Google Analytics is the world’s most popular web analytics application, used by almost every other webmaster. According to SimilarTech, almost 61% of the top 1 million websites (Alexa rankings) use Google Analytics.
However, most webmasters don’t use Google Analytics to its full potential. Studies indicate that almost 80% of ecommerce retailers use Google Analytics incorrectly. Viewing daily traffic stats, page views and traffic sources is a very basic way of using Google Analytics.
As a webmaster, you can use it in a much more advanced manner and derive extremely useful insights that can be used to fine tune your traffic strategy and marketing campaigns.
In this post, I’ll discuss a few ways you can use the information generated by Google Analytics to improve your website’s content, fine tune your SEO structure and generate more traffic.
One of the main objectives of tracking your website analytics is to identify loopholes and find ways to attract more traffic. In Google Analytics, you can do this monitoring the SEO queries and Landing Page reports.
But you first need to integrate your Google Analytics account with your Google Webmaster Tools account. Once both these tools are integrated, you can see the top performing SEO queries for your website that are getting the highest impressions on search engines.
Here’s what you should do.
- Use the SEO report within Google Analytics to see keyword ranking, clicks and impressions for your website.
- Sort the keyword list by the number of impressions, and look for the highest impression keywords.
- These are keywords for which you are already ranking well on Google search. You just need to improve the click through rate (CTR) for these keywords to increase your traffic.
To improve the CTR of these high impression keywords,
- Keep your page and post titles around 55 characters, and meta descriptions around 156 characters.
- Understand the context in which people search your high impression keywords, and then create content that is useful for those people. Create your content with the user’s intentions in mind and focus on benefit driven copy.
To increase your website’s traffic by using the right keywords in your content, you can use the keyword report in Google Analytics. To access this report, go to Traffic SourcesàKeyword Report.
Here’s you can find the top keywords that are driving traffic to your blog. If you focus on just the top 10 keywords bringing in the highest traffic, here’s how you can use them.
- Use them as alternate tags in the images on your website.
- Also use these keywords in the titles of the images on your website.
- Use the same high traffic keyword in your page title and description.
- Make these keywords a part of the anchor text of your internal website links. But make sure your keyword based anchors include other natural words as well. For example, instead of using the keyword “WordPress Themes” as anchor text, use “Here are some of the best WordPress Themes” as anchor text. This seems more natural.
Create more blog content using your high traffic keywords.
Your website traffic can mainly be divided into three categories – organic search traffic, referral traffic and direct traffic.
To maximize your referral traffic, you can use the Traffic SourceàReferral report.
Find out the top websites that are sending traffic your way. Usually, your referrers fall in one or more of the following categories. Here’s what you can do with each one of them.
- Communities and Niche Forums: To maximize your traffic from communities and forums like Quora, Triberr, Reddit and other niche specific groups, you should spend more time replying to different discussion threads. Try helping people with your answers and focus on creating value. At the same time, share your own content wherever relevant.
- Blogs and Websites: If a blog sends you a lot of traffic, focus on building a relationship with its owner and explore more cross promotional opportunities. Link back to such blogs in your content, and regularly comment on their posts. Also, try contributing a few guest posts to such blogs.
- Social Media: Identify the social network that sends the most traffic your way. Identify the post structure that is working the best for you. Increase your posting frequency and replicate your successful posts for more traffic and engagement.
To improve the conversion rate of your referral traffic, you can create specific landing pages or customized messages for different referral sources. You can use tools like Hello Bar to do this.
People visit your blog or website because of its content. If your content resolves their problems, answers their questions and helps them in any way, they’ll keep returning for more.
So it’s important to identify the content that is actually attracting the highest traffic. For this you can use the Content Overview Report in Google Analytics. Use it to find out your top performing content and identify trends from it.
Have a good look at the posts that are attracting the highest traffic. Identify any improvement areas and try to make them more comprehensive. At the same time, create new blog content that complements your popular content.
This will help you increase your reader engagement and the average user time on site.
One of the major objectives of attracting traffic to your website is to convert them into leads or subscribers. This conversion rate is even more important than your traffic numbers. To make sure that your traffic has a high conversion rate, you can use the Users Flow report in Google Analytics.
Here’s what you should do.
- Open the users flow report in Google Analytics.
- Narrow the report by traffic, source, location, device etc.
- To identify conversion loopholes, highlight traffic to a specific conversion page.
- Analyze the average user drop off point in the funnel from landing to conversion.
Once you’ve identified the weak link in your conversion funnel, you can improve conversions by doing the following
- Set up in page surveys at the high drop off points using tools like Qualaroo to find out why users are dropping off your website.
- Based on the feedback, set up A/B tests to address their objections.
- Identify other high drop off points in your conversion funnel and repeat the above steps on them to bring improvements.
Traffic from mobile and smartphone users is increasing exponentially. You cannot ignore mobile users when creating a traffic strategy. To find out the mobile experience of your website, use the mobile report in Google Analytics.
The two factors you should focus on are bounce rate and time on site. If the bounce rate is high, you might need to make adjustments to your design and content. Also identify the devices that have the highest bounce rate to get a better understanding of the reasons behind the high bounce rate.
To start, make sure you’re using a responsive website design that adjusts according to the dimensions of the user’s device. Also try to identify where and why users are dropping off in your funnel. Run A/B tests to see what remedies work the best for you.
If you run an e-commerce store or sell products on your website, you can boost your conversion rates significantly by providing personalized user experiences. For this, you can use the audience reports in Google Analytics.
Using this report, try to identify content preferences of different audience segments on your website. You will most likely have multiple audience groups that are interested in specific content on your site.
Create personalized messages and experiences for such visitors and show them the products and services that they prefer. This is highly effective since almost 60% of ecommerce shoppers say they prefer purchasing from customized stores.
Wrapping It Up
Google Analytics is a highly advanced web analytics tool that can be used to derive extremely valuable insights from your website traffic. By using the different reports and statistics available in Google Analytics, you can identify the loopholes in your website design, content or structure, and make the necessary adjustments. If you know how to use this tool the right way, it can play a key role in helping you develop the right online marketing strategies for your website.