Google Analytics is a great tool for your digital marketing campaign if you know how to use it. We’ve put together a brief guide to the key sections of Google Analytics and how you can use them to understand how your website is performing, and what you need to change!
Google Analytics is a free analytics tool offered by Google that helps you analyze your website traffic. This can help you track the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaign by understanding how and where people enter your website and how they navigate through it.
To use Google Analytics, you simply need to add a few lines of tracking code to your website. This records the browsing activity of users when they visit your website and this will appear on your Google Analytics page.
When you visit your Google Analytics account, you will see an overview of key information about your site. This can give you a quick insight into what has been happening with your website and, therefore, your digital marketing campaign.
The box at the top will show your traffic insights for a specified time period, including users, sessions, bounce rate and session duration. Users and sessions shows how many people are visiting your site, while the bounce rate shows the percentage of people that visit only one page on your site before leaving (a lower bounce rate is better).
You can use this to see whether your traffic is consistent and whether people are choosing to stay. If not, it might be time to look at why!
Further down on the overview page, you can also look at brief overviews of other sections such as user acquisition, but we look at these in more detail below.
In the ‘Audience’ section, you can delve deeper into traffic insights such as how many new users have visited your site in a certain time period and the number of pages viewed per session.
You can also look at demographics for your users, such as their country or city of origin, age, gender and the browser or operating system that they use.
This can help your marketing campaign as you have a better understanding of your current audience base and how best to appeal to them moving forwards.
Plus, if your users are not visiting many pages per session, you can use this as motivation to make navigating to the next page easier and more appealing.
The acquisition data on Google Analytics is central to understanding and improving your digital marketing campaign because it allows you to see where your users are coming from. You will see users divided into the following groups: Organic Search, Direct, Referral, Social and Other.
Organic Search users are those that have found your website through searching for something on Google and then clicking through. You can measure the effectiveness of your search engine optimization by looking at this section.
Direct traffic tends to come from some navigating straight to your website by URL or bookmark. Direct traffic can also appear here when the acquisition source is unclear.
Referral traffic reports any users that visit your site by clicking a link from another website. This can be a good way to measure the impact of any PR activity and see which websites are valuable to you in terms of driving traffic to your website.
As it says on the tin, Social traffic is anyone that is clicking through to your website from a link that appears on social media. This is a good way to see if the social media marketing you do has any direct impact on traffic (although it’s important to remember that people often see a brand name and choose to Google it separately later).
Anything that appears under ‘Other’ is simply any traffic that has not been recognised as one of the other four!
If you are running a Google Ads campaign, you can also view the details of its effectiveness directly here.
The information in the behaviour section shows how people are interacting with your website. You can use this to understand which pages are most popular and whether there is anything currently stopping users from progressing to more than one page on your site.
You can look at the most popular landing pages under ‘site content’ and this can help you to see which pages have good online visibility and which may need some improvement. If you notice that a lot of people are landing on one of your blog posts, for example, it might be that you are ranking for a specific query relating to that article. You can then replicate this success with future keyword-optimised blog posts.
You also want to try and lower your overall bounce rate where possible. You can view the bounce rate for individual web pages and see if there’s anything you can introduce, like a call to action, that will encourage users onwards.
The conversions section can be useful if you decide to set specific goals for your website. Goals can vary depending on the type of website but may include a contact form submission, a newsletter sign up, staying on the website for a specified period, adding a product to the cart, or completing an order.
You can set your own goals and then track them in the conversions section of Google Analytics. This can help you see how well your overall marketing campaign is performing.
We’ve made a few suggestions throughout this article of how you can use the data to adapt your marketing efforts and make any necessary changes to the website to improve the user experience. Understanding the behaviour of your users is key to seeing what is working and what isn’t so that you can adapt. Otherwise, you are simply making guesses in the dark!
This is just a brief overview of how you can understand the data in Google Analytics and use it to inform your digital marketing campaign. If you have any questions about digital marketing, you are always welcome to get in touch with us!