5 Ways to use Google Analytics to improve your website performance


When it comes to measuring the performance of your website having any form of Analytics software on your website is a given for tracking user behaviour. Google Analytics has been a popular choice for many users having been around since 2005 and installed on between 30 - 50 million websites worldwide. In our latest blog we take a look at five key tools you can use within Google Analytics to measure the performance of your own website effectively.

It’s vital for businesses to have a presence on the web. It’s also important to understand why people are/are not converting to customers on your website. Tools like Google Analytics help you to understand who your customers are – It may not be the same people you think they are!

Why should we use Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free tool which helps you to understand how people find your site, and what they do when on the site – The pages they visit, how long they spend, etc. It provides a LOT of data – You’ll benefit from learning to get the most from it. Chargeable tools provide more insight and context, but Google Analytics offers you a lot of value.

You can either modify your assumptions about your clients and better service them, or modify your site and message to target your ACTUAL target audience.

Whilst Google has not released exact figures for over four years, in 2015 it was anticipated that Google Analytics was installed on between 30 Million and 50 Million websites worldwide.

Use audience information to evaluate your visitor data

The information you see initially is for everyone that visits your site. You can more effectively look at what is working for different groups of people by breaking it down.

·       Start in Interests under Audience (Audience, Interests, Overview).

·       Under Audience, Demographics, you’ll see information about Age and Gender.

·       Under Interests, look in Other Categories for additional information.

This helps you to create better content and advertising strategies.

A Custom Segment lets you filter for a specific group of people – age, gender, industries, personality type – To reflect who you are targeting. 

Under Audiences, click the ‘down arrow’ by All Sessions. Specify the details, then set a name. Always Test – Save once you’re happy. You can compare against all visitors, or segments. You may need to wait for enough visitors to produce useful data.

You can also specify a date (Date of First Session) to evaluate newer visitors.

Set Goals to get the most from Google Analytics

To get the most from Analytics, set yourself Goals that benefit your business. A Goal is what you want visitors on your site to do – Contact you, buy something.

Analytics lets you create Goal Flow reports. You specify a path to follow on the site, and show where visitors leave the site (Funnel exits). You can use that data to understand WHY they left the path, adjusting your content to improve results.

Remember that converted leads have value. By assigning a monetary value to the end of your flow(s), you can see your wins

. Select Admin in Google Analytics, and then Goals – Select an existing Goal. Enable the Value option to specify the amount – Underestimate it initially, and update it once you’ve got a better idea of the value per visitor.

Use Intelligence Events to look out for unusual activity

You will always have variations in your site’s traffic, but now and again something unexpected will happen – A sharp spike in demand, for example.

Intelligence events alert you of them at the time, not when it’s too late to take action – A 200% spike above normal could represent unexpected demand, so you can contact your supplier for an extra delivery.

Looking at the week’s data, a spike might not show up obviously because of the wider range of variance, but it’s very obvious for a smaller time period.

In Google Analytics, select:

·       Intelligence Events

·       Custom Alerts

·       Manage Custom Alerts

·      Click +New Alert

You can specify:

·       Which view the event will work for.

·       The parameters to trigger the alert.

·       How to notify you (email address(es)).

·      Give the alert a name, and you’re good to go!

Look at Historical Trends as well as current data

It’s easy to focus on current data, but you can add valuable context by looking in prior visitor data. When specifying the date range, select ‘Compare to’, and ‘Previous period’.

Specify the dates, and click Apply. This will show the traffic patterns in contrasting colours, you can compare patterns. Make sure you specify the same days of the week (Start Monday, finish Sunday) to ensure that your patterns line up – You’re looking for large variations in only one.

If the time range you specified includes a holiday, try matching that day to capture any spikes or dips in demand for the holiday, even if it occurs on a different day of the week.

Google Analytics can help you improve the performance of your business

With data, your business can convert more leads into customers, ensuring that you’re targeting the right people, with the right proposition. Learn what you’re doing right and wrong based on data – Not feelings. Learn how to ask the right questions when looking at the data.

You’ll have to keep learning as the tools and your customers change.

Why talk to us?

Working with McGinn and Dolphin, we help you to not just understand the data, but to get the best results faster – We apply our experience and knowledge to help you shape the questions you ask for the results you need. Learning takes time, and we’ve already put that time in for you!

Schedule a free 30-minute consultation today to learn what we can do for your business, and your digital marketing strategy.

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Ali Dolphin is a UK-based marketing expert specialising in digital marketing. His expertise includes content writing, website design, and technology. Ali regularly provides insights and blogs on various aspects of digital marketing.

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