How to Maximise Google Analytics
If you have a website, you no doubt look to Google Analytics for your metrics data. It’s the way you know how much traffic your site is getting and what pages are the most visited. The information that Google Analytics gives you drives a lot of decisions you make about your SEO and other activities. But, are you sure you’re getting all that you can out of Google Analytics? If overall site traffic and most visited pages are the bulk of what you look for, you can bet you’re not.
Here are ten things you should be doing to maximise the power of Google Analytics:
- Tracking In-Page Analytics
In-page analytics gives you a window into what links people are—or are not—clicking on individual pages. This allows you to see if some of your links are ignored as well as which ones may be getting the most activity. Armed with this information, you can make decisions about your page layouts, navigation and which links may be most suitable for which pages.
- Monitoring Site Speed and Page
You have probably been irritated more than once when visiting a site with slow load times. Well,…here’s your chance to stay on top of your pages and know which ones require a boost to prevent your visitors from having that same experience. Through the Behavior tab in GA, you can see the pages on your site with your slowest and your fastest load times.
- Recognizing Your Problem Pages
As pleasant as it would be to think that every page on your site performed equally well, that’s generally not the case. Tracking high-performing pages are good, but one could argue that it is more significant to know which pages are not carrying their share of the weight. From the Behavior tab, look for Exit Pages. This will show you from what pages most people are leaving your site. This allows you to know where to target your efforts to keep people with you.
- Watching Behavior Flow
Knowing where people come to your site and where they leave is good, but you also want to know what they do on your site. You can see what some current flows are with this feature. You can then better recognise what content to serve up to direct visitors to your lead-generating pages.
- Selecting Your Analytics
Because Google Analytics offers you access to a wide variety of data, navigating the dashboard can sometimes feel wieldy. You can avoid that problem and stop wasting your time by setting up a custom dashboard that has only the metrics you want to see. You can even craft more than one dashboard. On the Dashboard menu, select New Dashboard, and you’ll be on your way.
Another tip is to set up alerts in the Intelligence Events section of GA. This will generate a warning to you when there is a unique event that results in a bit jump in traffic.
It can be easy to get into a rut when looking at analytics, and that can end up preventing you from getting the most use possible out of the data obtainable to you.
- Create Custom Campaign URLs.
Google has a tool that will allow you to build custom URLs for your marketing campaigns, so you might as well take benefit of it. You can recognise five parameters: your source, medium, term, content, and campaign name. Once your custom link starts working, you can use it in its full form or shorten it using a URL-shortening tool like bit.ly.
- Analyze Site Searches.
If you have a search function assisted on your site, you can use Behavior > Site Search to analyse data on what your users are searching for. Users who perform searches on your site are likely to convert than those who don’t, and if you can see what your users are searching for, you’ll know what they want, allowing you to publish more content related to those queries.
- Integrate Google Webmaster Tools.
If you haven’t already installed Google Webmaster Tools for your site, You are missing out on many things. Webmaster Tools will provide you with a deep insight look that Analytics can’t offer, such as information about the links pointing to your site, manual spam actions, impression data, and even organic search keyword impression and click data. Once your webmaster tools get linked with your Analytics account, you will gain access to the fresh reports such as Landing Pages, Geographical summary, and Queries.
- Check for Browser Differences.
Your site could be configured differently for different Internet browsers, and Google Analytics gives you the textbook opportunity to check. Head to Audience > Technology > Browser and OS to see bounce rates and load times for each browser visiting your site. If one browser stands out with weak data, it could be a sign of a formatting problem or loading error.
- Keep Watch for Updates.
This isn’t a trick like the others I’ve outlined above, but it’s beneficial if you’re a regular Google Analytics user. Google is continuously rolling out new features and new functions for Analytics, so it pays to keep watch for these additions as they come out. Google Analytics comes up with a Twitter account which is brilliant for tweeting new enhancements and features.
These tricks still only represent a fraction of Google Analytics’ capabilities. Put them to good use as early as you can to make the most of them for your website.