Most publishers we speak to feel they simply don’t have the time to study their website’s performance. With mountains of data at our fingertips, here’s how to strip down the heavy details, and focus on a few pieces of key analytical information.
In a nutshell, analytical website data helps us understand our community, our overall marketing effectiveness, individual campaign successes, and sales drivers/hinderers. Google Analytics (GA) records a mass of site data, ranging from who visited, the paths users took, content digested, time on page, time on site, where they live, how they found you, and more. Used properly, this information will help you to allocate your resources effectively, and increase your ROI.
GA is a fantastic product which is free to use and an essential tool for all marketing departments. Here are several GA assets which, when understood and acted on effectively, can ultimately lead to a firmer understanding of your site audience:
Arguably the clearest instant indicator of a site’s performance that GA offers, the bounce rate is the number of users who enter and leave your page without clicking on anything. A low bounce rate indicates a website that users are interested in - a high bounce rate may indicate a lack of interest. Bounce rates vary according to content type - blogs have notoriously high bounce rates whilst eCommerce are usually lower.
In terms of suggested figures - 80% bounce rate is problematic, 50% would be reasonable, and 30% would be excellent. Particular pages with poor bounce rates may indicate badly structured metadata, poorly optimised content or possibly an page error.
This covers a user’s:
This valuable information helps you to align your content with your site’s most popular demographics, and can also help you pinpoint which titles are most visited by categories of user.
This helps to indicate levels of interest and engagement. Usually, the longer a user dwells the more likely they are to buy. As marketers, we are keen to identify how effective our work is across all our channels, including where our user acquisition is most successful.
We can measure this by identifying where users ‘land’ (first page visited) on arrival, and where they’ve come from (your ‘traffic drivers’).
It is as important to focus on poor performance areas of your site, and often some pages will perform badly not as a result of your content but as a result of an error, poor optimisation, or bad SEO, amongst other things. Understanding the detail makes all the difference.
Identify your top performing pages. Try to understand why it is the page is performing so well. Is it a product details page or landing page which is being promoted? Is it a popular blog post? Or is it your homepage? Many organic site visitors will go straight to your site’s search box in order to navigate the website - 43% users use search to navigate a website so your search results page should be a high performer!
Where are your visitors coming from? As mentioned previously, traffic drivers offer insight into your user’s habits and interests, and are a good indication as to suitable marketing tactics.
Organic traffic means traffic from search engines
Direct traffic is when a user arrives on your site with no previous browsing activity – They might have typed your site URL directly into their browser, for example
Referral traffic represents links from other sites
Social traffic is traffic driven from social media sites, giving you an indication of which of your pages are most popular on each platform
If you have a goal for your site, then you should keep tabs on which specific user tasks are performed to help fulfil your goal. For example ‘buying a book’, ‘completing a purchase’ or ‘visiting 4 product pages’ are good simple examples. GA provides a simple effective process for setting up goals and events.
An effective site search on your website can offer users a great experience, and provide you with a treasure trove of information.
Understanding what people are looking for, how they search, and how fast and intuitive the process is, will definitely have a positive impact on your sales. Dwell time and conversion rates are dependent upon effective site search. GA measures search terms, results per search, time per search, categories searched & number of searches.
Many publishers simply don’t have the time or resources to spend on a detailed GA analysis. However, an understanding of the few assets we’ve listed here takes relatively little time, and is a great step towards a great website, and a satisfied customer.
At Supadu, we can help you sign up and get started with GA, and offer you training. We create and deploy advanced website search functionality, an excellent landing page builder, and data driven product pages - all key tools to help you fine tune your user acquisition and engagement.