Author: Giulia Ivaldi
Date of publication: 27/04/2022
Introduction to Google Analytics’ world
Our world is constantly driven by data. Decisions we take every day are often all recommended considerations that are driven by data based on our personal preferences and more. For example, such decisions could be what movie we should watch on Netflix, what restaurant we should order dinner from or what stores to shop at.
But how to use this mechanism in our favour? Could we perhaps apply similar data points to our brand’s content strategy? With the help of Google Analytics, you can gather information on your current content marketing and search engine optimization strategy to improve upon your tactics. Data is fundamental in all marketing decisions, it allows to leverage informations to better understand your target audience. So, Google Analytics is an incredibly useful tool for business owners and can help you craft an extraordinary marketing strategy.
After long periods during your website’s existence, it’s important to consider the continued relevance of your content in the ever-changing world it lives in. If your content is outdated and irrelevant, you should seriously consider giving your site a refresh. Therefore, using Google Analytics, you will be able to recognize which pieces of content you produce are the “best”. Thus, an important rule in this world is to understand that at the end of the day, it matters more what your audience thinks of your content rather than what content is your favourite.
Using functions such as page views allows you to see which topics and content are getting the most attention from your audience. Additionally, you will find Comparison View and Average Time on Page these two functions will show you which contents users spent more time on. From there, you will be able to create variations of your most successful contents.
Today’s business engine: The audience
Analysing together another important function, the Behavior Report is one of the pieces of the marketing strategy puzzle we are going to discover in this article. Once you go into Google Analytics and run the Behaviour report, you will be able to identify topics that engage your audience the most. Assess the top-performing posts and see if you can update them (videos, adding more images, graphs or quotes). Let’s take TikTok as a clear example of today’s favourite kind of content. TikTok confirms how communication has changed; In fact, short-form videos are the trend of the moment with an increasing monetization potential. Nevertheless, even TikTok is aware of the constant changement in users' requests and this is why this format originated with a 15 seconds clip, extended to 60, then to 3 minutes and is now considered to reach the 10 minutes-long videos.
Getting to know the pages that have gotten the highest organic traffic lets you make better decisions about marketing campaigns and content strategy. Always remember to work also on your least popular content and try to assess the reason for its failure. You could also take this and update it so it becomes a success.
With Google data, you can track what your audience is searching for before landing on your site. Specifically, this data will provide you with insight into the keywords you should utilise throughout your site. Therefore, understanding what your audience is looking for, will help you adapt your content to better suit your audience’s needs. For this reason, keywords are a fundamental tool for marketing, because they help attract people who are searching for content like yours on the internet to it. So, they are a basic facet of search engine optimization.
Just like the process of query searching, utilising paid keywords can also help you improve your content strategy over time. Hence, analysing the potential financial outcomes of your content, will help you gain a better understanding of the monetary value of your site. Once you have identified your top paid keywords, you can optimise and update your existing content.
Beyond the keywords, website traffic, audience facets, and more, it is also important to consider the overall evolution of your site’s interface and content layout. Therefore, Google Analytics provides a variety of shortcuts to historical data and reports, which makes it easier to understand your site’s overall progression over periods of time.
Audience Report and Segmentation features
Audience Report is another important tool to exploit. This tool will show you exactly who your audience is, their interests and how well they engage with your contents.
When building audience profiles, segmentation is the key. Taking into consideration your audience’s behaviours, characteristics and desires, is vital to create an effective marketing strategy for your brand that translates beyond your website. So, utilising segmentation features on Google Analytics, you will discover valuable insights regarding your audience while digging deeper into your website’s functionality.
Yieldify created a list of 4-types of market segmentation with real-world examples that could be useful to know about. They considered in their analysis:
The first one considers potential customers based on characteristics such as their income, this specifically avoids you getting in touch with people that would not be able to afford your products. Psychographics segmentation has to do with customer's personalities and interests while geographic segmentation helps you group customers using their physical location. A subcategory of this last one could be seasonal segmentation which allows the market to individuate seasonal trends.
Annotations and the understanding of your project purpose
With Google Analytics, you are also able to add annotations, which allow you to flag important events or dates during your website’s life and evolution. When you are looking at your data inside Google Analytics it can be difficult to remember exactly what was happening on particular days. Annotations are some short notes that you can add within your Google Analytics reports, some comments that you write to mark some important contents. You can create both private annotations visible only to you or shared annotations visible to anybody with access to the reporting view. You can also start important annotations and edit and delete them whenever you want.
If you are not familiar with Google Analytics, it can be a little disorienting at first. With so much data available to dig through, it is hard to know where to look to find the most important metrics.
Marketers and professionals that want to better understand their audience, and strengthen their marketing strategy, need to know how to best utilise all of the data available inside Google Analytics in order to not spend hours digging through the platform ending up with nothing in your hands. It is important to work with a clear idea of what you want Analytics to do for you and your business, otherwise, you will end up with a mass of facts and figures.
Similarly, without analysing your website traffic, it will be hard to assess the effectiveness of your current marketing strategy and know when it is time to make a shift.
No matter how freewheeling and inventive your business may be, you need to set some goals or a vision of where you want to go. If you want your website analytics data understandable and actionable, you need to map it to your organisation’s larger objectives. Google Analytics will only be able to help you and provide that context when your goals will be set up, tracked, and measured clearly and correctly.
The first question you should ask yourself is: What is the purpose of my website?
Mightybytes tracked the three most common purposes.
Lead Generation Site; It wants to capture high quality leads that lead to sales, like for example the greeting page you get after completing a form.
eCommerce Site; The objective here is to drive sales and revenue and again similarly to the first case the user gets to a purchase confirmation thank you page.
Content Site; The purpose is advertising revenue and/or growing the subscribers' list and in this case, as an example, we could talk about the signup email we get as confirmation to receive updates.
Three fundamental rules to set up your goals
Furthermore, some rules could help you to set your goal. First of all, using clear goal names, avoiding confusion, including the action word and a brief specific description to contextualise, trying to be consistent and using numbers to be more efficient in the organisation.
Rule number two is using goal sets. We can individualise four main branches: Primary Goal, Secondary Goals, Site Action Goals, Engagement Goals or eventually more Site Action Goals. This pyramidal organisation of goals allows for setting a priority order, something important when it comes to maximising time and opportunities. The Primary Goal should reflect the purpose of your site, this is the most important, the bearing column. Following in order we got our Secondary goals and Site Actions Goals; especially the second ones could be critical, for example, if you want your visitors to watch a sales video. To end, the Engagement Goals that describe the broad visitor behaviour.
The third and last rule is the golden rule. «A Few Good Goals are Better than Many Mediocre Goals» (Mightybytes). This means that having a lot of goals could be sometimes the opposite of beneficial, making it harder to evaluate your business.
Do not let Google Analytics complexity prevent you at first from using its power to improve your business. Hoping this brief overall view of Google Analytics could have been beneficial to you, if leveraged correctly, this tool can provide valuable insight into who visits your website, how they got first and on what pages they navigated most;this data is extremely useful for marketers in order to improve their strategy.
Google Analytics is a tool available on Google for free for all those who want to monitor the progress of their business, both from computers and mobile devices. With Google Analytics, it is possible to know the number of people who access your website in a certain period, thus having the possibility to know how they are connected, with which devices, from which country and even to know in real-time how many users are active on the site and which pages they are consulting. The goal of this article is to give a first introduction to Google Trends analytics and its main functions. A fundamental tool today for anyone who wants to promote their business online or have a better understanding of it. Hoping that this brief guide could be beneficial for you and your project.