It’s no secret that I like to use Google Analytics to improve and grow online businesses… So, today I’m sharing just 4 of the ways I’ve used Google Analytics to improve client businesses this year.
For your benefit, I’ve outlined the scenario, where to look for answers, how the problem was solved, and the all important results. It’s all here for you to learn from and try too. Enjoy!
1. Access via Device
Google Analytics > Audience > Mobile > Overview
Monitoring the access to the site via device type means that we could turn our attention to optimising the site content layout, promotional content placement and test load times and usability for the device that the majority of the site visitors were using.
For this business, when we implemented a new social media and email marketing strategy, and when the Google search algorithm updated to favour mobile devices, we were able to see the dramatic shift in how users were accessing the site.
Noticing the shift from predominantly desktop computer access to mobile/tablet viewing meant that we had to ensure the following:
- important information was quick to find and consume on mobile devices
- layout of images/content made sense when compacted to a stacked mobile view
- important forms or downloadables were easy to use, download and submit on mobile devices
As the audience became 60%+ mobile viewers, we were ultimately improving their user experience. All while ensuring they are seeing the information and products we wanted them to see.
The improvements lead to the following results:
- improved engagement on the site from mobile visitors
- more pages/sessions
- increase in time on site
- lower bounce rate
- more form submissions
- improved search ranking due to mobile friendly design
2. Landing Page Optimisation
A landing page is not a sales squeeze page, it is any page or post on your site that a visitor comes to first. It is the visitors first entry point to your site for that browsing session.
Google Analytics > (set date range to 3-6 months) > Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages
This report gave me insight into what content customers (and potential customers) were engaging with, searching for and clicking through to.
Working through the list of top landing pages I could then go back to each of those pages on the website and optimise them for better results.
- Adding more cross-links to other related content to encourage visitors to learn more from the company
- Adding additional useful and related content to further educate the consumer
- Search engine optimisation to grow search traffic to the page
- Page optimisation to ensure the page is working at it’s full potential
- Add the post/page to a hot list for re-sharing through social media and email marketing as it is obviously content that people are finding useful
- Use the post content for top and mid funnel social and search advertising to drive awareness and engagement
- Added new posts to the site with similar or related content to expand on the information already provided
These changes resulted in:
- More search traffic
- More engagement and click-throughs on social media
- More click throughs from email marketing
All resulting in more people bouncing around the site seeing not only the targeted content but all of the other good stuff this company had to offer.
3. Getting Key Content In Front Of Site Visitors
Every online business has key content that they want their site visitors to see. Some might say ‘all of the content is important’. But there is usually a small selection of core offerings or information pages that you want more visitors to see to understand you, your business or your product.
Using Google Analytics you can see how each of your key pages are performing in terms of percentage of all traffic to your site.
Google Analytics > Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages > Search the slug of the key page
Below you can see the effect a few small changes to site placement had on increasing page visitors to individual core content pages.
1. An important information page was listed on a resource page but not being seen as much as the client would like.
- Added the page as a featured article on the home page for a couple of months (see the increase in daily traffic)
- Changed the head line to use language customers would use when looking for this information
- Added the article to a popular sub-menu (see the next rise in daily traffic)
- Re-circulated the post on social media and in a few newsletters (represented by the peaks in the graph)
After a content strategy and website change this article was removed from the menu and home page…. see the immediate drop-off.
2. A core product information page was not getting seen.
- Adding core content page to an above-the-fold sidebar menu
- Cross-linked to the page from related products or posts throughout the site
- Ensured the product name was referenced correctly throughout the site for user recognition
- Expanded on the page information to ensure it contained all of the relevant content users were looking for
- Re-circulated the content via social media and newsletters (the big spikes)
This shows the impact that small placement changes can have on site visitors seeing your important content.
You can try testing different placements for your content too and track the results through Google Analytics.
4. E-commerce Checkout Breakdown
I see this all of the time. Clients come to me wondering why no-one is buying their ‘thing’ … usually after they’ve executed dramatic price reductions, frantic continuous sales pitches all over the internet, scrapping the offering all together, and lots of frustration and tears in the process.
The culprit… A broken check-out.
- No-one can find a link to the check-out
- The cart or check-out page is missing the actual button or link to finalise the order
- The payment options dont work
- Unusual things occurring at check-out like
- duplicate products added
- inability to remove products
- billing details form throwing errors
- shipping blocked to select countries without your knowledge
- extreme shipping costs added without your knowledge
In a recent client’s case we used Google Analytics to run a quick check on the key pages in the sale process.
Google Analytics > (set date range) > Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages > Search the page slug you want to review
We checked page views, users, time-on-page, and access device for:
- The product page/s
- The cart page
- The check-out page
- The thank you page
We checked the stats for different time periods to see if there was a relationship to when the breakdown had occurred.
- 7 days
- 2 weeks
- 1 month
- 3 months
- 6 months
We found that plenty of site visitors were looking at the product and spending a decent amount of time looking at the product information on the product page.
We could also see that a good portion of those visitors were flowing through from the product page to the cart page. It was here that we noticed an unusually long average time on page – especially for a simple review cart page with no forms.
Going on to review the checkout page there was a dramatic decrease in page views.
We could drill down on the report to see:
- whether it was device specific (it was not in this case)
- if it was Medium specific (i.e. organic search traffic coming to the page by accident and not finding what they were after and leaving)
- or if it was something on the page
There were no obvious faults that could be determined from the analytics report so the next step was to try replicating the user experience to see what was happening.
What I found was that on the cart page it was actually difficult to determine where the checkout button was to proceed with the sale.
To counter-act this, the button was relocated to an easy to see position above-the-fold and a bold background colour was added to the Check Out button.
The results: More conversions and average order value!
Other Sales Break Down Cases To Learn From
In a similar checkout breakdown case it was discovered that the only way a customer could get to the cart page to begin the checkout process was via a little icon in the header of the website. This header however was always covered by floating social media icons so a consumer could never find and begin the check out process. Hence the lack of sales!
In another case again, the client was reporting a serious lack in sales since implementing a new e-commerce platform. By replicating the user experience it was discovered that customers were being charged the advertised flat-rate shipping fee for every item in their cart and were abandoning their orders in droves. Not ideal for business!
This process may not highlight any broken areas for you. So, if you’ve check all of this out and you’ve got your bases covered with user experience, then perhaps it is an offer issue. Solving that would come back to your messaging and understanding your target customer; what they need, how they need it, how and when they consume it etc… but that’s a post for another day.
Want to learn more about
how to optimise and grow your business
from Google Analytics?
You can try these 4 business optimisation methods too. I’d love to hear about the results you’ve seen from implementing these types of review and optimisation processes.
Do you use analytics data to improve and grow your business? What is your go-to analytics report to help you find ways to grow your business?