Google Analytics is an extremely valuable tool for any website owner. While other analytics solutions are certainly on the market, Google Analytics is the most common and integration-friendly platform out there.
This free platform is also essential to demonstrate ROI on your marketing efforts.
The downside is that Google Analytics, or GA, isn’t always an intuitive platform. Out of the box, GA often highlights vanity metrics that mean little for your business. The result is unactionable data that takes up more of your time.
The good news is that GA comes with plenty of valuable features if you know where to look. With just a few clicks, you can see which marketing efforts are reaping dividends for your website.
You need to maximize the value you’re getting from your GA account. Understand and process your data in a way that helps you take valuable action to grow your brand.
However, even GA-certified marketers have trouble navigating the platform. GA has plenty of bells and whistles that can be overwhelming.
The Best Analytics Functions For Business
The key to growing your business is monitoring your performance. Use these 10 GA functions to make the most of your GA account.
1. Understand Your Content
Your website is all about content. When you invest in maintaining your site and content efforts like a blog, you want to know what’s working and what needs to change.
Go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages in GA. This will help you see what pages are your most popular. Be sure to analyze the bounce rate on each page. This data shows what content converts users, and where they tend to exit your site.
It requires a little detective work to figure out why users are dropping off, but GA will give you the data to begin your analysis.
2. Measure Bounce Rate
Your bounce rate is the percent of users who leave your site after only looking at one page. While this isn’t always a bad thing, it’s a critical metric if you’re trying to funnel users through your site.
Not only is bounce rate telling for your organic efforts, but it’s also essential to running a healthy PPC campaign.
In GA, go to Audience > Overview to check out your bounce rate. If you want to see your bounce rate for each page on your website, go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages and filter by bounce rate.
3. Identify Search Terms
Search terms are extremely powerful for marketing. They show how people arrived at your site, and what they were searching for.
These terms give you more insight into user needs. Access the terms to create more tailored content based on customer pain points.
You can pull search terms in two places in GA.
1. If you want to view searches that happen on your site
If your website has a search bar, it’s important to view your search report. This will help you find any gaps in your site content and give users what they’re searching for.
Pull this report by going to Behavior > Site Search > Search Terms.
2. If you want to view search queries from search engines
Want to know how a Google user came to your site? This report will pull the query from that search. Go to Acquisition > Search Console > Queries.
4. Find Your Traffic Origins
Where does your website traffic come from? The answer is important because this determines where you dedicate more of your time and attention.
Go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium to view your traffic sources. Adjust the dates as necessary to get a better view of your data.
If you run email or social campaigns directing traffic to your site, try Google’s UTM tracking to track these clicks more accurately in GA.
5. Visualize the Customer Journey
How, exactly, are users behaving on your website? Your most popular web pages only tell part of the story.
GA shows you common conversion paths that your users take on the website. Essentially, this is a visualization of how people use your website.
Go to Behavior > Behavior Flow to view your customer journey. Make sure this is your ideal customer experience. If anything is amiss, this is your chance to adjust your site.
6. Integrate With Other Google Products
GA is a powerful tool, but you can multiply its effectiveness by integrating with other Google products. For example, Google Search Console, Tag Manager, and Ads are important integrations that will give you a better picture of your customer data.
The more well-rounded your understanding of your data, the better you can optimize future campaigns.
You aren’t saddled with the default view in GA. The platform is completely customizable based on the data you need to view.
to Customization > Dashboards > Create to set up your custom dashboard. Add in whatever widgets you need to quickly understand your website performance.
You can also pull custom reports in GA, which are a powerful way to understand more complex data.
8. Geographic Information
Do most of your users come from your state, or from across the globe? GA helps you understand where in the world your users are located.
Go to Audience > Geo > Location to view user geography. Drill down from here to see how long they spend on site, and what pages they visit.
9. Mobile Experience
Mobile experience matters. Not only does it count for your user experience, but it’s also essential for SEO.
View your mobile user data at Audience > Mobile > Devices. This will show you how often people visit your site on a particular device.
Use the data to check bounce rates and time on page. Compare mobile data against your desktop users. Note if there are any differences between the two. If so, it’s high time to revamp your mobile website.
10. Conversion Tracking
Goals are essential to GA. It’s more difficult to understand how users convert on your site if you aren’t tracking goals.
GA goals help you know when users complete your desired action. Go to Admin > Goals > + Goal.
Although GA gives you several goal options, the easiest to use is a URL Destination. This requires you to have a custom URL, like a thank you page, after the user completes that particular goal.
The Bottom Line
Google Analytics is a powerful tool for your business. Use it to your full advantage with these 10 features. Put powerful data to use while growing your brand. It can mean the difference between smoking the competition and getting left behind in the dust.
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