Google Analytics is a favorable tool among many businesses. It allows you to analyze your traffic, audience, and engagement. Did you know that it can be utilized to help boost your performance even further? If you’re just getting started with Google Analytics, this post is for you. Today we will explore the top trends in Google Analytics for beginners. We will analyze the platform based on real-life examples, and give recommendations for how to improve site traffic. To best understand the impact of Google Analytics, we will be using a client example with the date range set to the last 6 months.
Google Analytics Trend 1: Audience
The sidebar in Google Analytics has many great tools for you to explore. The first tab is the Audience platform. This feature allows you to engage with your primary target audience.
Demographics can show you your average consumer. Based on the data of the demographics for this client, we can see that the average user on their site must be a 25-34-year-old female. Since the conversion is faring well for that age group, we would recommend creating an advertisement that appeals to a young mother or businesswoman who may always be on the go. The goal of the ad would be to attract the most likely customer to engage with their services.
Additionally, geographics such as language and location can be useful tools in analyzing your web traffic and Google Analytics trends. Our client operates in Greensboro, North Carolina. It is important to note however that 13 percent of the users on their site are in Charlotte, NC- which is an hour and a half distance away. This shows that clients are willing to travel to our client’s office and use their services. To increase conversion for those users, we would create a geo-targeted ad campaign for users in Charlotte.
New vs. Returning Visitors
We can evaluate behaviors such as new vs. returning users, frequency, and engagement with Google Analytics. For our client above, we can see that there is a successful conversion rate of 12 percent for new users. This indicates that the goals set towards new users are complete.
To produce more new users for their site, we would recommend creating ad campaigns using Facebook Ads or Google Ads. These ads would aim towards users that would be likely to use the site. In this case, this client provides medical services for people. To find what audience to target, we would analyze keywords and search queries (more on that later) to see what consumers are looking for.
We can also see that in mid-May of 2020, users spiked to almost 150. This Google Analytics trend is important to note because ad campaigns must have increased conversion. Since conversion has been a bit lower in June, analyzing the two together provides for better insight.
Frequency and Recency
Analyzing the frequency a user navigates to your site is helpful in determining how often to generate ad campaigns. Over the last 6 months, our client generated 3,618 first time sessions and 6,520 page views. For our client, it is important to note that their services don’t usually involve more than one visit to the website, which is why the amount of one count sessions is much higher.
Mobile vs. Desktop
We can examine device usage on Google Analytics. Our client has a unique situation here because they receive more users to their site via mobile, but more people on the desktop are completing goals. This may be because of an optimization feature on the desktop that may be more engaging, considering desktop users are also spending more time per session.
We can also see that in mid-May, device use was trending upwards. To increase conversion for mobile users, we would optimize pages on mobile devices that would make the site easier to use. It is possible users find filling out contact forms or finding the phone number for the site easier on the computer.
This feature can also see the connection between the two channels. Users may originally start on their computer, and revisit the site on the mobile- therefore causing the conversion for mobile to be lower since 55 percent of them are new users.
Google Analytics Trend 2: Acquisition
In this part of the discussion, we will focus on search-oriented elements, and how people are obtaining your content.
Channels are the media through which users find your content/site. In the above example, 33 percent of users are finding the site through organic search- which means the keywords they are searching for result in the site being shown. This means that the site is properly optimized for those keywords.
However, the conversion rate is not as high- which means the completion goals is not as high as those who find the site through paid search ads. Based on this insight, it may be useful to look into what those who find the site through organic search are looking for, and why. Clearly, the ad campaigns being run are successful. However, figuring out what is truly attracting customers is essential in figuring out what is driving users to search for the type of practice our client runs. Additionally, such data is found by analyzing keywords and search queries.
To increase conversion for those using social media platforms or referrals to find the site, we would suggest crafting a personalized ad campaign that shows up in their social feeds, to make customers feel valued and connected with. Personalization is a trending tactic among marketers and is shown to increase conversion on sites due to its engaging factor.
Sources/Medium and Referrals
Additionally, Analytics helps see through what sources and media users find your site. This is especially useful when detecting the success of social media campaigns. Above, it is shown that Facebook generates users to the site through referrals. However, most referrals generate through Google or organic search, which means that Ad campaigns are successful.
