There are a lot of different reports in Google Analytics and it is easy to get lost in all of the options, dashboards, segments, graphs, etc. As Google Analytics is such an important part of a successful internet marketing campaign, there have been countless articles written on the most important reports and statistics that you need to review for your website. To change it up, I thought that I would share some of the lesser-used reports that help me when I start to look at a website’s conversion rates.
On the surface, Google Analytics just looks like a tool to see how popular your site is. However, under the hood, there is a large toolset that helps you determine what visitors are doing on your site. It allows you to ask important questions like:
Ultimately, we want to find out if visitors are converting into customers.
For a product-based business, this means we want a visitor to purchase something. For a service-based business, perhaps we just want a visitor to fill in a contact form. In both cases, we call this a “conversion”, or a “goal”.
One of the things we do at the Csek Creative offices in Kelowna is help customers optimize their site for conversions – because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much traffic ends up on a site if it doesn’t convert into legitimate sales or leads.
That being said - here are some of our secret weapons that help us indentify issues with site conversion rates.
There are a lot of different web browsers in the world. The popular ones are Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple’s Safari.
Why is that important you ask? Because each web browser acts a bit differently.
The matter becomes more complicated because each browser has multiple versions - which, you guessed it, all work a bit differently too.
That means some web sites that work perfectly in one browser, may not work at all in another!
When you are reviewing your site statistics, you should already be checking out important metrics like Goal Conversion Rates, or Bounce Rates. These are great indicators of how well a site is doing at converting visitors to customers. The only problem with these metrics is that they aggregate this information from all your site’s visitors. Wouldn’t it be great to see all this information broken down by browser type and version? Well you can.
When you are in Google Analytics, click on “Audience”, and then “Browser & OS”.
You will see a report like the one illustrated below.
From here, you can look at key metrics broken down by browser type. In the above example, we can see that Internet Explorer has a much lower goal conversion rate than Safari and Firefox. Perhaps this means that there is an error on the site that is only affecting Internet Explorer users. You can even click on the browser name and see the metrics broken down by browser version. You may find that none of your visitors on Internet Explorer 8 can complete the checkout process on your site! That’s a big red flag that needs to get fixed immediately.
In the “good old days”, we only needed to be worried about websites working on computers, with nice big screens. Now we have to worry about the “mobile internet”. Every day there are new devices being released that can be used to access your website. Having a responsive website helps combat most of the issues that arise, but due to the sheer amount of devices and screen sizes being used to access your website, it is possible that problems may pop-up.
While in Google Analytics, click on “Audience”, then “Overview” to see a quick breakdown of how your site is performing in desktop devices, mobile devices, and tablet devices.
Is the bounce rate for visitors on a phone 20% higher than your desktop site? If so, you have a problem. Google Analytics won’t always tell you what the problem is, but it will help you find out where it is. You've got the scent of the problem, now you just need to sniff it out!
We often tend to focus a lot of attention on getting traffic from Google, but the truth is, there are a lot of different places that contribute traffic to our websites. Sometimes those sites are social media channels like Facebook or Twitter, and sometimes they are portals that we advertise on. Regardless of the source, it is important to know if the traffic coming from that source is converting into customers. This is especially helpful when determining advertising budgets for your website.
When in Google Analytics, click on “Acquisition”, then “All Traffic”.
At first glance you will see all the sites that are contributing traffic to your website. At the top of the list you will likely see Google, and “(direct) / (none)”. However, you will also start seeing other sites – quite possibly ones you spend marketing dollars to advertise on. You will also notice that bounce rate information and goal conversion rates are included for each referrer.
Are you paying top dollar to advertise on a website, but notice 95% of the visitors coming from the site are leaving when they get there? Perhaps it is time to find another place for your online advertising, and get a better bang for your marketing dollar.
There are a lot of ways to market your business and your website online. We even had a whole conference on it in Kelowna where we talked about how to design your website for success, and how to market it online. The tips above are just the tip of the iceberg.
Ultimately you want to get as many people onto your site as possible and then make sure that the sales funnel is optimized to convert visitors to customers (or at least sales leads).
We have been seeing great results for businesses that focus on the sales funnel. Things that are measured tend to be improved. If you need help reviewing your site’s conversion rates, or setting up your online sales funnel, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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