alerts -> Create New Alert.
- Go deeper with referring traffic intel. Referring traffic is an important metric to measure on an ongoing basis. How are you analyzing this data? Instead of just referring traffic from just the number of visits, dig deeper into the rankings by engagement metrics (Pages/Visit or Avg. Visit Duration) or source of traffic (% of New Visits). This will tell you whether you’re gaining engaged readers over the long term from a referring traffic source or simply witnessing a short-term spike in traffic with no long-term benefits. Use pathway Traffic Sources -> Sources -> Referrals.
- Watch out for new features. An analytics guru is someone who’s always at the forefront of the field so if you want to keep ahead, then you should keep an eye on the new features. Google is constantly adding and improvising features in Google Analytics. Some new features include the Multi-Channel Funnels tab which shows you how your sources are working together to generate conversions. Google also introduced a Social tab under Traffic Sources to measure the impact of your social efforts.
Data is so powerful and Google Analytics is your key to accessing it. We hope you’ve picked up a few tips and tricks from this article. There’s far too much to cover in this post alone, so we really recommend you go and try them for yourself. Make sure to bookmark this article for future reference, and don’t forget to share it with your friends and co-workers!