Did you know that over 80% of website owners are using Google Analytics incorrectly?
Sure, it’s easy enough to navigate through the “vanity” metrics such as sessions, users and bounce rate, but what other metrics can you observe to really help you drive traffic to your business and boost sales?
Google Analytics is not just a data tool, in fact Google Analytics can provide you with clues and actions to help increase conversions and traffic, you just have to know what to look for.
How to Increase your Traffic Using Google Analytics
SEO and Keywords
You can learn ways to increase your organic traffic using SEO queries and landing page reports. The first step to collecting this type of information is to connect Google Analytics with Google’s Webmaster Tools.
Once you have connected the two platforms together, use the SEO report located in Google Analytics to view your keyword rankings, clicks and impressions. This will give you a really good idea as to what keywords are triggering users to click on your site.
Once you have found the keywords with the highest impressions, you can work to improve the click through rate (CTR) of those keywords by updating the page titles and descriptions.
Aim to keep your title tag around 55 characters and your meta description to around 156 characters. If you use images, ensure that you are also using the same keywords in the “alt text” field.
Using a good SEO plugin on your main site can easily help you to manage all of this and can take the stress out of any guess work.
Just remember, when it comes to SEO, while you can take these steps to improve your CTR, it really comes down to whether or not your content actually matches the keyword and offers value and benefits to your readers. Keep this as your number one priority in order to remain relevant and to keep your keywords performing well.
Knowing your top performing keywords can also help you develop more content that is tailored around these same keywords.
For example, let’s say you run a food blog and “Banana” is a keyword that is trending high on your site- why not try posting more content relevant to Bananas? Be creative, perhaps you can also more Banana recipes, a post on the 10 top Banana recipes ever or share images of Banana based products.
This way you can really take advantage of an already trending topic on your site which can therefore help you to boost traffic.
Do you know the top referrals to your site?
Using Google Analytics, go to the referral section and view the top sources that drive traffic to your website. For most sites, the top referrals are often social media sites or other blogs and websites.
Observe your top social sites and aim to be more present on them in order to establish your relationship and drive more traffic. For example, say you are receiving a lot of traffic from Reddit. You should be spending more time on Reddit building your profile, adding notes to others comments and sharing more of your content to those who are interested.
Remember, when it comes to social sites like Reddit and Facebook, no one likes a spammer. Really spend the time to build genuine connections and offer valuable advice, that way you will be able to build a securer foundation.
If a blog is your top referral, continue to nurture your relationship with the blog and offer opportunities to cross promote your work. That way you can build more possibilities for the future.
If one of the sites you guest post on also has a high referral rate, try increasing the number of guest posts you write in order to boost traffic.
Sometimes PPC campaigns can also rank high in your top referrals. If this is the case, work out a way to either increase your spending on the campaign or maximise it for greater leverage.
Content Overview Report
Google Analytics allows you to view the top content and posts on your site and from this you can then cater and strategise as to what type of content your audience wants to read.
For example, if you run a nutrition blog and posts about coconut oil are doing well, why not write more mosts about the benefits of coconut oil or even ways to use coconut oil in recipes?
Capitalising on a topic that is already doing well can help boost your traffic and audience engagement. It can also help to increase the overall time on the site and can help in making you an authority on a particular topic.
Over time, you will also be able to see what type of niche your audience really prefers to read about on your blog or website. This way it can help you to narrow down the types of topics you discuss and maximise where most of your readership is.
If you run an e-commerce store, you can also use this method to determine which pages are yielding you the most views. This will help give you a clue as to what products your consumers are most interested about.
Using the Visits Report, you can track the optimal times to post based on the days and times that yield you the most traffic.
This metric is also a perfect way to schedule your tweets and social media posts in a way that is entirely relevant to your audience and your demographic.
Even though Google Analytics may suggest a few times that traffic is highest, keep in mind that you should always keep testing and tweaking this metric. Trends like this often change, so don’t get locked in to one particular time of day.
How to Use Google Analytics to Boost Your Conversion Rate
The three most important metrics you need to observe on Google Analytics when it comes to boosting your conversions is your traffic source, location and device.
Once you have these three metrics pinned, highlight traffic to a specific landing page and then analyse the average drop off point in your sales funnel.
Being able to identify the drop off point (which may be different depending on the location, device and traffic source) can help you tweak your page and therefore increase conversions.
A few ways to monitor exactly where your audiences are dropping off, or what elements on the page need to be changed, try installing a tool like Qualaroo which can help pin point why users are leaving your sales funnel. Heat maps may also provide clues as to why users are dropping off.
By using Google Analytics to determine which page users are dropping out on, you can quickly and easily narrow down your search and get right to the heart of the issue.
Once you have determined which points and pages in your sales funnel are causing drop-offs, you can then start A/B tests to address the issues.
You can also monitor your A/B tests using the same method through Google Analytics.
When it comes to mobile devices, it may be helpful to look at the mobile report. This is especially important if mobile traffic is a high for your website and is responsible for a good percentage of your readership.
Using Google Analytics’ mobile report, you can analyse the pages and locations where users have a lower or higher bounce rate, the time spent on site and page abandonment.
From this data, you can then tweak the mobile version in order to improve responsiveness and design. Again, once you have been able to pinpoint the problem areas, you can then split test your mobile site to see if you can increase conversions.
These split tests can also be monitored through Google’s platform.
Looking at the referral report can not only help boost traffic but it can also help boost your conversion rate.
After observing your top referrals, why not offer users from those sites special deals or offers? Or, find a way to maximise audience participation from those referrals.
For example, if Facebook is your number one referral, why not offer your Facebook fans some type of giveaway or competition which requires them to share, tag or comment on one your posts.
This allows your largest referral to reach an even bigger audience and can help boost your traffic and conversion rates.
Another idea that you can implement for your referrals is creating a custom homepage or landing page for each different referral source.
This means that a specific demographic will have access to one page that can be tweaked and tailored to their interest.
So for example, if you do write an article about Coconut oil and it’s shared on a Mummy blog, perhaps you can tailor that specific referrals homepage to include things that mothers and new parents would be interested in reading.
Audience reports will allow you to determine which segments of your audience prefer to read different types of content. This is especially important if you run an e-commerce store as over 60% of online shoppers have stated that they prefer to shop at personalised e-commerce stores.
Once you have been able to determine the different types of content your audience segment prefers, you can then cater to those specific segments and offer a more targeted experience. This will of course help you to boost conversions and make your customers feel valued.
Google Analytics is an extremely valuable marketing tool, not only because it offers key metrics for your website but it also offers helpful suggestions, ideas and information on how to turn your site into a well oiled machine.
A lot of young marketers and business owners only ever use Analytics to look at “vanity” metrics however, these are not really going to help you to optimise.
By following these suggestions however, you can turn your Analytics program into something that will work effectively for your business. And the best part about all of this is, it’s free.