Fundamentals of Google Analytics

Every website succeeds or fails on two things: Attracting visitors (the cheese) and Converting visitors (the mousetrap). If you don’t have goals set up in Google Analytics, you have no idea how effective your mousetrap is. In the marketing world, it’s impossible to understand the fabric of your business and marketing pursuits without digging deep into Google Analytics. 

You wouldn’t play basketball without a scoreboard, right? Knowing what works and what does not work for your website is crucial in pivoting your business to success. Let’s take a look at Google Analytics fundamentals to remember, starting with setting goals. 


Set Up Goals 

One of the biggest missed opportunities starts with failing to set up your Google Analytics goals. How do you know where your form submissions are coming from? How do you know which of your articles is turning the maximum percentage of visitors into subscribers? Or if your CTA is effective?

Setting up your goals in Google Analytics is absolutely essential to know what channels drive your business and its conversion rates. This also helps to identify areas of improvement and eliminate functions that cause confusion for your users. Before continuing any further, make sure to set up your goals. Most importantly, create precise objectives that tailor to your business specifically. This initiative will give you the insight needed to improve your business. 

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Know Conversion Rate for Each Traffic Source 

Everyone should know their conversion rate. Better yet, know the conversion rate for each one of your traffic sources. Create a Data Studio dashboard that accurately highlights the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that matter most to your business. Data Studio is a perfect resource for bringing all your data into a single view. For the dashboard, you can build any kind of marketing report tailored to your specific needs or even use a template to help get started. 

Data Studio dashboards are especially beneficial for articles. You can build a Data Studio dashboard that shows you the conversion rate, from visitor to subscriber, for every one of your articles. This means that you can see the percentage of people who read the article, then subscribe. With Data Studio, you gain insight into what content inspires your readers and promote this on your social media, email blasts, and homepage. Even if you don’t have a Data studio dashboard, you can use Google sheets to add your reporting on. Though it will take much more effort, it’s still worth having all of your reporting in one view.

Use Analytics to Create Original Content 

Not only should you use Google Analytics to access current content marketing efforts, but also use this opportunity to see what’s missing. Original content is a sure way to grow your business and increase ranking on search engines. 

By gathering your content statistics, discovering all possible keyword combinations, and identifying popular topics among your audience, you can then create original content that didn’t exist before. Google Analytics can help you locate what topics are relevant to your audience and search query triggered impressions and clicks that potential customers perform to find your business on Google. From there, you can devise similar content ideas that add to the conversation, not just regurgitate the same information.

In the world of marketing, original content wins every time.

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Should You Be Concerned With Bounce Rates? 

Freaking out about your 50% or higher bounce rate? Depending on your business, that may not be a true concern. Among 500 analytics accounts, it’s found that the average bounce rate is 61%. That’s across all different industries, channels, and traffic sources. 

So, why shouldn’t you be concerned about high bounce rates? Let’s think about: If you’re a source that publishes a lot of content—such as articles, or any information that relies on matched keywords and search queries—then, of course, you’re going to have a high bounce rate, especially when considering social media traffic. Typically, a person comes to your site for a specific thing, gets it, and then goes. That’s completely normal. We do this all the time, even you. 

The gravity of your bounce rate can depend on many variables, from site navigation to website layout. However, if you have a seamless website and a lot of content, your bounce rates may not be of high concern.

The only people who should really panic about bounce rates are those who buy their visitors. If you have paid traffic and your bounce rate is on a landing page from PPC, that bounce rate measures a loss of wasted advertising dollars. But for the rest of the websites, this is nothing to obsess over.

Should You Use Navigation on Landing Pages?

When it comes to navigation, you may ask yourself, “Do I take away navigation and keep all visitors on that page or give them access to my website?” 

As usual, the answer to any digital marketing question starts with the visitor. Ask yourself, what do you know about that visitor? What resources are they looking for when clicking your landing page. If your paid ad is for a brand query that indicates a specific intent, then exclude navigation and get concisely to the point. 

For example, if a visitor clicks your landing page looking for storage services in Wichita, Kansas, your goal is to satisfy that need without giving them 65 other directions to go. A landing page’s goal is to guide visitors to convert and receive the exact service they’re looking for.  

When it comes to landing pages with specific intent, exclude the navigation and all other distractions including excess information, headers, services, etc. Keep content a one-column layout and make it flow. This will improve your attention ratio. 

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