This is a guest post from Puya Turkiyan about the important Analytics features of using Google Analytics report.
- Audience – The most important section in my opinion of Google Analytics is the “Audience” section simply because you get to know exactly who your users are. I’ll use a restaurant example in this article to point key spots where an administrator should look. I tend to ignore languages because a local shop will mostly likely be an all English-speaking audience. However, a location is another story because you get to see what cities attract the most users. In our case we found out one city particularly visited the restaurant site most often so we decided it was best to focus our advertising budget there.
Another important place to check out each morning is the “Mobile” section because you might have to adjust your site if you have a lot of mobile visitors. In our restaurant scenario we had to create a mobile site because 39% of the traffic coming into the site were from mobile devices.
- Traffic Sources – The next most important section to check obviously would be “Traffic Sources”. Here you can find out exactly where your users came from in terms of the web. For example more then 85% of users came directly from search engines in the restaurant case (5% from referral traffic and 10% direct traffic). Our numbers were showing that referral traffic was something to work on. Make sure you check your most used keywords. It just might mean you will have to adjust your keyword strategy to suite your users.
Make sure you also check your most popular referral site. Again, in our restaurant scenario urbanspoon and dinhere were bringing in the most referral traffic. It was brought up to the attention of the owners where they can adjust time to focus more efforts on these sites.
If you have your Google Webmaster tools linked to your Analytics account you can also check “Search Engine Optimization”. Here you can check your:
• Landing Pages
• Geographical Summary
A new feature in Google Analytics is “Social” and here you can get very important numbers as to what social media outlet is most important to you and your users. Just goes to show how Google is taking social engagement as priority for the next few years. And if you set up goals you can actually see conversion numbers on social media campaigns you are running. This is a cool and important feature, which I look forward to using more and more as time passes.
- Content – The most important section in “Content” is “In-Page Analytic’s and “Experiments”. Other parts are important as well but I think they are self-explanatory. Experiments are amazing because you can test your marketing landing pages and improve with amazing variation tests.
And with In-Page Analytics you can check each landing page and the most clicked element on the page. If you’ve done proper wireframing and know what each landing page means to a user, these numbers will probably be pretty important to you.
- Conversions – A misunderstood and rarely used tool in Google Analytics is the “Conversions” section. Here you can create goals and funnels, which can be tracked throughout all sections of Analytics. An amazing tool that we all have to use as professionals. The Conversions section is easy to set up. Simply click on “Goals” and “Overview”. From here you can click on “Set up goals” and you’re on your way. Remember before you design a website you need to have a lead generation and conversion tracking strategy.
With Google Analytics you can get amazing insight into your users for free. These numbers would take months if not years in the past before Google. Not to mention the budget it would take to get simple numbers like demographics and quality assurance. Take time and learn Google Analytics. They have an amazing help guide and there are thousands of forums to help you out. Trust me when I say that this tool can save your thousands in the short and long term.