Few things are as helpful for improving your website’s performance as Google Analytics. When set-up and configured correctly, it’s an incredibly powerful tool – and it’s free! Unfortunately, most business owners and marketing executives take a “set it and forget it” approach when it comes to their website tracking. Data without action is worthless – like a big picture New Year’s resolution without a plan to implement it.
In order to be effective, you need to set goals specific to your business and then take time to learn how to customize Google Analytics so that you can actually take action on the reports it spits out. If you don’t have the time or you hate sifting through mountains of data, stop procrastinating and hire someone to do it for you! There are dozens of cost-effective Google Analytics consulting companies available to help.
Here are two very cool custom reports easily created in Google Analytics along with how you can use them to improve your performance.
Report #1: Advanced visitor segmentation
The blue line in the screen shot at left represents all the visitors to your website.
The orange line represents people who visited your website directly or via a branded term (e.g. people that already familiar with your brand before their visit).
The green line represents people who reached you via a search term indicating that they are in the market for your product or service, but did not know about your brand prior to their visit.
You always want the blue line going up and to the right. With few exceptions, more visitors = good!
The green line could be viewed as a proxy for your offline marketing performance. If you start a broad-based TV campaign, you’d hope that the green line would slowly rise as more people visit your website directly and/or use branded terms to find you on Google.
If you’re spending more money on advertising and you’re not tracking your results (shame on you!) and you don’t see the green line inching up, it’s time to rethink your advertising campaigns or get set-up with a more accurate tracking system.
Companies seeking growth or investing in online marketing should pay careful attention to the orange line. These visitors are people searching for your product/service that did not know you or your brand prior to their visit. Every growth seeking company wants to be introduced to more people in the market for its products/services and this is exactly what the orange line represents.
The orange line is also a great way to measure the efficacy and performance of your SEO or PPC company. Most small business owners aren’t really paying for visibility – you’re paying to get more qualified visitors to your website in the hope that percentage of them will turn into leads and sales.
Report #2: Online Conversions by Time of Day
Many businesses test pay-per-click advertising with a (relatively) small initial budget. Combine this with limited PPC experience and you’re on a collision course with poor account performance!
Did you know that there are dozens of settings within your pay-per-click account that allow you to customize what time of the day your ads show? Did you know that you can increase (or decrease) bids specific to certain hours of the day?
initially test pay-per-click advertising using a limited initial budget; however, few realize that their PPC account has dozens of customizations available to target their ads to very specific times of the day.
Using the custom reports feature in Google Analytics, you can create a very cool report that shows your online conversions (and phone leads if you prefer) by time of day. This data can then be used to set your day parts within your PPC campaigns.
Try different campaigns for different times of the day. You might find visitors doing research during the day (on the bosses dime) and buying when they get home (being efficient on their own time!).
Google Analytics makes it easy to create custom reports. These are only two of dozens that every smart business owner should be reviewing at least monthly. To learn more, talk to the marketing analytics experts at Blue Corona.
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
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