Our client generates most of its referrals through Facebook. On the contrary, most of the sources for its traffic come from Organic search or Google. Organic Searches are basically unpaid search results when a consumer types in a string of words. Therefore, the site is ranking well for the keywords set.
Social media can be a vital tool in generating users to your site. It allows you to analyze which platforms are performing the best in campaigns, how well advertisements are doing, and how many conversions generate via goal competitions. Social media has become increasingly important in detecting analytics for a site. In the social element of Google Analytics, you can also detect what landing pages users are navigating to after visiting a social post or site.
Our client does not heavily use social media for consumer engagement, but they do generate a lot of referrals through Facebook- which is still useful to note. 470 sessions via Facebook have resulted in conversions, which is good. To increase it, we may have to create more specialized ads for the target consumer.
Google Analytics Trend 3: Google Ads
Google Ads is a very important part of Google Analytics. When generating ad campaigns, display banners, and any other search advertising strategy, Analytics interprets how well they are doing. The following are two key aspects of this feature.
According to Yoast SEO, “The focus keyword or key phrase is the search term that you want a page or post to rank for most. When people search for that phrase, they should find you.” When conducting research for Google Ads, use the Keyword Planner tool to provide additional insights into search volumes for the terms you plan to target.
Ideally you have the budget flexibility to bid for the top result in Google for your target terms. While this can be a huge benefit as far as generating traffic, it doesn’t necessarily mean those users are converting. Google Analytics will analyze how well each keyword performs including how many leads or transactions were generated, time on site, number of sessions and in some cases what your return on investment was. Leverage keyword performance reports like the one above to adjust your target terms, scale bidding up or down for target terms based on how many conversions they generate, and even eliminate specific terms that aren’t producing sales.
In the above example, you can see that Dynamic Search Ads are performing well, these actually incorporate the specific search query of the end user into the Google Ad, which can be beneficial in showing ‘the searcher’ the most relevant ad. However this is not always the most qualified audience which is why we look at other reports like the search queries report below.
Additionally, Google Ads can also be used to interpret search queries. This feature analyzes what words users are specifically searching for in Google.
Looking at our overall goal competitions, the second and third most popular search queries are resulting in conversions. This means that we should be targeting those conversions in our keyword list in Google Ads.
Google Analytics Trend 4: Behavior
The behavior of your site is essential in understanding why users may continue to browse, or dropoff your site.
Above is an example of the behavioral flow of the consumer’s on our client’s site. It is shown that most consumers are directed to the home page, but drop off after viewing. Why is this so? We may need to create more personalized experiences on that landing page so customers continue viewing, and ultimately, fill out a contact form or place a phone call.
Google Analytics Trend 5: Conversions
Ultimately, conversions are an extremely valuable part of data when using Google Analytics and what is trending on your site. They are the final puzzle piece placed when figuring out what is, and isn’t, working on your site.
Setting goals is extremely important in analyzing trends in your users. If a user completes a contact form, this is a conversion, or, goal completion. The more goal completions, the higher the conversion rate. This helps to visualize the steps users take to completing that form and signing up for let’s say, your mailing list.
Our client experiences a variety of goal completions, and in the last 6 months, the month of June seems to be performing well. We are able to track contact form completions, and phone calls placed. There is a high amount of calls placed via CallRail. CallRail is a function that allows the direct source of calls tracked via Analytics. So, for example, a phone call placed via direct search is different than a call placed via social. This is important because we can then tell which sources and media are generating the most traffic.
Multi-channel funnels are a great way to analyze how conversion paths interact with one another.
This first example shows the relation between Organic Search and Direct Search. Of the 470 total conversions, about 4 percent of them were a combination of organic and direct. This means that 4 percent of conversions had users finding the site through organic search, and they may have gone back again through direct search and completed a goal, such as a contact form.
The second example below is comparing Organic Search and Paid Search. There is not a strong correlation between the two, being that organic search often generates the conversion for this site.
To increase conversion, it may be recommended to increase keyword research.
How can these Google Analytics trends help your site?
If you’re just delving into the program of Google Analytics, it may be daunting. However, these tools can help you detect how well your site is performing, and what needs to be improved to increase traffic. Trending tools include keyword analysis, multi-channel funnels, and behavioral analytics. Exploring these elements will help you gain a better understanding of why your site is gaining the attention of your audience.