04 May Top 5 Google Analytics Metrics for Marketing
Benchmarking is an amazing way to see how your website compares to other sites similar to yours. Benchmarking is a key to marketing because it sets goals and helps you determine whether you are achieving or failing. All sections in the Google Analytics dashboard under Audience > Benchmarking (channels, location, and devices) are all great metrics to help keep track of your site’s visibility vs the competition. This is a great starting point when you open up the dashboard in order to determine where you should be looking next.
If you look at your benchmarks and see that your rankings in acquisition are all outperforming the benchmark, but your rankings for behavior are much lower than the benchmark, you are having an issue with gaining quality traffic. In this case, you are doing a great job of getting users to your site, but you are losing them quickly once they arrive. In order to remedy this, you can use more specific benchmarks such as the average session duration per source of traffic. If you notice that you are near the benchmark for organic search but much lower for your social and referral traffic, you can assume that traffic from your social media and other inbound links is not gaining content from the site they are looking for.
Once you have determined this problem, you can use the Interests section (that I will discuss further at #3) to find what kind of content these users may be looking for. Updating links to go to pages on your site that have more content they are looking for or changing content/layout around on the home page can help improve the average session duration. In a lot of cases, your deductions for why your benchmarks are negative can be incorrect, but the great thing is that you can always go back and attempt something different in order to improve your rating against the benchmarks.
2) Behavior Flow
Behavior Flow is a great design metric. It’s a great way to see how the majority of people will flow through the pages on your site and keep you knowledgeable of how users are viewing your page. It’s also good to see if a lot of people are dropping off at certain pages or if there are a lot of one page and exit viewings. In order to improve SEO, it’s all about attracting quality traffic that stays on your site for a good period of time. In general you want to aim for people to be on your site for at least 1 minute. Seeing oddities in behavior flow can help you improve content and deliver a good user experience that drives traffic and improves business.
Interests is one of my favorite Google Analytics metrics. Traditional marketers love to know their demographics through age, gender, and interests. Demographics is another great metric that you should definitely use but I really like the interests tab. The internet is an information super-highway and it’s easier than ever to find information on your business’ main audience. Finding out that 35% of the people who view your site have an interest in education, then it’s important to use this information for your marketing efforts. Creating advertisements, campaigns, and content related to supporting education, etc will drive more repeat traffic to your site. Users who return to the site are generally going to refer someone else to the site because it normally means that they were captivated by it. This information can be used in all facets of the marketing mix, not just digital. This information early on can help a company develop a marketing strategy.
On a side note:
4) Acquisition – Campaigns – Organic Keywords
This metric is very specific but I think is highly effective. Finding information online is all powered through search engines, mainly Google. Effective SEO comes down to a lot of organic traffic from search engines. You can see which searches are finding your site and how high in the rankings you are for those searches. This is also important in determining which searches cause users who get an impression (see your site in the search results) to click-through to your site. CTR (click-through rate) is one of the most important readings you can view in your Google Analytics dashboard.
You can use this information to become the first in search results for multitudes of different searches related to your business. Google Trends is a great source for finding which searches are popular and how you can capitalize on them. If you are a web design firm, you may find that the simple term “website services” is more popular than “web design firm”. This information will help you funnel in a lot of interested organic traffic that will click-through to your traffic, boost SEO, sales, and business in general.
5) Acquisition – All Trafic – Source/Medium
I just really like to see how people are getting to my site. Finding out that more people get to your site through Linkedin than through organic search could be a game-changing metric that totally redefines your marketing strategy. I studied a lot of traditional marketing techniques in school such as a SWOT Analysis, and I still find them to be quite useful at times. This information can help marketers determine which acquisition avenues are their strongest and which are their weakest. This helps develop marketing campaigns that will build on strong mediums and build up weaker ones.
Inbound/outbound links to/from your website play a large role in SEO as well. Finding out where traffic is coming from outside of your own site is great in developing partnerships and trying to build your presence in other parts of the web strategically. Giving back to sites that help give you traffic is a good way to improve your search results and give your brand a large breadth and good image.
Google Analytics is an extremely powerful tool and I’m sure there are many great ways to utilize it. There are many things within Google Analytics that I’m sure I don’t take full advantage of. Digital marketing is bigger than ever before and it’s important to keep up with the latest techniques and technology in order to build your business. SEO, analytics, and quality content are the key to driving quality traffic, building a user base, and developing a high quality brand image.