How can online marketers make the most of Google Analytics

For online marketers, it is important to measure performance parameters, analyze website traffic, engagement and conversion. There are a lot of challenges that marketers face that include long sales cycles, complex products and services, multiple influencers and decision making. How can you make best use of Google Analytics to improve website performance and marketing results?

Analyze User Engagement Metrics

User engagement metrics like Bounce Rate and Average site duration can help you analyze the efficacy of website content. Since content is marketed via a number of channels, gaining insights on how each digital channel performs is essential to analyze where content marketing is suffering and where strategies need to be revisited and improved.

There a couple of ways to look at user engagement by traffic source.

Navigate to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. You will see a table with data for each marketing channel, such as Organic traffic, Paid traffic, Social media, Referral and so on. Marketers should analyze and compare engagement metrics for each channel, including: Bounce rate, Pages/Session and Average Site Duration.



Audience Report

Another way to analyze user engagement for each channel is by navigating to Audience > Behavior > Engagement and using advanced segments to separate each marketing channel. This report shows number of sessions and page views by session duration.


Session Duration

New vs. Returning visitors

The New vs. Returning visitors report under Audience > Behavior is also a great way to look at engagement by channel when using advanced segments. This report helps you understand the relationship between new and returning visitors and how this ratio is changing over time.


New vs Returning users

What kind of insights can user engagement give you?

  • A High number of sessions with high bounce rate. This means you are able to drive traffic from a particular channel, but visitors typically do not visit at more than one page on your website.
  • A High number of sessions with low session duration means your content is not engaging users and are not encouraged to stay longer on the website.
  • Big discrepancy between new and returning visitors where new visitors percentage is much higher than returning visitors. This means that most visitors are not motivated to return.

If engagement metrics are suffering for a particular channel. there could be a number of reasons, including:

  • keywords that are not relevant to the page content;
  • the content does not provide a solution to the visitor’s problem;
  • issues with the layout of the landing page;
  • issues with page content/text; and
  • technical problems.

It will require detailed analysis to identify what needs to be improved in the content marketing strategy for that particular channel in order to drive more engagement.

Track conversions by channel

Online marketers need website visitors to convert into qualified leads and customers. This requires a detailed analysis of how website visitors take various actions.Conversion is measured in many different ways, depending on the website business goals. Whether you are using conversion goals or events to track visitor actions, here are a few ways to understand conversion by marketing channel.

The Acquisition > All traffic > Channels report can be adjusted via the goals drop-down menu to analyze goal completions and conversion rates for each channel.

If you have set up events to track conversions, then you can look at total and unique events for each marketing channel by selecting advanced segments and navigating to the Behavior > Events report.


Events Report

Possible insights:

  • A High number of sessions and low conversion rate means you are able to drive traffic from a particular channel, but your landing pages are not encouraging visitors to take the desired actions.
  • A High number of generated leads but low conversion to sales means your marketing efforts are probably driving lower-quality, less-qualified leads.

Recommended steps

If you are using events to track user activity within a registration form, watch for drop-offs at all steps to identify where most users leave the process.

Here are a number of questions to ask if your website’s conversion rate is lower than desired:

  • Are you the right audience for each channel?
  • Are you describing products or services on each ad?
  • Are you using an easy-to-understand and compelling call to action?
  • Are you offering too many options/actions on the landing page?

Measuring overall traffic is very useful, but it’s probably not enough. Online marketers must understand how results vary by each channel. You need to analyze metrics and trends that provide insights into engagement and conversion. Make sure your Website Performance Dashboard illustrates root causes and improvements.



Author at onlineshouter
Christine writes for people who seek for knowledge about SEO, blogging, online marketing, gadgets and web apps.

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