Google Analytics is one of the key tools that keeps the world of marketing spinning; it provides website user data that helps inform content marketing and SEO to understand what the traffic to the site wants and needs.
With great power comes great responsibility and, in this instance, sometimes a great big headache, too. Google Analytics can offer so much that it can be overwhelming, especially for beginners.
Google Analytics and the Marketing Funnel
Top of the funnel
GA’s audience and acquisition reports provide relevant information for top-of-the-funnel, awareness-level metrics. Understanding who is coming to the site and what’s piquing their interest.
The acquisition reports and behaviour reports then also provide details on engagement so you can understand how users are interacting with the site in general.
Bottom of the funnel
Finally, the conversion reports tell us more about the bottom of the funnel. Mainly, are the users on the site doing what the company wants them to do i.e. buy products, sign up for a newsletter etc?
Audience reports are probably the simplest to get your head around. This reports on who is coming to the site.
You can find out:
Demographics: what is the age and gender of your traffic?
Location: where is your audience based?
Technology: are they accessing the site via mobile or desktop, and with what operating system?
User Interests: what other markets are your audience interested in?
Whilst the audience report is the who comes to the site, the acquisition is the how. Data here is broken down into channels and sources so you can understand how effective certain marketing is and learn what’s spiking your audience’s interest.
Channel: what channels are driving traffic? i.e. organic, social, paid
Source: which sites are referring traffic to you?
This section of Google Analytics is perfect for beginners because it can give a quick, easy overview of your site’s traffic sources, so you know exactly which channels to strengthen. If you’re not getting many visitors from organic search, for example, you might want to consider outsourcing SEO services.
So now you know who and how, the behaviour report tells us what the traffic is doing once they’re on the site. It gives details on how they’re interacting with the site and engaging with the content. This is broken down into:
Landing pages: what page are they first entering the site on?
Exit pages: what’s the final page they hit before they exit the site?
Content: which content is most popular on the site, and how long are they engaging with it?
Flow: what’s the path that the traffic is taking on the site? Is it different depending on where the audience has come to the site from?
Then finally, the conversion reports show if the traffic is doing what you want them to on the site. It defines whether the goals set up in GA have been completed and what pages directed the traffic to complete them.
Goals can differ depending on the type of site. For example, an e-commerce site would see conversion as someone who makes a purchase whilst an information site may see signing up to their newsletter as a goal.
The Benefits of Google Analytics
When it comes to any type of marketing, data is power.
The main benefit of Google Analytics is the detail of data it provides on each section of the marketing funnel so that we marketers can adapt and tailor our campaigns, site content and tactics bespoke to the exact needs of the users.