Saturday, December 12, 2015

How to Optimize Web Presence With Google Analytics

Optimizing your web presence through your website and online campaigns is extremely crucial. While you do your best in following certain best practices to implement SEO, building great content and distributing it, you need to ensure that nothing falls through the crevices. These crevices are your opportunities to optimize your web presence.

But how do you identify these opportunities? Google Analytics (assuming all your tagging is done properly) is a great place to identify optimization opportunities.

Let's start with understanding the types of reports that you can get in Google Analytics. You can generate reports in the following four spheres:
  1. Audience
  2. Acquisition
  3. Behavior
  4. Conversions
In each of the above reporting areas, a keen observation of data will help you to identify Web optimization opportunities. You can generate several reports for identifying optimization opportunities, but here are the most crucial sets of reports which you should use:

Set 1:
Acquisition>All Traffic> Source/Medium – This data from this report will help you to understand whether the traffic is from referral/search/direct/campaign. Your target here should be to ensure that this report shows a balanced portfolio; and if it is not so, then investigate. If you don’t see any data from campaigns (i.e. from other sources like emails, social, or display) that means the campaigns are not tagged. This is obviously not good.

Acquisition>AdWords – This data will give you details about your AdWord Campaigns. More on understanding the performance of AdWords campaign, will come in a separate post.

Acquisition>Campaigns>paid Keywords or organic keywords – This data will help you understand which keywords are performing best for your site.

Set 2:
Audience>Mobile>Devices – In this report you can check which mobile device types are the highest consumers of your website information and make sure that your website is optimized for the visitors from these devices. To get better clarity, select a second dimension metric of "Landing Pages". Now check for high bounce rate pages, analyze them, and fix them.

Audience>Geo>Location – With this report you can see your visitors from different geographical locations. Select the "Goal Conversion Rate" metric to understand the geos that are bringing good traffic to your website. For further drilldown, ask some of the following key questions:
  • Is your targeted geography giving you the highest conversion rate?
  • Are there other locations which are giving good conversion rates, and therefore should your marketing efforts focus on those geos as well?
The answers to these questions will be an opportunity to optimize your web presence. This will lead you to change campaign strategies, content type, content format, social strategies, and your keywords for search engine optimization.

Set 3:
Behaviour>Site Content>Landing Pages AND Behavior>Site Content>Content drilldown – This data will help you understand how the visitors behave once they come to your website. Here, you need to quickly find out those pages that have high bounce rates and examine the possible causes by asking these questions:
  • Is it lack of content?
  • Is the strong CTA missing?
  • Are there any broken links on the page?
  • Is content not relevant to Ads?
These pages need to be fixed quickly for optimizing your online presence.

You can further drilldown the data by adding segments to this set of reports. For e.g. add "Mobile Traffic" or "Paid Traffic" segments, and then check the bounce rates. This will further help you to understand more clearly the causes of high bounce rates.

Behavior>Site Search>Search terms (on your website) – This report can tell you what your visitors are looking out for on your website. Now, this means that they are not able to find these things within 3 seconds! Check back if these search terms are on your SEO list and AdWords list. These terms should be on both these lists. Also, optimize the page content to ensure that the relevant information is available, it is visible and attracts the attention of the visitor. You can do this either with the help of images, bold headlines, or a strong call to action.

Set 4:
Conversions>Goals>Overview – In this report you should see how all your goals are converting. Focus on the goals with low conversions and with the help of other sets of reports here, analyze and optimize to increase those conversion rates.

Conversions>Goals>Reverse Goal Path - This report will help you identify the path that visitors are taking before converting. It is a good place to identify the paths that give you highest conversion rate and analyze those paths that are not generating good goal completions.

Conversions>Goals>Funnel Visualization – This report is especially important if you are selling products also from your website. This view will help you understand where do most visitors drop off? Once you identify that, you can investigate further for reasons why the visitors are dropping off. When do they drop off? Add the traffic segments to this report to understand the behavior of the visitors better.

Conversions>Multi-Channel Funnels>Assisted Conversions AND Conversions>Multi-Channel Funnels>Top Conversions Path – The combination of these two reports ​will help you understand the channels that are driving conversions. In general, here you will be able to understand which channels are “initiating” the conversion process (first attribution – role of first interaction). Similarly, you can understand which channels are helping “close” the conversions (last attribution – role of last interaction). This will be a huge area for optimizing your campaign efforts (social media, AdWords, and Email) because based on attributions, you can change (and optimize) your content, schedule, and channels for content distribution.

With every report, you can create further drilldown on the data captured by adding more metrics and/or segments. This way you can get insights at a granular level and optimize your web presence to a great extent.

Hope this article was helpful to you. If you have any nuggets to share on how to optimize web presence, then please feel free to put them in the comments section.

Have a great day!