In 2021 it is more important than ever to ensure that you are tracking your website data to determine the success of the marketing activities that you are doing to drive traffic to it.
This includes knowing where they have clicked from to view your content and what content they have viewed.
If you’re not tracking this stuff then you’ll never really know what content resonates with your website users, and you’ll never really know if all that time and effort that you spent posting your blog every day on your social channels works to drive traffic to it.
If you spend hours on writing and posting then you’ll need to see a return on investment of the time that you have spent and using a free tool like Google Analytics can help with that.
However, if the thought of looking at a dashboard of data puts you off even starting, then you might want to carry on reading as I have outlined 10 ways you can use Google Analytics like a pro.
If you can see what this tool is capable of, then hopefully you’ll head back to your website and immediately start looking at your data with a renewed love.
01. You can see real-time traffic on your website!
The Realtime traffic report in Google Analytics will show you how many people are on your site right now.
This is such a useful tool if you have just dropped a competition link or sent an email and want to see the short-term impact of your marketing activities.
You’ll be able to see what pages they are on, where they have come from and the devices they are using to view your site.
You can even track the user as they work through your site and see if they decide to buy or covert based on the URL of the active pages that you can see.
I have known many a “technophobe” fall in love with this report, so add it to your list to check after any big marketing activity.
02. You can see where in the world your site visitors have come from!
I find knowing where in the world your website traffic is coming from an exceptionally useful way to find out if your website is being seen by the countries you sell to and show you any surprises of countries that you were not expecting to see your website.
I also find it a useful way to see if I am getting traffic from countries that could be considered as “spammy”.
Looking at the ‘average session duration’ column in the reports table can usually give you an idea of the quality of traffic that you are getting. Those who stay from more than 10 seconds are most likely “genuine” users:
Check-in on the location of your site visitors every once in a while to understand more about where your site has reached around the world.
03. You can see if your users are looking at your website using their laptop or phone!
Google Analytics can detect via the browser that the user is using to view your website whether they are using a mobile device or a desktop computer.
It can even determine the tech the user is using to view your site via mobile i.e. iPhone or Android.
For many who have never looked at this report before, it’s game-changer as the effort you have been spending on making the desktop version of your site look amazing may all be for nothing if your users are mostly using mobile to view it instead:
Ensure that you know what devices your users are mostly looking at your site with so that you can give them a better user experience.
04. You can see if your users are coming from Linkedin, Facebook or Instagram
If you are spending a lot of your time promoting your website and any pages or posts on social channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, then you’ll need to check in on the data to see what channel performs the best and what may need improvement.
You may already be spreading yourself quite thin with how many channels you are maintaining. Observing this report will allow you to know if you need to focus on just one or two and get them right before trying others.
Be sure to keep an eye on the columns that tell you how long users from certain channels have been spending on your site and how many pages they’ve viewed during their session for extra insight. Users that spend longer and view more content are more engaged.
05. You can see how long it took users to read your new blog post!
You can see the top, most commonly visited pages on your website and understand which is the best performing content that you have on your website by looking at the ‘All Pages’ report under ‘Behavior’.
Studying the ‘Avg Time on Page’ column will give you an understanding if users stayed and read your content…or not.
This will then enable you to know if there are certain topics of content that resonate with your users and if that’s the case, then you need to do more of the same!
06. You can see how your users are moving around your website!
The ‘Behavior Flow’ report allows you to see more than just the content that your users viewed when they were on your website. You can see what page they started at and what page they left.
This allows you to understand the journey that your user made through the site and what you could do to keep them from leaving certain pages.
This is a must-see report that gives you a reality-check on how users are using your website.
They’re probably not viewing all of your pages each time they view your site so how can you convey your offer quickly on the pages that they are looking at?
07. You can see how much you’re selling!
If you have an eCommerce store such as WooCommerce or Shopify, then you can track the sales that you are making on your website over in Google Analytics too.
You’ll need to enable the report and check some settings over on your website platform (more on that here), but once you do you’ll be able to see your sales data under the ‘Ecommerce’ report in ‘Conversions’.
…and you’ll be able to see that sales data across all of the table reports within Google Analytics so you can cross-reference what channel bought you in the most sales for example.
08. You can see how long it takes for your website to load!
Over in the ‘Page Timings’ report under ‘Behavior’ you’ll be able to see the average load time per page. Considering that Google will now rank in search results based on how fast your site is, this is report should be seen on a regular basis!
Use it to find out if particular pages are slow loading or if you need to rethink how many images you have on there and if they’re optimised or not.
09. You can see what things your website visitors are interested in!
By enabling the ‘Interests’ report (and you’ll need to manually do this) you can find out the top-level interests of your website visitors depending on their behavior.
This data is fully anonymous and only delivered as a sample but Google has a lot of knowledge on how users use the internet and it’s in this report you’ll be able to see those assumptions.
It’s a really useful way to see if you are attracting users who may be interested in your products and services.
10. You can visually see if your users are abandoning the buying process!
This one takes some settings up (more on that here) but once you have this report enabled you’ll be able to see the specific steps, that you define, of a user moving towards a goal conversion – like a purchase.
If you are trying to understand at what points a user clicks away from the buying process rather than deciding to complete the checkout (i.e. abandoning the cart) then you’ll be able to see it really clearly here.
I hope that this report has given you some inspiration to go back to your own website and start looking at how it’s performing in Google Analytics.
If you don’t have GA installed on your website yet (and I really recommend that you do!), then you can get started using my guide right here.
If you’re looking for some more in-depth ideas for how to use Google Analytics then check out this video masterclass I did on finding out more about your customers using the platform right here.
Did you find this useful?
Tell me what you thought in the comments below and if you want more tips and tricks on GA, be sure to join my free Facebook Group here and sign-up to my mailing list via the form below.
Thank you Vicki for such a great article-really helpful.
Well demonstrated such a great tool!