For brands who currently use Google Analytics, the release of Google Analytics 3.0 in April 2016 was an exciting one. The update brought a more user-friendly design and a new report sharing feature that allows users to share their customized report analytics via chat, email, or another app.
Marketing Land reported that another new Google Analytics feature – User Explorer is slowly rolling out. This feature gives businesses key insights into their users. The reports are anonymous, but they show individual interactions on a website that still provide powerful data. The reports show everything from user activity history and time-stamps to device and browser usage.
As Google Analytics gets easier to use for power users with an array of new features, it solidifies itself as a must-have for any business toolset in order for teams to get to know their web visitors better and increase conversions. Here are four ways brands can use Google Analytics to boost their digital presence.
1. Increase Effectiveness of Google AdWords
If your business uses Google AdWords for targeted digital ad campaigns, linking the service to Google Analytics is vital because the link allows users to track metrics such as pages per visit, bounce rate, average time of visit, and percentage of new visits based on keywords. Disruptive Advertising recommends linking AdWords to Analytics to optimize bids and placements based on keywords that have greater engagement and are more likely to convert.
To do this, simply head into the Google Analytics administrator panel, and select AdWords Linking on the left-hand side. Select the AdWords account, then the Google Analytics profile, and link the accounts. Do the same in the Google AdWords administrator panel, by clicking Account settings to link the Google Analytics profile. You can choose the metrics you want to see, and new data will start pouring in to give insight into what keywords are working.
2. Analyze Custom URLs to Optimize Campaigns
Custom campaign URLs tied to Google Analytics allow you to see which URLs are most effective in garnering interest. Google Analytics campaigns include labels such as Campaign Source (referring site), Campaign Medium (type of campaign), Campaign Term (so you can easily see the keywords used), and Campaign Name (so you can see the product being promoted in the campaign.) Creating campaigns make it simple to digest the analytics of each method you’re testing and better compare variables across campaigns.
Google URLs for Google Analytics should be created in situations such as these:
- You’re submitting guest blogging posts to multiple sites
- You’re promoting the same piece of content across multiple social media channels
- You’re promoting the same type of content in various formats, including email, banner advertisements, and on your website home page
Use the custom URLs to help with a consistent optimization strategy to maximize content and keyword usage.
3. Use Location Insights to Improve Ad Targeting on Other Networks
Social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn offer advertising platforms that allow marketers to target ads based on location. Google AdWords does, too. Give your business an advantage in ad targeting by diving into Google Analytics to see where most of your customers are, or where your most engaged customers are, or where you thought you had customers but haven’t succeeded yet.
Identifying successes and room for improvement based on location is one of the powerful insights Google Analytics offers. Brands may use Google Analytics to find locations where the most goal conversions are occurring, and use those locations as places to target future ads. Or, they may see a need for improved campaigns to increase conversions in certain locations.
The rich insights based on user location may also inspire brands in content strategy. By devising location-inspired posts that are helpful to top customers, or by monitoring trending hashtags in locations saturated with loyal consumers and then creating related content, brands may create content that is more relevant and that increases engagement, leading to higher sales.
4. Improve Website Design, Speed, and Mobile Strategy
For new business websites that solely have a desktop presence, Google Analytics can help burgeoning brands learn about how to improve their web strategy, including boosting site speed and mobile presence. If Google Analytics is showing that visitors are increasingly accessing your site on their smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices, it’s imperative to make sure your business has a website that’s optimized specifically for mobile so visitors stay on the site and keep coming back.
It’s also important to examine In-Page Analytics in the Content menu of Google Analytics to see where people are clicking the most on your website. For new mobile designs, those are portions of the website designers should consider highlighting, in addition to making them more prominent on desktops.
Google Analytics also helps brands learn more about website speed and how individual pages perform across devices. Kissmetrics reports that a 1-second delay in page response might cause businesses to lose up to 7 percent in conversions. Site speed also has an impact on search engine rankings, which is why slow sites on both desktop and mobile can prevent your business website from being exposed to new users. Use Google Analytics to identify the pages that need the most help so you can retain customers and get more new visitors.