Google Analytics – Improve your website performance
You’ve invested in your website and you want it to be a huge success. Website analytics help you to understand how your website is performing and make improvements to your site to increase conversions.
Google Analytics is our analytics tool of choice. Not only is it free, it is jam-packed with tons of useful features. For greensplash clients who have this on their site, we hope that you are looking beyond the simple number of visits, page views, etc, that Analytics offers. If you’re new to Analytics, then read on to get an idea on how to use these features to understand your website performance better.
1….Have you set up your goals?
If you haven’t set up your goals, then you won’t gain much benefit from Analytics. So, if you haven’t done this already, do it now! Different websites have different goals – yours might be sales (if you’re e-commerce), it might be a newsletter subscription or the submission of a contact form.
Once set up, you can access all sorts of fantastically useful information, such as:
- Conversion rates - What percentage of your traffic did the things you wanted them to do? (e.g. completed your enquiry form after viewing your offers or converted after reading your email newsletter).
- Goal abandoned funnels - How many people started a conversion activity but didn’t complete it? (e.g. how many people viewed your offers but failed to enquire?). Once you understand the points in the funnel where visitors are dropping out of the process, you can improve these, for example by simplifying the process.
- Funnel visualisation - And while we’re on the topic of funnels, we think that funnel visualisation is a great one to look at as it shows you, pictorially, the rates of drop off at each page through the funnel from the first page, through each subsequent page, through to the very end goal.
2…Using Analytics to improve my website content
It can be tricky to be objective about your own content. Spotting opportunities to make improvements is made easier with Analytics as it indicates to you which pages need improving. These might be the pages with:
- Low page views – is this content interesting/relevant? Can it be easily found?
- Low time on page – is the content what visitors expected it to be? Is the price advertised too high?
- High bounce rate – If lots of people are immediately leaving the site, as indicated by a high bounce rate, then it tells you that you need to improve the relevancy of your ad/website (i.e. if using PPC) or look at what internal/external links are driving traffic to your web pages. Internal links can be controlled by improved by changing the content.
3…. Evaluating Adwords keyword performance against non-Adwords keyword performance in Analytics
If you use Adwords, you can compare PPC traffic with unpaid traffic by linking your Adwords and Analytics accounts together. You can compare impressions, clicks, cost, click through rates, cost per click, return on investment (ROI), and so on… and compare conversion rates of the same keywords across different Adword campaigns/unpaid traffic.
This is really valuable when assessing how your online marketing budget is best apportioned – i.e. SEO versus PPC – to see where you achieve a better return. This was touched upon in a previous post by Ben, our SEO expert, in Understanding SEO and the services available.
The above 3 points address some of the most common questions that our clients ask. But, this article really only just scratches the surface. To unleash the benefit from this powerful tool, if you haven’t done so already, we thoroughly recommend that you go to the Analytics Help Centre. Support is also on available in the user forum. There’s a lot of information available and it’s definitely worthwhile investing some time looking at this material.