Lets start with just a few questions:
1. When is the last time you looked at your website traffic?
2. Do you know how potential customers found your domain?
3. Once they’ve found you, do you know what pages they find most appealing?
Did you answer one or two of these three questions? If so, you’re like most small and medium business owners and operators. You make investments in digital media and advertising, but you don’t know the ROI of the effort. Does it feel intimidating? The Google Analytics dashboard is overwhelming for me and I’m a seasoned marketer. So, it’s understandable why you haven’t tackled analytics.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to be intimated and that starting with some simple data sets will help in tremendous ways. Access the following three core data pieces from your Google Analytics dashboard and you’ll be on your way to improved ROI.
Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
This slice of data gives you a peek into what pages users are accessing, the frequency of access, the time they’re spending interacting with your content, and if they’re remaining within your domain or leaving. Tracking this data over time can guide your content marketing strategy, giving you the intel to create more of what your clients want and adjust or remove what isn’t appealing.
This data display shows you where your digital traffic is coming from, either direct traffic or referral. And while there are many other ways to slice, dice, and dig into these buckets of data, what you’re really trying to distill from this is how are users finding you and how can you help others find you as well. Consider this a funnel expansion analysis: where are they finding your business, and what can you do to make that happen in volume and with more frequency?
Behavior > Behavior Flow
This is one of my favorite data visualizations. You get to see how users enter your domain and the path they take through your pages and content. Essentially, it’s a real-time user journey that can be incredibly useful when examining the effectiveness of your digital advertising and content marketing. Most importantly, though, it can be a gut check of whether your assumptions around your customers’ journey and their buying criteria are in fact true.