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What should you be looking for in Google Analytics?

What should you be looking for in Google Analytics?

As a data-driven marketer, understanding where to find data and how to use it to derive insights and trends is my bread and butter. Oh, by the way, I’m also obsessed with Schitt’s Creek.

Digital marketing provides a wealth of touchpoints for collecting data and mining insights, but if this is new to you, the first place you’ll want to start is Google Analytics (GA). GA can seem overwhelming when you’re getting your feet wet with data-driven marketing, but it’s easily one of the best sources for insights.

Here are 3 quick tried and true GA methods to understand exactly what you should be looking for and how it can help inform your decision making process…

First and foremost, if your B2B website and or clients’ website does not have a GA account, you’ll want to stop and go set one up by following these steps before reading on.

  1. Understand what you are measuring.

Time and time again, marketers are downloading multiple pages out of google analytics without having an understanding or focus on what exactly they should be looking to measure. The amount of data in GA can be totally overwhelming if you’re not sure what you’re looking for or, more importantly, why you’re looking for it. Take a step back and look at your marketing goals. Are you trying to build brand awareness and share of voice? Pass over more qualified leads to your sales team? Increase engagement?

Based on what your primary goals are, you want to find the data that helps determine whether you’re hitting your mark. For instance, if you have many goals tied to brand awareness, take a look at the increase in website traffic metrics and average time spent on page. If you’re tasked with mid-funnel goals, what does your engagement rate or content downloads look like? These are just examples, but will help you begin to shape the type of data you need to be looking at to support your marketing goals.

The easiest way to access this information is to set up goals. By setting up goals for your metrics, you can quickly see a breakdown of your success measures. Google allows a good amount of customization so you can track everything from visit duration goals to event goals. Take advantage of this feature and get started here.

2. Understand the user’s experience.

Understanding a user’s authentic experience can enable your marketing and content teams to gain more strategies for search engine optimization and content funnel journeys. With GA you can gain insight into key user information like:

  • Who your audience is, including age, demographics, gender, etc.
  • What they’re accessing on your website (intent) and types of content they are downloading and digesting (including time of day and spikes in visits)
  • When they are coming to your website (are there particular days where traffic spikes most?)
  • Why they are coming to your website (organic or paid efforts contributing to this traffic?)
  • How your visitors are coming to your website, whether its from advertising, social media or organic search, for example (acquisition)

All of these insights can provide critical information to help determine where the user experience can be enhanced and improved. To access how to find these sectors, visit GA’s guided tours section here.

3. Understand how cold leads became qualified leads.

Behavior Flow is my most used flowchart in GA. Not only is it easy to navigate, but it allows you to segment by new users. Behavior Flow allows you to take a deep-dive journeys into areas such as:

  • site content
  • speed
  • search
  • events and much more

From there you can see in-depth information on how users behave on your website and where their first and second interactions are happening (including drop-offs). This begins to help frame up the story of which journeys are most effective in driving users to convert and which ones are not.

So before you decide to change or remove content or a page, be sure to validate the decision by using and analyzing user behavior via Behavior Flow.

Once you have your GA insight gathering down you can start to leverage other web analytics tools to provide even deeper insights into your prospect and customer behavior. But if you’re just getting started, these three tips will get you on track to start harnessing the data you have to make informed decisions and enhance your overall growth performance.

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