• Huw Neale

Leverage Google Analytics To Give Your Marketing Strategy a Boost

Google Analytics can seem daunting at first, with so much data available at your finger tips and trying to figure out which sections of Google Analytics will be most relevant to your business.


The truth is, if you really want to get the best out of Google Analytics you have to be able to understand it all.


Just logging in every once in a while to see how many hits your website has achieved is not going to tell you anything useful.


You need to be able to be able to know how to dig deeper into the web hits to know where the traffic is coming from, which content keeps them engaged with your site and which proportion of that traffic converts into leads or sales.


It’s great having thousands of hits but not so if you have a higher than 90% bounce rate with no conversions.


However, if you can understand why your bounce rate is high and why they are not converting then you are beginning to use Google Analytics to generate some meaningful insights that can inform your marketing strategy.


The truth is, if you really want to get the best out of Google Analytics you have to be able to understand it all.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analyticsis a free tool by google, that can be used for any website, app or digital platform.


It is a powerful tool that provides a lot of data on how your visitors and customers interact with your website.


It also enables you to track and measure marketing campaigns throughout the marketing funnel.


You don’t need to be a programming whizkid to install it either, you just simply set up a new property in your account. Google will provide you with a tracking ID which is a snippet of code that you copy and paste on each page of your website. For instructions on how to do this, click here.


You have five main report sections on Google Analytics. These are:

· Real-Time

· Audience

· Acquisition

· Behaviour

· Conversions



Each of these sections provides specific analysis and metrics on your website performance and customer behaviour, which are important to understand to gain a basic understanding of how to use Google Analytics.



Does Google Analytics track Everything I Ever Need to Know?

While Google Analytics gathers a lot of data unfortunately it does not capture 100% of the data as many people opt to turn off their cookies and enable secure browsing to block being tracked.


It also only tracks activity around your website, which in modern day business is an important cog in the marketing strategy but it is not the only factor that affects marketing performance.



Now for the interesting bit

Understanding how your customers interact with your website will be key for an effective marketing strategy.


Especially, if you use your website to generate leads or sales. Many businesses do not use their website just as a “brochure” and information site anymore. The website has evolved to become a central digital asset that is central to generating an effective user experience with its own performance goals and metrics.


· Real-Time – this report provides a high level overview of how your website is performing in real-time.


· Audience– understanding your audience is key to any marketing strategy. Google Analytics provides you with metrics on how engaged they are with your site, a breakdown of their demographics such as age, gender and interests, where they are located, what devices, browser and operating system they use to view your website.


All of these metrics and data can help to shape your marketing strategy by understanding who you should be targeting and where, what device and platform you should be prioritising.


· Acquisition– this report will help you to understand how your visitors found your site. Being able to attribute the sources your visitors come from will help you to prioritise which channels to focus on, where to distribute content and which channels you should be allocating your advertising budget.


· Behaviour– knowing how your audience engaged with your content and measuring content performance can provide you with insights into what type of content you should be creating to increase engagement. It can also track behaviour flow to understand which pages they entered your website and which pages they clicked on through to exiting the site.


This can help you understand how you can better design your site and improve pages that receive redundant use.


· Conversions– the conversions report tracks your events and goals that you have assigned to Google Analytics. Particularly relevant for websites that are used for lead generation or ecommerce as it highlights the conversion rates and metrics relevant to your goals.


This is important to understand if your marketing campaigns have generated a ROI and what needs to be done to optimise the campaign.



Using Google Analytics to Inform Marketing Strategy

As you can see from the overview of the above reports, they can provide snippets of intelligence that can help to shape your marketing strategy.


But looking at each report in isolation will only give you a surface layer of information. To understand the true picture of your website performance you need to dig a little deeper.

Marketing analysts need to be inquisitive and keep asking the right questions until they uncover the root cause of the metrics and analytics being shown.


To do this, you need to cross compare reports by using the dashboards feature and generating custom reports that enable cross comparison.


For example, lets take a look at the following made up scenario.


When analysing all users in Google Analytics for a marketing campaign it demonstrated that it increased sales by 10 per cent and generated a significant ROI which is considered a success and a good reason to run the campaign again.


However, on deeper analysis you find that:

· females accounted for 80 per cent of the sales,

· mobile devices accounted for 90 per cent of the sales in UK but in the USA desktop accounted for 80% of the sales,

· the bounce rate was high on safari but low on Google chrome across the board.

· 90% of all sales came from returning visitors


Without running a custom report and digging deeper than just the surface layer you would not have understood that to optimise the marketing campaign you should be:

· Targeting females and existing customers.

· UK users require improved optimisation on non-mobile devices and USA users require optimisation on mobile devices.

· Test and improve the user experience on safari web browsers.


Despite generating seemingly good results from the campaign clearly there is still room for improvements to be made to the strategy.


By simply utilising Google Analytics and gaining deeper insights than just what you see on the surface layer the marketing strategy and performance can be given a significant boost.


Looking at each report in isolation will only give you a surface layer of information. To understand the true picture of your website performance you need to dig a little deeper.
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