Ten members of Forbes Agency Council share some of the most critical pieces of data they believe a company should focus on when using Google Analytics.
Google Analytics remains one of the most straightforward tools to use for data analysis. With the advent of big data, a company can use Google Analytics to comb through its massive data stores to get insights into crucial aspects of its operations.
Big data’s versatility makes it ideal for spotting things in a business’s customer base that can positively impact its marketing and sales efforts. If used correctly, it can even clue the enterprise in to understanding its customer motivations more effectively.
1. Top-Performing Channels
Acquisition data is one of my favorite reports Google Analytics offers. With this report, you can quickly identify top performing channels. How many people converted from paid campaigns? Did you grow your organic traffic for the month? Which paid, affiliate or organic campaigns have the highest ROI? Add a secondary dimension to layer in more user data such as geographic region, age, time of day, etc. – Sean Allen, Twelve Three Media
2. Behavior Flow
Google Analytics’ “Behavior Flow” illustrates the path users take on a client’s website. Familiarizing yourself with the behaviors of your client’s website visitors offers a wealth of information, such as which pages generate the most and least on-site engagement. Understanding behavior flow will enable you to make the changes needed to keep visitors exploring your client’s website for longer. – Adam Binder, Creative Click Media
3. Where Prospects Come From
Google Analytics works very well when it comes to analyzing website traffic and understanding the origin of leads. But when gathering this type of data for clients, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Use multiple measurement tools and A/B test one against the other to get a more complete and accurate picture of the impact of your clients’ campaigns. – Paula Chiocchi, Outward Media, Inc.
4. Relevant Traffic
Google Analytics can help agency owners see where relevant traffic is coming. These analytics can help them better target opportunities and spot trends. It’s important to continue to monitor Google Analytics during and after marketing campaigns. – Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC
For most marketing campaigns, except brand
campaigns, the end goal is conversions. The best piece of data is tracking conversions. You can do this on nearly every action. The most basic is final landing pages, purchases or sign-ups. But you can also track conversions on buttons, downloads and even click-to-calls. Check out all the ways you can label goals and conversions. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design
6. Bounce Rate
All of the marketing campaigns and keyword research in the world won’t amount to anything if your visitors are bouncing at a significant rate. It signals that you need to revamp your page, give your potential customers something they can navigate with ease and can access quickly. If the people you’re trying to attract are only spending a few seconds on one page, it’s time for some big changes. – Jason Hall, FiveChannels Marketing
7. The Right Correlations
Start with a measurable goal and work backward from it. If the goal, for example, is to get people in Chicago to read a web page, then who cares if you get a spike in traffic from India? Your telling measure is how long people from Chicago are on the page. So many people use old static metrics that many times don’t address the actual goals of the action you’ve taken. – Christine Wetzler, Pietryla PR view her bio here.
8. Mobile Overview
There is so much valuable information in Google Analytics to help understand traffic to your client websites. One metric that we look at every month is “Mobile Overview” — what devices people are using that visit your site. Clients s
9. Keyword Data
If you want to understand how people actually find your business the data is available to you via Google Search Console. Google Search Console is separate from Google Analytics, but integrates (for free) to provide specific insights into the origin of search traffic and more importantly, what keywords triggered the traffic in the first place. Armed with this data you can significantly improve your SEO. – Kristopher Jones, LSEO
10. Where Website Visitors Work
Business-to-business companies should check out Google Analytics’ free reverse IP lookup. In “Audience” > “Technology” > “Network,” you’ll find the network service providers associated with your visitors, including private company networks when visitors access your site at work. Seeing the organizations actively exploring your site can be valuable for timing sales outreach or tracking highly targeted programs like account-based marketing. – Kim Charlton, PMG (Pinnacle Marketing Group)